Won’t disconnect mobile phones issued through Aadhaar, says Centre

According to reports 50 crore mobile numbers almost half of those in circulation are at the risk of disconnection

It also assured those who got SIM cards based on Aadhaar eKYC, that though the Aadhaar verification process has been stopped, their SIM cards are safe and will not be discontinued.

Telecom customers, there is no need to panic!

Rejecting a report by an English daily that said 500 million mobile numbers, nearly half of the total mobiles in circulation, are at the risk of disconnection, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) issued a joint statement.

The Supreme Court recently prohibited the issue of new SIM cards through Aadhaar-based eKYC (know your customer) due to lack of a law.

"Hon'ble Supreme Court in its judgment in Aadhaar case has nowhere directed that the mobile number which has been issued through Aadhaar eKYC has to be disconnected". But in any case her/his mobile number will not be disconnected.

The Unique Identification Authority of India or UIDAI had given time till October 15, to telecom operators for complying with the top court order and asked them to close Aadhaar-based verification for their services.

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For the operators, the apex court's verdict put them in a flux since they were following DoT's March circular, which recommended the use of Aadhaar for biometric verification for e-KYC.

The statement clarified that the top court has said UIDAI should not keep authentication log for more than six months but the telecom companies have to keep the data as per Aadhaar regulations to resolve grievances of consumers. What the apex Court has asked that UIDAI should not keep authentication log for more than 6 months.

DoT and UIDAI clarified that risks of disconnection are untrue and imaginary. The photo of his/her ID such as Aadhaar card, voter ID, etc. will also be captured.

Meanwhile, telecommunications companies Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio have submitted their plans to exit the Aadhaar ecosystem, The Economic Times reported on Tuesday.

Nearly half of India's phone population belongs to the newest entrant Reliance Jio and they would be more affected since it has been giving SIM cards only through the biometric route. "This process will be completely hassle-free and digital", it said.

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