In India, there are over a billion mobile subscriptions till date, which is a huge number and hence in order to make sure that the mobile subscriptions are not being misused by fake users or users with fake identities, the Supreme Court of India on Monday, has approved the Government’s plan record the identification details of the mobile subscriptions.
These details of the subscribers will be recorded through an e-KYC mechanism which is linked to Aadhaar card. The government plans to execute this within a year.
According to the report, it has been reported that the court has also asked the center to formulate a process to register every Indian SIM card with Aadhaar card. And not just that, it has also been reported that every time a subscriber makes a recharge, he/she should be redirected to fill and deposit a form to verify the identity. The attorney general Mukul Rohatgi stated that “An effective mechanism would be put in place and the process would be completed in a year,”.
Lokniti Foundation, an NGO-based in Delhi had filed a petition earlier which looks into clearing out fake mobile numbers among the existing subscriber base. The petition also reflects that all the new subscribers will have to produce a valid Aadhaar card while purchasing a new SIM card in order to prevent any more fake users getting hands on a SIM card. This is something very similar to what TRAI had earlier recommended to do in order to take out the mobile numbers that have been acquired with fake and forged identities.
While implementing this method seems to be a valid option, it has some disadvantages/ issues of its own. First of all, as of now there is no plan in place to bring about this change, which is very important since a massive move like this which involves over 1 billion mobile subscriptions to linked with an Aadhaar card is not that simple. While most telecom operators have adopted the e-KYC method for new subscriptions, the older ones are still to be cross verified. And every new customer who wished to purchase a SIM card will need an Aadhaar card and if he/she doesn’t have one, then there is no option than to enroll for a new one.
Also, if you are an existing mobile user and you don’t have an Aadhaar card, then you also need to enroll for a new Aadhaar card. And even after considering all this, it is worth acknowledging that the telecom service providers are going to have a hard time implementing this. It is also expected that the telecom service providers will end up losing a lot of subscribers as well during the process and it may cost them a lot of money as well by the time this gets executed properly. However, in the end, if everything works out well, at least the government will be able to clear out some fake subscriptions. Having said that, let us know what do you think about this decision in the comment section below and stay tuned to PhoneRadar for more info on this.