Indian telecommunication ministry announced plans to mandate Panic Button in all phones sold in the country from 2017. Also, phones will feature a satellite based location technology from 2018. The move mainly focus on keeping the women population in the country safe. The increasing attacks towards women and gang rapes has drawn worldwide attention.
“Technology solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women.” – Telecom Minister Ravi Shakar Prasad
According to the telecommunications ministry, the user should be able to activate the emergency feature either by pressing a designated key on a smartphones or by pressing and holding numbers “5” or “9” on basic devices. All manufactures should comply this policy while manufacturing phones if they want to sell the devices in the country from next year, 2017. The apps which perform similar function is already there in app stores. India doesn’t have a centralized emergency helpline number like the ‘911’ (USA) well, the 112 service is yet to be rolled out.
It is estimated that an average of 4 rapes per hour is reported nationwide. The number of cases which are left without being reported is considerably increasing. On this grounds, last year India’s minister for women and child development, Menaka Gandhi put forward the idea of having panic button in phones. The cab services like Ola and Uber has come up with a concept of SOS (emergency button) in their cabs considering the security of women. The emergency button will start rolling out from January 2017 followed by the satellite based location technology in 2018.