The telecom ministry has directed all telecom operators that the UIDAI issued identity proof Aadhaar, is not mandatory for to KYC requirements. The operators should accept other government-issued ID proof like driving license, voting card, ration card, etc. for the purchase of a mobile SIM card. The decision is to be applicable with immediate effect.
The decision comes after the Supreme Court clarified last week that it had not issued an order last week to make Aadhaar linking mandatory for mobile numbers.
The news is especially useful to NRIs and foreign citizens visiting India as they cannot avail an Aadhaar, hence unable to purchase a SIM card for temporary use.
Until the Supreme court extending the deadline the decision on this, the government has imposed the retailers are not to deny the sale of SIM cards for lack of Aadhaar. Telecom operators are also asked to ease the Aadhaar linking process for KYC verification. Supreme court's final decision is still awaited on this matter.
In March 2017, the government had directed the telecom operators to make Aadhaar linking with mobile numbers compulsory to keep the SIM operative. Telecom companies had been following up its customers every since to do the same.