The department of telecommunications (DoT) has allowed use of Aadhaar number or virtual Aadhaar ID for electronic verification (e-KYC) for issuing mobile connections to individual customers as well as bulk connections.
The use of Aadhaar was stopped in October 2018 following the Supreme Court order, which had restricted the use of the unique number by private entities in the absence of a legal provision.
In order to allow use of Aadhaar by private entities like banks and telecom operators on voluntary basis, the government in July 2019 had passed the Aadhaar Amendment Bill. With the passage of the Bill, voluntary use of Aadhaar as proof of identity for opening bank accounts and procuring mobile connections was allowed.
The DoT in its letter dated September 29, 2020 to all telecom operators, has stated that Aadhaar or virtual ID can be used as an alternate process for issuing mobile connections. “It has been decided by the competent authority that apart from the existing provisions of identifying persons utilising the mobile telecom services…the Aadhaar based electronic -know your customer (e-KYC) process shall also be implemented as an alternate process for all licensed service areas including J&K, North East and Assam,” the DoT said.
In the e-KYC based process, customer will online authorise Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) through Aadhaar authentication using his/her Aadhaar number or
virtual ID and biometrics to provide his/her demographic data to the licensee (telecom operator).
“For the purpose of identification of a person using this process, neither core biometric information nor the Aadhaar number/virtual ID of the person shall be stored by the licensees or its authorized point of sale (POS),” DoT said.
As per the licence conditions, the telecom operators are allowed to appoint or employ franchisee, agents, distributors and employees for the provision of the services by them. The operators are required to keep control over them and the operators should be liable for acts done by its franchisee, agents, distributors and employees in the provisioning of services.
The telecom operators are required to maintain the details including complete address and code of all its POS along with their corresponding agents. The entire process should only be used through the authenticated application (App) hosted by the telco. The access of the app should be controlled by the telco and it should be ensured that the same is not used by unauthorized persons. The app shall be accessed only through login-ID and password-controlled mechanism given by the telco to its POS.
Source: The Financial Express