Mobile number not linked with Aadhaar? Don’t worry, govt will not disconnect it

DoT is waiting for the Supreme Court judgement on Aadhaar issue.


New Delhi: Telecom department (DoT) Secretary Aruna Sundararajan, talking about linking Aadhaar with mobile phone number for reverification, has said the government will not disconnect mobile connections of people who do not have the UIDAI number.

She said the department is waiting for the Supreme Court judgement on Aadhaar issue to decide on the action to be taken in cases where people have Aadhaar but do not want to link it with their mobile number.

“We are also working on alternatives for people who are abroad (to help them link their mobile number with Aadhaar),” Sundararajan added.

The government had recently initiated a series of measures, including allowing re-verification at subscribers’ doorstep and One Time Password (OTP) based authentication of existing users, to make the entire exercise easier for telecom subscribers.

Telecom operators have been directed to offer facility for re-verification at the subscribers’ doorstep for convenience of those with disablity, illness or old age.

Operators have been asked to put in place an online mechanism (through website, and other means) for people to request for such service.

It has also enabled Aadhaar OTP (One time password) based authentication for re-verification of the existing mobile users. Telecom service providers have been instructed to initiate a scheme to use OTP based re-verification of mobile subscribers using SMS or IVRS or on their mobile app.

In case of agent-assisted biometric authentication for SIM re-verification or issuance, telcos have been asked to ensure that full e-KYC details of subscribers are not made visible to the agent. Nor should data be stored on the agent?s device, the source added.

In the current dispensation, e-KYC data of the subscriber including photograph is visible to the agent of the telecom operator.

Telecom operators have also been directed to deploy iris devices at “appropriate number of service points” so subscribers have access to iris authentication “within a reasonable geographical distance”.

Aadhaar-based e-KYC is essential for subscribers going for new SIMs. Further, the government has asked mobile operators to re-verify existing prepaid and postpaid customers, with the help of the 12-digit unique identity number. The re-verification exercise is scheduled to be completed by early 2018.