Millennium Post
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I-D proof now a must for matrimonial profiles: Govt

A new set of guidelines that will be issued by the Government (within a week’s time) to matrimonial portals makes it mandatory for them to ensure that a new user registering with them must upload a proof of their identity. 

Speaking to Millennium Post, a senior official from the Ministry of Women and Child Development explained, “These guidelines will now make it obligatory to have an identity proof being submitted by the user who creates their profile on these websites.” Currently there is no such rule which makes it compulsory for users to upload their identity proof online. But if you sign up for their paid services which assigns you a relationship manager the portal asks you to upload an identity proof.

“We have also directed these websites that as soon as a new user registers with them, they must take a legally acceptable proof of their identity which may include their driving license, PAN card number, passport, voter identity card or any other such proof. Aadhar card is not going to work after the recent Supreme Court guidelines. In a number of states work on issuing Aadhar cards is still underway. It is expected to get completed by March and after that we will see if Aadhar can be included in the list,” said the WCD ministry official. He added, “Any person who registers will be asked to scan and upload this identity proof. The website operators told us that as of now they are not accepting any identity proof from the new users,” he said.

The guidelines also make it obligatory for every matrimony website to have an ‘online grievance redressal mechanism’ on their webpage. “The guidelines which will be issued to matrimonial websites will make it mandatory to have an online grievance mechanism system on each of their domains. We had a meeting with the major stakeholders in the online matrimony space on 17 November 2015 and we clearly told them this has to be implemented by all of them. They also told us that they have several complaints of harassments being reported to them by users, which is in turn affecting their business. We have told them that this system works well for the government as well as them to have a trouble-free environment online to ensure that there is no such problem. They have all agreed in principle to have an online grievance redressal mechanism system on each of their websites.”

It will also be made compulsory for these websites to put up a disclaimer stating that the only reason for using their services is for “marriage purposes” and no other activity will be permitted on them. This has been done to streamline the traffic to using the web portal only for matrimonial purposes and not as a dating website.

Detailing the release of the new guidelines the official said, “Under the existing Information and Technology Act these websites need to be regulated. We (the Ministry of Women and Child Development) have prepared a new set of draft guidelines which we will be sending across to the Department of Electronics and Information Technology. These guidelines will be compulsory for matrimonial web portals to follow, and any of them flouting the rules could land in serious trouble. The guidelines will be issued by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology within a week’s time.”
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