Tuesday, January 18, 2011

DOT India Is Committing Another Blunder

Department of telecommunications (DoT) has been taking wrong and anti national decisions for long. Whether it is 2G scam, defective and anti users’ telecom policies, supporting illegal telemarketing practices or paying too much attention to industrial lobbying, DoT is in limelight for all wrong reasons.

The latest to add to this list is the use of Aadhar number issued by the unique identification authority of India (UIDAI) as proof of identity and proof of address for getting new mobile connections. According to DoT notification numbered 800-29/2010-VAS dated 14-01-2011 Aadhar number has been allowed to be used for abovementioned purposes.

This step is an attempt on the part of DoT to push a document that has no legal sanctity. It is surprising to see that mobile subscribers who have submitted documents that have proven legal sanctity at the time of getting connections are now forced to resubmit the same in the name of reverification. This was the main reason why legal notice has been served upon Vodafone India and a consumer complaint filed against it.

The entire exercise seems to be to primarily guided by e-surveillance requirements of Indian government rather than any genuine national security interest. There is no justification to allow Aadhar number as a valid document when even the Aadhar project and UIDAI are unconstitutional and illegal project and authority respectively.

Surprisingly, DoT has not taken action against the mobile companies who have lost and dumped the documents submitted by users at the time of getting their connections. Instead, it is harassing genuine and law abiding users with repeated reverification requirements. Now with this latest notification, DoT has openly shown its intention to support an unconstitutional project like Aadhar in an illegal manner.

Minister of communication and information technology Mr. Kapil Sibal is himself a lawyer and he must be well aware of the far reaching consequences of this notification. If he is still supporting Aadhar number for mobile connections verification and reverification purposes, nothing can be more unfortunate for DoT.

Mr. Sibal India needs a consumer friendly telecom policy and not anti consumer policies. If this is the way telecom policy related issues are dealt with at DoT, it is better if we do not formulate the new telecom policy as it would be worst than its predecessor policy.