Soon, an Aadhaar number can get you a mobile connection instantly.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the telecom ministry to work with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) on making this a reality as “soon as possible”.
The Aadhaar-linked activation of mobile phones will serve a twin purpose — check identity thefts to get a SIM card and track the number of SIMs a person has — apart from providing better service to consumers.
As of now, activation of a mobile connection can take up to a day and other services about six hours.
According to government sources, there are a high number of cases providing someone else’s identification papers for getting a SIM card. As a result, the service providers are not able to track the number of connections person seeking a new connection has. The telecom consumer service rules allows only nine SIM cards per person.
Officials said the telecom companies would install biometric readers with their vendors to provide online authentication of a person having an Aadhaar number.
The UIDAI has developed authentication software that confirms a person’s identity on the basis of his or her biometric details in less than a minute.
Sources said the issue was discussed at the September 6 meeting with PM Mod when he asked the telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad to work on it.