Telecom Dept. Issues Guidelines for Re-verification of Mobile Numbers of NRIs, Foreigners

Department of Telecommunications has outlined process for re-verification of Indian mobile connections of NRIs who do not have Aadhaar.


The Indian Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has sketched out a detailed procedure for telecom service providers, asking them to re-verify the Indian mobile connections of foreign nationals and NRIs. It has also instructed players to operationalize the process for this section of subscribers by Jan. 1, 2018.

“Subscribers should be able to re-verify their mobile connections through these alternative methods by January 1, 2018,” a DOT order said on Dec. 1.

The procedure has specified re-verification of mobile connections of foreign nationals, as well as NRI subscribers who either do not have Aadhaar or their mobile number is not registered with the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI). The DoT has also specified re-verification procedure for senior citizens, aged above 70 years, who don’t have Aadhar and are unable to do biometric authentication or are physically challenged.

The DoT has also informed operators about the procedure for IVRS-based One Time Password (OTP) authentication of those telecom subscribers whose mobile number is registered with Aadhaar.

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has said that the new processes notified today would benefit subscribers, but the procedure for NRIs and senior citizens was complex. COAI Director General Rajan S Mathews said in a statement: “The notified process for NRIs and senior citizens is still very complex and we would work with DoT to ease it for the consumers and subscribers.”

The DoT order comes after various representations were sent to the department from Non-Resident Indians, Overseas Indians and foreign nationals, citing difficulties being faced by them in re-verification of their Indian mobile connections. Since this set of subscribers did not have Aadhaar and were not eligible to enroll for the 12-digital biometric identifier, they faced difficulties.

Matthews said that the telecom department could have also used a web-based option for OTP authentication instead of using only an IVR-based process. “We had submitted an option of a web-based process as well and that could have also been allowed, in line with the process for NRIs and senior citizens for greater consumer ease,” he added.

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