The mandatory linking of the Aadhaar with phone numbers does not require going to the retailer from next month, the Unique Identification Authority of India said on Thursday. From December 1, users can link the two using a one-time password on their phones.

Telecom service providers will not need to verify biometric details to link mobile numbers with Aadhaar.

Meanwhile, the Centre on Thursday reiterated in the Supreme Court that the deadline to link all mobile numbers with Aadhaar was February 6, and Aadhaar was also mandatory to open new bank accounts, The Times of India reported. The government said it could not change the deadline as the Supreme Court had itself asked for such a date while hearing a petition in February this year.

Last week, the Centre had told the Supreme Court that it was ready to extend the deadline to link Aadhaar with various services to March 31, but this would be only for those who do not already have Aadhaar.

On Thursday, the government also said that no one had died of starvation because they did not have Aadhaar. This statement was made after reports said that a child died in Jharkhand because her family was denied ration benefits as their document was not linked to Aadhaar.

On March 23, the Department of Telecommunications had issued a notice, making it mandatory for all telecom companies to re-verify existing customers through the Aadhaar-based E-KYC process, by February 6, 2018. The directive was applicable to both prepaid and postpaid users. It said connections that were used only for the internet and did not have incoming or outgoing calling facilities must be linked to another number provided by the user.

The Supreme Court is currently hearing several cases against the mandatory linking of more than 50 schemes with Aadhaar.