The Department of Telecommunication (DoT) has taken action against the misuse of mobile connections in Bihar and Jharkhand by deactivating over 17,000 SIM cards. These connections were found to exceed the permissible limit of nine mobile connections per subscriber, according to a report by PTI. Through an analysis utilizing artificial intelligence (AI)-based facial recognition technology, the DoT aims to ensure compliance with regulations and enhance security in the telecom sector.
AI Analysis Reveals SIM Card Violations
In a recent analysis conducted by the DoT, the use of AI-based facial recognition technology helped identify mobile connections that violated the permissible limit of nine numbers per subscriber. The analysis revealed that a total of 21,800 mobile connections were issued in violation of this limit in Bihar and Jharkhand, according to the report.
Disconnecting Excessive Mobile Connections
Following the analysis, approximately 17,000 of these excessive mobile connections have already been deactivated. This action was taken to enforce compliance with the prescribed limit and to maintain the integrity of the telecom sector. The DoT is currently conducting further analysis to identify any remaining connections that surpass the permissible limit, quoted the report citing a senior official of the Special Director General Telecom, DoT (Licensed Service Areas LSA - Bihar).
Existing Guidelines on Mobile Connection Limits
The DoT has established guidelines that allow individual subscribers to acquire a maximum of nine mobile connections from telecom service providers across most parts of the country. However, in regions such as Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, and other northeastern states, the limit is capped at six connections per subscriber.
Empowering Subscribers through 'Sanchar Saathi' Portal
The DoT recently launched the 'Sanchar Saathi' digital portal to empower mobile subscribers, enhance their security, and increase awareness of citizen-centric initiatives. This platform enables subscribers to check the total number of mobile connections issued under their name and provides services to trace or block SIM cards for lost phones. Additionally, subscribers can report any unnecessary or unauthorized mobile connections.
Crackdown on Forged Documents and Fraudulent Practices
As part of its efforts to curb mobile connection misuse, the DoT has already deactivated more than 2.30 lakh mobile numbers in Bihar and Jharkhand. Many of these SIM cards were allegedly obtained using forged documents. Furthermore, telecom service providers have identified and blacklisted 2,900 points of sale involved in unethical and illegal practices related to SIM card issuance.
Collaboration with State Police to Combat SIM Fraud
The DoT's Patna Office has been in contact with state police authorities, sharing intelligence derived from the analysis. The state police have expressed their commitment to taking suitable action against those involved in SIM card fraud. By joining forces, the DoT and law enforcement agencies aim to address the issue effectively and hold culprits accountable.
Rise in Cyber Crimes in Bihar
Bihar has witnessed a surge in cyber crimes, with districts such as Patna, Nawada, Nalanda, Gaya, Sheikhpura, and Jamui identified as hotspots. Police investigations have revealed the involvement of cybercriminals from Bihar who collaborate with inter-state gangs operating in Rajasthan, Delhi, Jharkhand, and West Bengal, according to the official quoted in the report.