The Department of Telecom is considering the remove of local address requirements for people taking a new mobile connection using an Aadhaar card.
“We are in final talks. It will take a few more days,” said a DoT official.
At present, taking a mobile phone connection requires that the subscriber should either have proof of residence for the state or circle to which the number belongs, or he or she should be able to give the details of a local resident who will vouch for the new subscriber.
This was originally put in the ‘know your customer’ conditions two decades ago. However, with the advancement of technology and the popularity of Aadhaar verification, the department is relooking at the requirement.
At present, even if an out-of-state person identifies himself or herself electronically using Aadhaar-based e-verification, he or she cannot get a mobile connection without a local resident ready to vouch for him or her.
Many SIM retailers are reluctant to take outstation residence proof as they believe that the probability of successful verification in such cases is low.
The move also comes in the wake of the Supreme Court of India asking the government to ensure that all of India’s 100 cr (1 bln) mobile phone users are verified with Aadhaar.
At present, the proprtion of telecom users who have Aadhaar as their primary method of identification is in single digit percentages, according to DoT sources.
The deadline set by the Supreme Court is February next year. It is expected that mobile operators will start contacting users to turn up at their outlets with their Aadhaar cards by next month.