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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

Govt for mandatory linking of mobile numbers with vehicles

The ministry of road transport and highways issued a draft notification inviting public comments within 30 days.

india Updated: Dec 04, 2019 22:49 IST
Anisha Dutta
Anisha Dutta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The transport ministry currently stores data related to licences and registrations in Sarathi and Vahan — the government’s web-based databases of all driving licences and vehicle registrations. (HT photo)
The transport ministry currently stores data related to licences and registrations in Sarathi and Vahan — the government’s web-based databases of all driving licences and vehicle registrations. (HT photo)
         

The Centre on Wednesday proposed to make it mandatory to link mobile numbers of vehicle owners for services related to registration, pollution certification, renewal, among others, from April 1, 2020.

The ministry of road transport and highways issued a draft notification inviting public comments within 30 days.

This also comes at a time when the union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the Personal Data Protection 2019 bill aimed at regulating the processing of personal data by public and private entities.

To be sure, the ministry of road transport and highways collects and holds data as part of issuance of vehicle registration certificates (RC) and driver licences (DL).

“Normally for any services related to vehicles certification mobile numbers were not being formally captured, only during registration of new vehicles they were being used for OTP authentication but not being stored in our databases. Now, from April next year, for any type of services related to cars it will be mandatory to link mobile numbers with our vahan database,” a senior transport ministry official said requesting not to be named.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has observed that a large number of vehicles on VAHAN database do not have the mobile numbers, the official informed.

“Although the ministry has initiated the exercise of preparing a draft rules required for the implementation of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act 2019, but the finalisation will take some time as the consultations of the subcommittee formulated for the same have been meeting and deliberating,” the official added.

“Considering the urgency of the issue, the relevant Forms in the Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 which pertains to the service relating to the Motor Vehicle i.e. the registration, transfer, Register of Motor Vehicle, Renewal, duplicate copy, grant of NOC, change of address, entry or termination entry for Hire/Purchase/Hypothecation are proposed to be amended to include for capturing the mobile Number of the owner as and when they apply for availing services,” he added.

The transport ministry currently stores data related to licences and registrations in Sarathi and Vahan — the government’s web-based databases of all driving licences and vehicle registrations. The applications are aimed at creating a national repository.

The two databases are currently operational in 28 states and UTs across the country.

Hindustan Times in March had also reported the Centre approved a Bulk Data Sharing policy, enabling it to monetise a database of vehicle registration certificates, citing benefits to the “transport and automobile industry”, even as the issue of privacy and data protection looms large over such sharing.

The policy was cleared along with several other decisions as the government sought to finish a lot of business before the parliamentary elections were announced.

The ministry of road transport and highways collects and holds data as part of issuance of vehicle registration certificates (RC) and driver licences (DL). According to the ministry, at present, the data is shared with specified law enforcement agencies and in addition, data is also shared with automobile industries, banks, finance companies etc, at specified rates for each data set.