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Airtel, Vodafone, Idea to roll out Aadhaar eKYC verification for SIM cards

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Following a notification issued last week by DoT for rolling out instant Aadhaar based eKYC (Know Your Customer) verification for mobile connections in the country, major telcos including Airtel, Vodafone and Idea are in the process of deploying it across its own stores.

Airtel has already rolled out the facility in all Airtel branded stores in Delhi NCR, and it plans to roll out the same across the country over the next few months, the company said in a statement. Vodafone has also initiated the process of enabling Aadhaar based verification across all Vodafone Stores and Mini Stores effective from August 24th. A spokesperson from Idea told MediaNama that it has plans to deploy Aadhaar based verification in the future, but no confirmed plans as of now.

Customers can acquire both prepaid and postpaid connections and get them instantly activated by walking into stores and submitting Aadhaar eKYC or the downloaded version of the card as identity proof to a telco’s Point of Sale (PoS) counter for verification. Biometric verification using fingerprint or Iris scanners will be treated as a customer’s signature.

The DoT last week instructed telcos to maintain details including complete address and codes of all PoS counters and registered distributor centres. Telcos will also have store the card details of appointed sales agents themselves. This is required so that a telco can verify whether a request for subscriber enrollment comes from an appointed agent, who in turn will verify his identity and customer’s identity via a biometric device at PoS counters. This is explained in detail here

Aadhaar card numbers: Overall the UIDAI claims to have generated 103.5 crore cards and opened over 23,000 Permanent Enrolment Centres (PECs) across the country as of August 2016. A comprehensive list of PECs is available here.

In March, the Aadhaar Bill 2016 was passed in the Parliament. The bill was introduced as a money bill which bypassed voting in the Rajya Sabha. The bill exclusively contains provisions for imposition and abolition of taxes, for appropriation of moneys out of a consolidated fund.

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Govt facilities tied to Aadhaar:

– In June, all state governments were directed by the Centre to link Aadhaar with domicile and caste certificates. State governments have been instructed that the certificates should be issued to students who are studying in class V or class VII.

– Last month, in Varanasi, government school kids in class six onwards will not get free books anymore without Aadhaar number.

– In another possible violation of the Supreme Court guidelines saying that Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory, it has been made mandatory for participating in e-auction of vehicle registration numbers.

– All Direct Benefit Transfers (DBT) will be linked to Aadhaar by the end of the current calendar year. The Centre has decided to bring all subsidies and welfare schemes under the DBT net by March 31, 2017. More at The Economic Times.

Also read: Privacy concerns in the Aadhaar Act, 2016

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