The Department of telecommunications (DoT) has asked handset manufacturers in India to provide the International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) numbers by November, 2019. The department has cited security reasons behind the move.

DoT has a record of all phones imported into India. It will check and record the IMEI numbers of imported handsets, in collaboration with the customs department.

With the help of IMEI number, DoT intends to trace the device in case of any suspicious activity, and block them. Recently, the Centre launched a portal to detect lost or stolen mobile phones, with the pilot being conducted in Mumbai.