Non-Aadhaar mobile SIM verification only for NRIs, foreign tourists

Those who have Aadhaar or are entitled to get Aadhaar will have to verify their SIMs with their Aadhaar.

Non-Aadhaar mobile SIM verification only for NRIs, foreign tourists

New Delhi: The Telecom Department and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) may soon come out with a decision on SIM verification method for NRIs and foreign tourists who are not eligible for Aadhaar.

Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan has said that the decision on non-Aadhaar SIM verification method for NRIs and foreign tourists may likely be taken in two to three weeks.

However those who have Aadhaar or are entitled to get it will have to verify their SIMs with their Aadhaar, she said.

One such way for NRIs and foreign tourists could be authentication through passport, but no decision has been taken yet on the matter, she added.

The SIM card verification process through Aadhaar-based authentication has been simplified this week with the government allowing OTP and other modes to complete the process of linking mobile numbers with the 12 digit biometric identifier.

Telecom operators have been asked to submit to UIDAI by November 15 a blueprint of the process to operationalise the new modes (including OTP) of SIM re-verification through Aadhaar.

The government has initiated a series of measures to simplify Aadhaar-based re-verification of existing subscribers.

While the authentication of mobile phone number with Aadhaar, a process called re-verification, by visiting stores of telecom firms will continue, the government has also ordered the companies to carry out the exercise at the doorsteps of the disabled, chronically ill and senior citizens.

The mobile numbers can also be linked with Aadhaar through OTP (one time password), app or IVRS facility.

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".

The Telecom Secretary said Aadhaar-based process for SIM verification was devised in the wake of complaints about mobile connections being issued without proper due diligence by telecom operators (and later such SIMs being used by terrorists and fraudsters) and the Supreme Court's observations in February this year in a PIL by Lokniti Foundation.

With PTI Inputs

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