To simplify the process of applying for or buying a mobile connection, Indian government has approved a policy allowing the electronic Adhaar Card, Unique Identification Number as ID proof and address proof. This decision will not only simplify the process but also do away with multiple bulky documents and also save a lot of time for operators to verify such information.
As per the rules, a customer has to submit his Adhaar card number which has information including name, address, date of birth, gender and biometric info along with their digitally-signed electronic know-your-customer (KYC) data provided by Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), who actually issues Adhaar card numbers. In order to authorise the data, it will be verified by UIDAI and then send to Department of Telecommunication. Moreover, to ensure privacy UIDAI claims that no information regarding biometrics or iris scanning will be stored. Though information verified by UIDAI will be stored by the Telecom companies. As of now, only one mobile connection is available to the customer who opts for e-Adhaar KYC verification.
Praising the decision, Rajan S. Mathews, Director General, COAI, said, “We firmly believe that the adoption of this process will make the subscriber verification process extremely robust and effective. The simplicity of this system also gives us reason to believe that it will benefit everyone – consumers, service providers and also TERM Cells and LEAs. Moreover, it will give a big boost to the Digital India, mission of the Government of India apart from saving lakhs of trees and addressing the extremely important issue of national security. The efforts of the DoT Secretary, Shri JS Deepak, are extremely commendable and this is truly an important step forward, towards creating a truly connected and digitally empowered India and will be tremendously helpful in deepening rural mobile penetration.”
“It will save lakhs of trees year-on-year and reduce waste considerably,” Mr. Mathews said, “This will be a major step for the telecom sector’s contribution to an environment-friendly green initiative in terms of reduction in paper, thereby saving trees.”
Telecom operators like Airtel and Vodafone has also come up and praised this initiative by Indian government.
“Bharti Airtel plans to start rolling out Aadhaar-based e-KYC solutions this week,” said managing director (MD) and chief executive officer (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal said.
“For the consumer, instant activation means better experience and security of personal confidential information. For Vodafone, it will improve quality of sales as well as regulatory compliance. For the regulator, it not only means a green initiative, but hassle-free governance and accurate audit results,” said Sunil Sood, MD and CEO, Vodafone India.
“Customers will soon be able to walk in with their Aadhaar card in any of the Vodafone stores and walk out connected within minutes,” Vodafone said in a statement.