On May 16, 2023, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, Ministry of Communications (MoC) launched the Sanchar Saathi portal – ‘https://sancharsaathi.gov.in‘ to prevent fraud by misusing mobile phones.
- Developed by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), MoC, it is citizen-centric to empower mobile subscribers, strengthen their security and increase awareness about citizen-centric initiatives of the Government.
Need behind this:
Mobile phones are used for various activities such as banking, entertainment, e-learning, healthcare, and accessing government services. To safeguard users from frauds like identity theft, forged KYC (Know Your Customer), mobile device theft, and banking frauds, a Sanchar Saathi portal has been developed with the following modules:
i.CEIR (Central Equipment Identity Register) – For blocking stolen/lost mobiles
ii.Know your mobile connections – To know the mobile connections registered in your name. This facilitates citizens to check the genuineness of IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) of their mobile devices.
iii.ASTR (Artificial Intelligence and Facial Recognition powered Solution for Telecom SIM Subscriber Verification) – ASTR is an AI(Artificial Intelligence) powered tool to identify SIMs (Subscriber Identity Module) issued using fraudulent/forged documents.
iv.Telecom Analytics for Fraud Management and Consumer Protection (TAFCOP) – To check the number of mobile connections taken in her/his name using paper-based documents or report fraudulent or unrequired connections.
i.With 117 crore subscribers, India has emerged as the second largest telecom ecosystem in the world.
ii.It should be noted that in the first phase of ASTR, an analysis of 87 crore mobile connections was done using the Param-Siddhi Supercomputer. ASTR used various techniques of facial recognition and data analytics. In the 1st phase, the connections with paper-based KYC( Know Your Customer ) were analysed.
- Multiple cases were found where one photo led to hundreds of connections. A total of 40.87 Lakh suspected connections were detected. Of these, 36.61 Lakh have been disconnected after verification, while the rest are being processed.
- 40,123 Point of Sales (PoS) involved in selling these connections were blacklisted, and over 150 FIRs (First Information Report) were filed nationwide.
Recent Related News:
i.On March 6, 2023, Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, released a unique cover of the Department of Posts, ‘Go Green, Go Organic’ for Sikkim.
ii.Telecommunications Consultants India Limited (TCIL)has entered into an agreement with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), for the provision of Captive Non-Public Network (CNPN) Services to enterprise customers. Both TCIL and BSNL, are Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under DoT.
About Ministry of Communication(MoC):
Union Minister– Ashwini Vaishnaw(Rajya Sabha- Odisha)
Minister of State (MoS)– Devusinh Chauhan(Constituency- Kheda, Gujarat)