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Aadhaar for instant cellphone activation

delhi Updated: Apr 12, 2012 02:03 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
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Your unique identification (UID) or Aadhaar number can help you to activate your mobile phone instantly.

The telecom companies don't activate a new mobile connection without verification of the proof of residence and proof of identity documents because of security reasons. It may lead to people not having a proof of residence being denied mobile phone connections.

"The objectives of inclusion and security can be mutually exclusive at times," said a Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) paper on Leveraging Aadhaar in Telecom sector.

It has resulted in improper use of documents to get mobile connections. The Department of Telecom reported that in 2010-11, a penalty of Rs. 700 crore was imposed on telecom operators related to subscriber verification.

Nandan Nilekani led UIDAI had found a paper-less way-out for authenticating a person's credentials without the telecom companies having to install biometric readers.

The bar code on the Aadhaar letter will be more than enough to authenticate one's credentials.

The Aadhaar letter would be more than useful enough for verification.

"Retailers selling connections can use Aadhaar enabled terminals to scan the barcode printed on Aadhaar letters making the data capture of the resident details fast and error free. Using Aadhaar authentication, the resident can then establish their identity in real time with a biometric authentication captured on the terminal," the report said.

Once the authentication is received, the telecom operator can store the digitally signed authentication response from UIDAI as proof of verification. The retailer can provide a connection to any resident for whom the authentication is successful.

The entire process will just take a few minutes.

"The telecom operator will be at liberty to activate the connection immediately," said a senior UIDAI official, adding that it can lead to saving of up to Rs. 1,000 crore annually for the industry which issues 30 million sim cards every month.

The UIDAI through its concept of proof studies has found the authentication of a person's details successful in about 99% cases. These studies were done for a year from January 2011 in different parts of the country.