No mobile handset will be sold in India without the facility of identifying the location through Satellite based GPS from January 2018, the notification said
From January 1 next year, all mobile phones sold in India will come with a panic button enabling users, especially women, to send out distress signals in case of an emergency.
A notification by the department of telecommunications said no mobile phone handset shall be sold in India from January 1, 2017, without the facility of having a panic button and all phones need to compulsorily have global positioning system facility from January 1, 2018.
“Technology is solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women,” Communications and Information & Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Once a panic button is pressed, a call will be directed to the emergency contact -- family, friend or police.
Though, details are yet to be finalised.
For feature phones, the government said pressing numeric key 5 or numeric key 9 should invoke emergency call, while for smartphones the same could be done by either via an emergency call button or by pressing the on/off button in quick succession thrice.
The rules may be called the panic button and GPS facility in all mobile handsets rules, 2016, according to the notification.
Also, for easy tracking, no mobile handset will be sold in India without the facility of identifying the location through satellite based GPS from January 2018, the notification said.
The government has been trying to create a panic button in the mobile phones since last year.
After discussions with the ministry of women and child development, mobile phone companies, the department of telecom came out with this solution.
The move was necessitated by growing number of crimes especially against women.
This development is expected to address some security concerns, according to experts.
The image is used for representational purpose only. Photograph: Reuters