One of the government’s latest mandates is for telecom operators to ensure re-verification of all the subscribes through Aadhaar linking. To help accelerate the process for the millions of mobile users, telecom operators have now come up with innovative, user-friendly methods to help the rural subscribers easily re-verify their numbers. Also Read - Jio maintains lead in 4G download speed, Vi in upload in May: TRAI
Bharti Airtel is conducting special camps for its rural subscriber base in the country to complete their Aadhaar linking for re-verification. Vodafone, on the other hand, has sent special vans to Rajasthan’s rural hinterland to help customers complete the process right from the comfort of their homes. Meanwhile, Idea Cellular, which is the third largest telcom operator after Airtel and Vodafone, has also set up temporary camps in rural locations, ET reports. Also Read - Fake WhatsApp message claims free internet for three months, don't fall for it
The latest date for telcos as well as customers to re-verify the mobile numbers is now February 6, 2018. However, bringing the 1.18 billion mobile subscribers complete the process is a herculean task and the latest efforts by telecom operators aim at easing up the process in areas where accessibility and education are lower. Also Read - Lost your Aadhaar card? Here's how to download Aadhaar card online
“The company’s mobile vans-based initiative to link customer SIM numbers with their Aadhaar can be extended to other circles if the Rajasthan pilot works,” a Vodafone India executive is quoted as saying. Along with helping users re-verify their numbers, Vodafone’s mini-vans are also helping rural customers in Rajasthan with 2G and 3G connections to upgrade to 4G as an add-on service.
As part of the efforts, Idea Cellular has deployed special teams to visit the homes of senior citizens and physically disabled customers to verify their numbers using biometrics.
The move comes in light of Supreme Court’s chastizing for causing panic among consumers that their numbers will be deactivated if they do not get them linked to the Aadhaar account. A Constitution bench is yet to decide on the validity of the 12-digit identity number, however, the government claims the Supreme Court has approved the mandatory Aadhaar-linkage to mobile numbers.
In addition to the telcos, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has also issued a new process for easy re-verification of mobile numbers through methods including, one-time passcode or OTP-based verification, through interactive voice response system, and through the mobile apps of the operators. The deadline for this was November 20. However, operators have raised concerns that implementing the OTP-based process poses technical challenges which can not be resolved in the given time frame.