Aadhar Card Could Soon Get You A New Mobile Connection

The Unique Identification Authority of India’s (UIDAI) nation-wide endeavor Aadhar Personal Identification program, has received yet another use. People having a valid Aadhar card will soon be able to use the same to get instant identity approval for a new Mobile connection.

Mobile companies have to mandatorily establish & confirm the identity of the connection holder. While earlier this process was known as Know Your Customer (KYC), was done by individual companies on an independent basis, it is set to be centralized through the Aadhar mechanism. While Vodafone has already deployed such verification & approval techniques in its two stores in Andhra Pradesh, Airtel will soon deploy the same in Delhi confirmed R S Sharma, Director General and Mission Director UIDAI. The mechanism involves a simple biometric verification machines which are linked to the Customer Acquisition Form. Only after the Aadhar number is verified against the identity, the SIM card is issued.

Aadhar’s primary intention was to help the poor population get access to various services & schemes launched by the Government of India (GoI). To prevent the pilferage of subsidized materials & products by identity impersonation, Government had come-up with this service which is already implemented in the USA. There it is known as a Social Security Number (SSN) according to which entire financial, social & even domestic utilities are linked to this 16 digit number. However, the population of USA is far less than that of India & furthermore, owing to poor infrastructure, education & terrain based barriers, the Aadhar team headed by Nandan Nilakeni will surely have multiple challenges to overcome.

Once Aadhar’s implementation crosses the critical adoption mark, GoI can easily make it mandatory & then start linking up just about anything to the Aadhar card. From Bank Loans to purchase of real estate & from taxes to salaries & pensions, Aadhar based identity verification will be the primary requirement. So far the Government has managed to get about 21 Crores Indian Residents within the Aadhar ambit.

Do you feel, these telecom companies should be proactive & lend a helping hand in enrollment too?

Image Courtesy | timelineresults

One Response to “Aadhar Card Could Soon Get You A New Mobile Connection”

  1. Sohrab Saran
    October 28, 2012 at 12:53 am #

    Dear Alap,
    Please note one crucial point. It is illogical to just use the aadhar card as a basis for authentication. Given the tightness of the security being attempted as well as the proclaimed impossibility of faking 10 fingerprints and 2 retina scans, the presence of the card or even whether the person remembers his UID is also logically meaningless (though it would be a good-to-have security detail inviting some suspicion if the person lost track of it). What really matters is that the mobile service provider ALSO has a biometric scanner that supports 10-fingerprint and 2-retina scan, USES that scanner, and that the scan data can be matched (if needed ONLINE) against a UID database provided by the government. To the mobile service provider, some indication may also need to come from the database as to whether the person having this UID is allowed to have a mobile phone (e.g. he could be a terrorist etc.)

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