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Tourist, NRI visiting India? You may soon be able to verify SIM with passport

The govt will soon put in place a mechanism for authentication of cellphone subscribers who do not have Aadhaar numbers

BS Web Team/PTI  |  New Delhi 

SIM verification method

The and (UIDAI) are in discussions to put in place a method for mobile number verification of NRIs and foreign tourists who are not eligible for Aadhaar. A decision on evolving for these NRIs and foreign tourists is expected to be taken in 2-3 weeks, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said. The process through Aadhaar-based authentication has been simplified this week with the government allowing OTP and other modes to complete the process of linking mobile numbers with Aadhaar. have been asked to submit to UIDAI, by November 15, a blueprint of the process to operationalise the new modes (including OTP) of through Aadhaar. "The operators have been asked to draw up a process incorporating new guidelines and come back to by November 15. Once the gives them clearance, they will have to implement the new system within a period of two weeks," Sundararajan added. Simplifying the linking process The government has initiated a series of measures to simplify Aadhaar-based re-verification of existing subscribers. The government has also ordered the companies to carry out the exercise at the doorsteps of the disabled, chronically ill and senior citizens. The mobile numbers can also be linked with Aadhaar through OTP (one time password), app or IVRS facility. have also been directed to deploy iris devices at "appropriate number of service points" so subscribers have access to iris authentication "within a reasonable geographical distance". "...there may be exceptions like foreign tourists etc who are visiting or NRI who are not at all entitled to Aadhaar... for such people, the and DoT are examining what alternative mechanism, we can allow," she said. One such way for NRIs and foreign tourists could be authentication through passport, but no decision has been taken yet on the matter, she added. What if you don't have Aadhaar The government will soon put in place a mechanism for authentication of cellphone subscribers who do not have Aadhaar numbers. It may also explore another method for people unwilling to share their Aadhaar numbers with telecom companies. Such a method will conform with the Supreme Court’s mandate on re-verification of mobile subscribers. People who did not have Aadhaar numbers might be provided the option of furnishing their passport, driving licence or ration card as proof of address and identity, sources said. Nearly 500 million mobile numbers are registered in the Aadhaar database and the OTP can be used for verification in all these cases. ALSO READ: Don't have Aadhaar? You can still verify your mobile number.

Here's how For agent-assisted biometric authentication, telecom companies have been asked to ensure all the details of subscribers are not visible to the agent. This facility is meant for people who face problems with poor fingerprint quality, disability or old age. The re-verification exercise is scheduled to be completed by early 2018. The Supreme Court will on October 30 hear all pleas challenging the compulsory use of Aadhaar for receiving benefits from the government. The Centre has told the Supreme Court it is ready to extend the deadline till March 31, 2018, for people who do not have Aadhaar numbers.

First Published: Fri, October 27 2017. 09:47 IST