Mobile Phones Must Have Panic Button in 2017: Ravi Shankar Prasad

The IT ministry wants to ensure that GPS are offered on all phones in the coming years. 

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Phone makers will have to accomodate GPS and panic button soon. (Photo: iStock)

In a bid to make a mobile phone handset an effective tool for self-protection, especially for women, the government has said no such device will be sold from next year without a single key panic button to connect the nearest redressal agency.

This follows a similar move for one emergency ‘112’ number for availing services of police, ambulance and fire department.

Technology is solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women. I have taken a decision that from January 1, 2017, no cell phone can be sold without a provision for panic button, and from January 1, 2018, mobile sets should also have built-in Global Positioning System (GPS)
Ravi Shankar Prasad, Communications and IT Minister

The notification did not specify which agency would connect the number, but sources in the ministry said the decision will be taken soon.

The Gazette of India notification said from January 1, 2017, no mobile phone handset manufacturing company shall sell in India:

The feature phones without the facility of panic button by pressing ‘numeric key - 5’ or ‘numeric key - 9’ to invoke emergency call. Smartphones without the facility of emergency call button by pressing the same for a long time to invoke emergency call or the use of existing power on or off button, when short pressed thrice in quick succession.
Gazette of India notification

The notification defined a feature phone as one that can access the Internet and play music but lacks provisions of an operating system feature of a personal computer. Smart phone, on the other hand, has all features of a personal computer system.

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