Communications Minister Manoj Sinha on Wednesday said that the government has introduced three new methods, including through one-time password (OTP), to ease the process of linking the 12-digit Aadhaar identity number with individual mobile numbers.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has introduced the three new rules - through one-time password, App based and the interactive voice response (IVRS) facility, to link the Aadhaar with the mobile number.
With this, the subscribers can now link their registered mobile numbers to Aadhaar without visiting the telecom service providers' stores.
"For the ease of senior citizens and the people with disability and chronic illness, DoT has also recommended for the re-verification at subscribers' doorstep," a DoT statement said.
In another development, the Centre told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that the deadline for linking Aadhaar to various government schemes would be extended till March 31, 2018.
According to the new guidelines, the telecom operators should provide an online mechanism for people to request such service and based on availability schedule the visit and complete the process.
"The Aadhaar number system was designed to allow all residents of the country access to critical government services and important information that they may need from time to time," the Minister said.
"Mobile penetration is increasing rapidly in the country and the subscribers need to be provided with the ease of linking of the Aadhaar number with the mobile number," he added.
Sinha said: "It is the government's endeavour to improve convenience and reduce time and energy spent by consumers to accessing government information and services that is their right to access."
"The latest clarifications from the DoT are aligned with what the industry, and the subscribers need at this time. While, it will take a little time to implement the directions, we are working closely with the government to improve and enhance the convenience of our consumers for undertaking Aadhaar based e-KYC linking of their mobile number," a Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) representative said.
"We are implementing all the necessary processes so as to be able to use the additional methods prescribed including OTP, App based and the IVRS facility. We expect it to get much faster and easier for individual mobile subscribers to comply with the e-KYC norms using their Aadhaar Registered Mobile Number," the representative added.
In a circular in August, DoT had given instructions to the telecom service providers to provide iris or fingerprint based authentication of Aadhaar. The new regulations have specified that the telecom service providers must deploy iris readers for this purpose within a reasonable geographical area.
(With PTI inputs)