Aadhaar for New SIM Cards Was Never a Must Claim Telcos

Telecom operators have said that Aadhaar number was never mandatory for new mobile connections but used only for the re-verification process of old subscribers, as per Department of Telecommunications norms, which still stand. Telcos added the recent reports quoting Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan saying companies can also accept other modes of identification proofs besides Aadhaar for issuing new connections has led to more confusion for them. “We never told our new customers that Aadhaar was mandatory. So, now we do not know if the secretary means for verifying new customers or re-verifying old ones. This has definitely led to confusion…,” said an official at one of the operators told Economic Times.


A DoT official also confirmed the same saying that Aadhaar was never mandatory but was one of the documents that consumers had to give for new connections. It was back in 2016 that telecom department told operators to accept Aadhaar as one of the documents to register new customers.

The confusion arose after media reports that Sundararajan said companies had been directed to issue new SIM cards without Aadhaar on the basis of alternative identification such as election voter ID or driving license.

“As per rule, fresh connections can be given using any authentic ID and address proof. There is no change in that rule. Telecom operators cannot deny fresh SIM to people having valid ID and address proof document. For re-verification, we have to wait for Supreme Court order as the matter is sub-judice,” Sundararajan had said.

Officials at the telcos asking not to be named say they have no new instructions from the government on the matter. They clarified Aadhaar was a preferred mode of verification for new users as it made the process easier and faster, but it wasn’t the only mode as other IDs including driving licenses and passports are also accepted.

However, an official told that SIM-Aadhaar linking policy still stands and those who have issued SIMs on the basis of other IDs than Aadhaar will be required to undergo re-verification through Aadhaar based e-KYC at later point. With the issue of Aadhaar being debated in the Supreme Court, there have been a lot of confusion, especially since Supreme Court clarified they had never passed any rule for making Aadhaar mandatory. Also, the DoT earlier extended the deadline for re-verification of mobile numbers through Aadhaar till the apex court decides of the constitutional validity of Aadhaar law.

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56 Comments on "Aadhaar for New SIM Cards Was Never a Must Claim Telcos"


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Proxima Midnight
May 4, 2018 6:29 pm 6:29 PM

Need help.. When you get a new Airtel/Jio SIM how many time you’ve to give the finger print? 1 or 2 time?

Sunny | Lucknow
May 5, 2018 6:38 pm 6:38 PM

Two, because the fingerprint isn’t stored anywhere during the process.

Proxima Midnight
May 5, 2018 7:50 pm 7:50 PM

Why 2 times?

May 5, 2018 10:27 am 10:27 AM

2 times

May 4, 2018 3:19 pm 3:19 PM

Not only India but now Singapore thinking to adapt biometric activation and other countries are looking forward to learn from India..it’s a safe process and take few minutes to complete,no hassle of paperwork and headache of processing..Those who says no to Aadhar better they hide something that would be known if anything happens..People like that,would be suggested.kindly be clean.. we are in 2018

May 5, 2018 8:17 am 8:17 AM

@ashok Blabber on. Maybe when you learn to read a little bit more,

May 5, 2018 12:22 pm 12:22 PM

Maybe you can make me learn, I’m still student in case of learning.. Dunno what make u say so..

Girish Gowda | BengaLuru
May 4, 2018 5:11 pm 5:11 PM

Even Bill Gates wants all western countries to adopt Aadhar to lessen the burden, to avoid fake connections, etc etc.

Girish Gowda | BengaLuru
May 5, 2018 2:32 pm 2:32 PM

Google doesn’t work in China, ofc. So propaganda again?

May 4, 2018 3:11 pm 3:11 PM

How does one check if any service other than what has been genuinely activated by aadhar card owner is being done by fraudsters?

May 5, 2018 12:25 pm 12:25 PM

U can check that in aadhar websites even u can check how many telephone connection are been used in your aadhar id..and even linked bank accounts can be checked in aadhar website..

May 5, 2018 8:18 am 8:18 AM

@fazal there is no way to check it now. Aadhar is no different from other IDs. It’s not a magic bullet that solves all ills.