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Government is likely to finalise norms by the end of this year that will enable instant identity verification using Aadhaar card biometrics data for getting a new mobile connection.

Retailers will take the impression of customers’ fingers to match it online with that of the UID card data at the point of sale that will serve as the address as well as the ID proof.

A pilot project for the same has also been conducted in Andhra Pradesh recently. As per estimates, about 56 million of the state’s 86 million population has been enrolled by UIDAI and accounts for 25 per cent of Aadhaar cards issued across the country so far.

A lot of paperwork will be reduced as the retailers selling SIM cards will be able to get customers’ profile and biometric authentication details online with UIDAI server, said Department of Telecom officials.

“The process is underway. We will refer the matter to the Home Ministry and after getting the approval, the notification is likely be issued by the end of this year,” a DoT official told PTI.

Although vendors accept Aadhaar as ID proof, customers are required to supply additional documents such as passport or driving licence to get the connection. The operators then need to verify the details, which takes a few days, before activating the connection.

Strengthening the security rules for providing new mobile connections, DoT last year came with out tough guidelines which called for physical verification of facts provided by subscribers.

They also made operators responsible for inaccurate information provided by subscribers for taking new prepaid and postpaid mobile connections.

Once the new guidelines are issued by the year end, operators can issue new mobile connections using only the Aadhaar card, which will speed up the verification process as everything will be done online.

“This will increase the accountability, both at the end of the retailer, distributor and telecom service provider.

Millions of kilograms worth of paper today can be saved if the online Aadhar card is accepted as proof of identity,” said an industry official.

Operators such as Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Communications have agreed on issuing new mobile connections using just the Aadhaar card.

As per an industry official, the pilot project has shown successful results and has helped in achieving the objective of instant and secured paperless activation.


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