Centre launches web portal to trace stolen/lost mobiles in Delhi

The central government on Monday announced the launch of a web portal, called ‘Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR)’ in Delhi, to facilitate blocking and tracing of stolen/lost mobile phones for the customers in the national capital.

Security of mobile phones should be a national priority as the mobile handset has become an important tool for all online activities, union minister for communications, law and justice and electronics and information technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad has said while launching the portal. 
Secretary, telecom and the chairman of Digital Communications Commission, Anshu Prakash, said that tele-density in the country has increased to 242 mobiles for 100 population and the mobile handset has become a means to fulfil all day-to-day requirements. Therefore, securing mobile phones with a system is the need of the hour, he said.  
International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is supposed to be a unique identity of a mobile phone device. A phone with one/two slots of SIM card is programmed with one/two IMEI number as the case may be. IMEI number being programmable, some miscreants do reprogramme the IMEI number, which results in cloning of IMEI causing multiple devices with same IMEI number. As on date, there are many cases of clones/duplicated IMEI handsets in the network.
If such IMEI is blocked, a large number of mobile phones will get blocked being handsets with same IMEI causing inconvenience to many genuine customers. Thus, there is a need to eliminate duplicate/fake IMEI mobile phones from the network, he said.  
Accordingly, this project called Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) system has been undertaken by the DoT for addressing security, theft and other concerns including reprogramming of mobile handsets.
Once the portal receives request for blocking of stolen or lost mobile phones by customers, it will block such mobile phones across mobile networks. By allowing services to other existing mobile phones with same IMEI number, it would facilitate sharing of traceability date with the police. Once the stolen or lost mobile phone is recovered/found, it would subsequently be unblocked for the original customer.
The minister said the government has decided to give 5G spectrum for trial to all operators in the country. This may take few years for nationwide launch, he added. 
With the Universal Payments Interface (UPI) becoming the primary means for all online money transactions in the country, there is also a need to make it a global beacon for making rupee transactions much stronger, he said.
While the use of technology and communications give more power and freedom to the common man, he said, it is equally important to see that smart criminals do not induce technology for their own ends. We need a technology that safeguards our interests, he added. 
Prasad said that Aadhar is a digital identity to confirm our physical identity and the digital India is for digital inclusion. Digital India is empowering ordinary Indian to the power of technology, which is leading to digital inclusion, he said. Industry should be more innovative and Indian players should imbibe new innovations in IT, he added.
Addressing the function, Lt  Governor of NCT of Delhi, Anil Baijal, said that in the cases of mobile theft in NCR Delhi alone have increased to the tune of 40,000 cases per year and there should be a mechanism to address this problem. He requested the minister for communication to consider the integration of Zonal Integrated Police Network (ZIPNET) with the CEIR for better functioning.