In a bid to make a mobile phone handset a tool for self protection, especially for women, the government has said no mobile can be sold from next year sans a single key panic button.
Union communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has signed an order for a panic button and in-built global positioning system (GPS) from January 1, 2017 and January 1, 2018, respectively.
The said button will be compulsory on all cell phones being sold in India from January 1, 2017, in order to enable users make emergency call easily.
“I have decided that from January 1, 2017, no cell phone will be sold sans a panic button and from January 1, 2018, handsets will also have a facility to identify the location through GPS,” added the notification.
Ministry of Women and Child Development had last year asked all mobile phone makers to work out the feasibility of such a feature. “The phones will contain a panic button which will also be GPS-connected. We are in conversation with phone manufacturers and the proposal is likely to be executed in few months,” said Union women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi.
“Smartphones can activate the emergency call button by pressing the same for long time to send out an emergency call or the use of existing power on or off button, when short pressed thrice in quick succession.”