2 months after the government made Aadhaar mandatory for getting a new SIM card, telecom operators such as Idea & Airtel have started sending text messages to existing subscribers asking them to link their Aadhaar & mobile numbers.
In March, the Department of Telecom (DoT) had directed mobile service providers to finish the e-KYC re-verification of existing subscribers – prepaid as well as postpaid by February 6, 2018.
There’s no clarity yet on whether unverified numbers will be discontinued after the specified date, but Airtel has now put out ads at its stores reading:
“Link your Aadhaar card to you number now to stay active!”
This notice came in March after the Supreme Court said that all phone numbers in India need to have verified users.
In February, DoT met with UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India), the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) & Prime Minister’s Office to discuss a way forward for the implementation.
According to the DoT note, the telecom operators would have to intimate customers through advertisements & SMSes.
SMSes are also being circulated telling the subscribers to visit a company store with their Aadhaar card & phone number details, after which fingerprint verification will be carried out & the entire process will be completed in 24 hours.
Other operators are also expected to follow the suit.
The step comes amid efforts from the government to make Aadhaar the sole proof of identification, even as a legal battle continues over whether the 12-digit identification number is voluntary or is it mandatory.