In a bid to expedite compliance of telecom service providers with the Hon. Supreme Court’s order dated 6th February regarding linking of Aadhaar card with mobile number and reverification process of mobile users, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) issued a comprehensive instruction on Wednesday.
As per the new rules, the DoT has introduced three new methods to link the registered mobile number with Aadhaar i.e. OTP (One Time Password) based, App based and the IVRS facility. These new methods will help subscribers to get their mobile number linked to Aadhaar without visiting the stores of the telcos. For the ease of senior citizens and the people with disability and chronic illness, DoT has also recommended for the re-verification at subscribers’ doorstep. According to the new guidelines, the telecom operators should provide an online mechanism for people to request such service and based on availability schedule the visit and complete the process.
Speaking on the development, Shri Manoj Sinha, Minister of State (Independent Charge), Ministry of Communications, said “The Aadhaar number system was designed to allow all residents of the country access to critical government services and important information that they may need from time to time. Mobile penetration is increasing rapidly in the country and the subscribers need to be provided with the ease of linking of the Aadhaar number with the mobile number. It is the government’s endeavor to improve convenience and reduce time and energy spent by consumers to accessing government information and services that is their right to access.”
The representative of COAI stated, “The latest clarifications from the DoT are aligned with what the industry, and the subscribers need at this time. While, it will take a little time to implement the directions, we are working closely with the government to improve and enhance the convenience of our consumers for undertaking Aadhaar based e-KYC linking of their mobile number. We are implementing all the necessary processes so as to be able to use the additional methods prescribed including OTP, App based and the IVRS facility. We expect it to get much faster and easier for individual mobile subscribers to comply with the e-KYC norms using their Aadhaar Registered Mobile Number (ARMN).”
In a circular in August, DoT had given instructions to the telecom service providers to provide iris or fingerprint based authentication of Aadhaar. The new regulations have specified that the telecom service providers must deploy iris readers for this purpose within a reasonable geographical area.
Further, in keeping with privacy rules, the DoT has mandated that telecom service providers’ agent should not have access to the subscribers’ e-KYC data and only the name and address of the subscribers should be visible. Subscribers can verify or re-verify their mobile numbers from anywhere in the country irrespective of which service area their mobile connection belongs to.