From January 2017, no cell phone in India will be sold without a panic button.
To make mobile phones a helpful medium for safety, especially for women, the government of India has declared that each cell phone must have a key panic button from next year without which a mobile will not be sold in the country.
As a part of string of measures by the Modi government to ensure safety of women, the special featured button will connect the user to the nearest redressal agency and will allow people in distress to seek help.
“Technology is solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women,” Communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
“I have taken a decision that from January 1, 2017, no cell phone can be sold without a provision for panic button. While the numeric keys 5 and 9 have been identified as push buttons for an emergency in feature phone handsets, in smart phones, handset manufacturers will have to provide an emergency button or a facility to send an alert by short-pressing the power on/off button thrice in quick succession,” he added.
An inbuilt GPS from January 2018
According to a notification of the department of telecommunications, another compulsory feature in mobiles phones is the Global Positioning System (GPS). From January 2018, all mobile phones must have an inbuilt GPS to identify the handset user’s location. The inbuilt GPS will follow a similar technology like for the emergency number ‘112’ for availing police, ambulance and fire department services.
The government thinks that emergency response applications take too long to access in a rush and configuring one of the existing buttons on a phone for the task would be simpler and quicker.
Maneka Gandhi, Women and Child Development Minister said that all manufacturers were on board for the same, but it is still unclear if big manufacturers in the market like Apple would be in for this.