Government Clarifies Aadhaar Card Not Necessary to Get SIM Cards

There has been a lot of confusion regarding the usage of Aadhaar, especially in the telecom sector. The Centre has today clarified that an Aadhaar card is not mandatory to get a SIM card and it blamed telcos for the confusion. The government has also directed telcos to issue SIM cards with alternate documents like Voter ID, license and passport. Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan clarified this news saying that the telcos have been asked to follow the new directives at the earliest. In the last few months, telecom operators have been spamming users with calls and SMSes asking them to verify their mobile connection with users. Already, the Supreme Court has suspended the mandatory Aadhaar linking with mobile connections.

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“The ministry has issued instructions to all telecom companies, asking them not to deny a SIM card to any individual who does not have an Aadhaar number. We have asked them to accept other forms of KYC (know your customer) documents, and continue to issue SIM cards,” Sundararajan told TOI.

However, there’s no update from telcos whether they’ll be following this directive or not. Also, telcos are still sending SMSes and calls asking the users to link their Aadhaar number with mobile. It will be interesting see if this directive at least puts a stop to those.

Last month, the Supreme Court suspended the mandatory Aadhaar linking with mobile connections indefinitely, which gave a huge relief to foreigners and NRIs visiting the country for a short period. And today’s directive issued by the telecom commission will be another relief for them as they can now walk to a store without the requirement of Aadhaar card to get a SIM card.

As mentioned above, telecom operators are not issuing SIM cards to people without an Aadhaar card. “This kind of a denial by retailers is completely uncalled for when there is no legal basis to enforce it. Such practices will not be tolerated,” a senior official told TOI.

Also, in today’s directive, the government has allegedly asked telcos to stop asking users to reverify their mobile connection with Aadhaar because of the last month’s directive from the Supreme Court.

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28 Comments on "Government Clarifies Aadhaar Card Not Necessary to Get SIM Cards"

 

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AU(Airtel User)
May 2, 2018 6:17 pm 6:17 PM

How can one know if there is fake connections in someone name via aadhar ?

tri_vis
May 2, 2018 7:29 pm 7:29 PM

UIDAI should provide option to check how many sim cards is active on a person’s name, from all the operators, and also provide option to deactivate illegally issued sim card

Sudhakar
May 3, 2018 7:48 am 7:48 AM

It is already there in jio, BSNL and airtel.

tri_vis
May 3, 2018 2:13 pm 2:13 PM

Dear Sudhakar
Please read and understand the posts and then reply.
When I said, UIDAI should provide means, person can get information at one place, from all the operators , and person should be able to deactivate illegally activated sim cards.
What if private operator don’t show actual number of sim cards activated and linked with person’s aadhar Number???

So, it’s better, UIDAI provides this facility.
I hope I clear my point.

Prithvi
May 2, 2018 5:42 pm 5:42 PM

The govt. can’t blame the telecom service providers because it kept everyone guessing about the ‘mandatory’ nature of this linking. So can we, as customers, unseed ourselves from the Aadhaar linking we did ?

AU(Airtel User)
May 2, 2018 8:54 pm 8:54 PM

Prithvi all i can say you are just forming opinions without what actual hearing took place couple of days back in top court. In this case dragonmonk is saying right, telco’s are fully responsible and government not.

dragonmonk
May 3, 2018 8:55 am 8:55 AM

@AU To be clear, I haven’t said that telcos are fully responsible. Telcos stand to benefit from linking – as aadhaar can be used as unique ID to profile people and sell data to advertisers. BUT, it is the government that directed and forced telcos to link Aadhaar, that too with a lie that Supreme Court mandated it. Blame lies with the telecom department.

dragonmonk
May 2, 2018 8:17 pm 8:17 PM

@Prithvi I haven’t heard of any process to ‘unlink’ aadhaar once linked. It’s sad, but at least the ones who haven’t linked (either out of principle, knowledgeable about law or out of ignorance) can wait until the final Supreme court decision.

dragonmonk
May 2, 2018 3:38 pm 3:38 PM

Supreme court did not ‘suspend’ the mandatory linking of aadhaar to mobile connections. Supreme court questioned the government when did it ever asked for aadhaar linking to mobile connections. It never did in the first place. The distinction is important.

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