India Government as a step to control the misuse of mobile connections (SIM cards) in the country, has ordered telecom service providers not to provide mobile connection for more than three months to any foreign tourist visiting India.

Department of Telecom (DoT) has issued new directives recently asking service providers in the country that the proof for issuance of a new mobile connection to any foreigner would be the passport having a valid visa. The revised guidelines, which have come into effect, were a follow-up to the directions issued by the apex court after which a joint expert committee was constituted in DoT.

Any mobile connection issued to a foreigner should not have a validity beyond the validity of the visa. In case of a foreign tourist, the validity of the connection should not be beyond the visa period and also not exceed three months at a time even if the validity of the visa is beyond three months,

In case of foreign tourist visiting India, the copy of Passport with valid Visa stamp shall be treated as proof  of identity. For proof of address, the address of the local reference which may also be the tour operator shall be taken. In case there is no local reference, the address of stay (hotel etc) shall be taken.” said the directive issued by DOT.

India Govt restricts mobile connection for Foreigners to three months

The move from Govt comes in the wake of instances where mobile connections allotted to foreigners were misused by some people even after the departure of the foreign nationals from the country.  According to the revised guidelines issued on filling a consumer application form (CAF), the DoT has made it mandatory for the licensee to sign the form prior to activation of the SIM card, thereby certifying that the information provided on the form is correct.

The date of sale of the SIM card and its activation is required to be established from the entries in the CAF. For this purpose, entry of date is to be made with the signature of subscriber at the time of filing of the CAF,” said the directive issued by DOT.

Another major concern for Govt was the security issues caused by the misuse of the mobile connections issued for Foreigners. Many times its been seen that telecom operators fail to provide details of mobile connections especially in prepaid SIM cards. Now according to new directives from DOT, the complete list of connections issued to foreigners and such short-term SIM cards shall be provided every month to the DoT and Telecom Enforcement, Resource and Monitoring (TERM) authorities separately while submitting monthly database.

Hope this guidelines taken by Govt will control the misuse of mobile connections in the country to a large extend.

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