More reports on: Government policies

Mobile SIMs without Aadhaar linkage to go dead after February 2018

12 September 2017

The government will make sure that all mobile SIM cards are linked with Aadhaar IDs of users and all SIM cards that are not linked with Aadhaar IDs will stand deactivated after February 2018.

A PTI report said the government is moving ahead with plans to link all mobile SIM cars with Aadhaar and that mobile phone numbers that are not Aadhaar-linked will be deactivated after February 2018.

However, the report said, telecom operators are not supposed to store the biometrics or any other personal data of the subscriber used for Aadhaar-SIM linking.

"Biometrics collected should be encrypted by the telecom company and sent to UIDAI at that moment itself and any storage of biometric by a service provider is a criminal offense punishable with up to three years of imprisonment under the Aadhaar Act 2016," the report added.

This is in line with the Supreme Court directive to link all mobile numbers with Aadhaar within a period of one year. The apex court had urged the central government to frame rules and regulations to ensure that the SIMs (Subscriber Identification Module) is not misused by anyone.

The Supreme Court has made it mandatory for all mobile subscribers, including pre-paid SIM card users, to link their SIM cards with Aadhaar numbers.

Users of pre-paid SIM cards will have to fill and deposit a form available at recharge centres in order to Aadhaar-link the SIM.

This is part of the government's efforts to make Aadhaar one common link for all services. It has been made compulsory for many things like opening a bank account, to get a new PAN card, to file IT returns, in transactions over Rs50,000 and to get subsidies from government on LPG and fertilizers.

Over the years, the unique identification number Aadhaar may become the single identity card in future, according to finance minister Arun Jaitley.

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