Panic button will be mandatory for all mobile phones to be sold in India January 1, 2017, onwards to enable users make emergency call easily.
Besides, in-built GPS navigation system would be mandatory for all phones a year later with effect from January 1, 2018, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said today.
“Technology is solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women… from January 1, 2017, no cell phone can be sold without a provision for panic button and from January 1, 2018 mobile sets should have also GPS inbuilt,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a statement today.
An official notification dated April 22, said, “With effect from January 1, 2017, no mobile phone handset manufactured company shall sell in India… Feature phones without the facility of panic button by pressing ‘Numeric key – 5’ or ‘Numeric key – 9’ to invoke emergency call”.
Further, it said that no smartphone should be sold in India without the facility of emergency call button. This button should function in a manner that by pressing the same for long time to invoke emergency call or the use of existing power on or off button, when short pressed thrice in quick succession.
“With effect from January 1, 2018, no mobile phone handset manufactured company shall sell the new mobile phone hand set in India without the facility of identifying the location through Satellite based GPS,” the notification said. At present, only smartphones come with inbuilt GPS system.
The concept of a device with panic button feature was floated after brutal gangrape of a paramedical student in Delhi.
The Ministry of Finance in December 2013 had approved a Nirbhaya Fund, following the incident, under which integration of the police administration with mobile phone network to trace and respond to distress calls with minimum response time was to be done.
Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi had approached leading mobile manufacturers in this regard. Gandhi had earlier said the customers will be able to upgrade their existing phones at dedicated centres.
The government has asked the companies to built at least 10,000 centres across the country to facilitate mobile phone users in upgrading their phones and adding the button.