TRAI for optional Aadhaar based SIM verification

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Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has revealed its recommendations to the Department of Telecom (DoT) in order to reduce instances of SIM cards being issued against fake documents.

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TRAI in a statement issued on Monday said that DoT may work with Indian telecom service providers to evolve a framework to verify the existing mobile subscribers through Aadhaar based e-KYC in a phased manner and within a defined timeframe.

This process of Aadhaar based e-KYC verification should be optional to the telecom service providers as well as mobile subscribers.

“The mobile subscribers may have to be given some incentives in terms of free talk-time or data to encourage them to undergo the e-KYC process,” said TRAI.

The TRAI has received several cases from state police (crime branch) wherein it has been found that hundreds of SIM cards have been obtained on fake documents.

The existence of such SIM cards poses a real security challenge, the TRAI said, adding that it is essential that not only the new subscribers are enrolled through e-KYC process.

TRAI said Aadhaar based e-KYC should be permitted for outstation customers also at any place within the service area.

India has more than 100 crore mobile connections.

Reliance Jio has rolled out eKYC across two lakh outlets in India. This is nearly equal to the total number of ATMs in India. “We are in the process of doubling this network to four lakh digitally enabled outlets by March 2017,” said Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, in December 2016.

Once delivered, Jio SIM can be activated in five minutes through eKYC. Jio is launching this feature across India through the MyJio application and will be available in the top 100 cities by December 31, 2016.