Here again the latest Supreme Court judgement on 26th January becomes relevant. The judgement has kept mobile number activation out of the Aadhar ambit. However, we still await the legislative decision. Again, the SC has only said that it is not mandatory to link Aadhar with mobile numbers but the internet operators and mobile companies still have the discretion to insist on doing so. Also, the government may pass enabling legislations to ensure that such details are captured for the benefit of a better audit trail and tracking of fund flows as well as for reasons of national security, as has been borne out in the past. Before you link mobile no to Aadhar card online, you first need to under the process flow of how to link Aadhar with mobile number online.
How linking is being done currently
The Government of India has been encouraging the process to link Aadhaar card details of the residents to various services like banks and mobile phone number. Complying with the government’s initiative, all the telecom operators across the nation notified their respective subscribers. The Supreme Court of India has recently said that linking Aadhar and phone should not be made mandatory. Now, subscribers have the provision to complete the linking according to their convenience and choice. However, the government may still insist on national security grounds.
The government has instructed telecom operators to offer doorstep services to complete the re-verification for senior citizens, disabled, and chronically ill people. This will go a long way in assuaging concerns of walking up to the nearest telecom centre. The telecom operators have also deployed iris scanning devices at service points to make the linking process smooth. This facility can be used by those individuals who pose difficulties in verifying the identities through fingerprint-based Aadhaar authentication. Even the individuals who apply for a new mobile connection are advised to update their Aadhaar-based e-KYC.
How to link your Aadhar card with mobile number?
A subscriber need not link Aadhaar with mobile if he opts for eKYC—an Aadhaar based activation—by providing the biometrics at the time of taking the new connection. In the above case, the mapping is already done. All other prepaid and post-paid subscribers are recommended to complete the e-KYC process. Telecom operators use a few methods to complete the Aadhaar and SIM linking. The methods include verification via OTP (one time password), agent assisted authentication, and IVR facility. Individuals can also visit the mobile stores to register their biometrics and complete the linking process.
OTP facility for linking
Here are the key steps to linking your mobile and Aadhar card online using the portal of your telecom operator.
Visit the telecom subscriber’s online portal and enter the mobile number that is to be Aadhaar linked. Your service provider will then send an OTP to the registered mobile number.
You must enter the OTP and click on “Submit” to proceed further. At this stage, a consent message will be displayed on the screen. You need to enter the 12-digit Aadhaar number carefully that is to be linked. Don’t make any mistakes in the linking as otherwise the process will be aborted.
Then the telecom operator sends a request to UIDAI for OTP generation. You will shortly receive a consent message from UIDAI about the e-KYC details. Check those thoroughly. First, accept all the terms and conditions and only then enter the OTP.
Once this process is completed, you will receive a confirmation message about your Aadhaar and phone number re-verification. It is as simple as that.
Other methods of linking using SMS, Agent assistance and IVR verification
There is a standard format for you to send the SMS to your mobile operator for Aadhar linking. You will get a confirmation message from UIDAI and you need to type “Y” and send back. Once the confirmation, your mobile is linked to your Aadhar.
The second method is the agent-assisted authentication, which is both secure and easy. For the purpose of safety and confidentiality, the subscriber’s valuable details are not stored on the agent’s device. This method is also used for SIM-verification and insurance verification also.
The method is the IVR based method. Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) is basically a specially designed callable app that is used for Aadhaar verification. You need to dial in the toll-free number from a mobile phone. The IVR system will then verify whether you are resident of India or an NRI. Be careful when you are pressing the option buttons. The IVR will then ask you to share your 12-digit Aadhaar number. When the system repeats the last four-digits of the Aadhaar number, confirm if it is correct by pressing “1”. After that, the IVR will ask for the registered mobile number. The UIDAI will then send an OTP to the mobile number. Once the OTP is entered correctly and confirmed by you, your linking job is done.