Centre calls Mobile Manufacturers to add Panic Button and GPS in Handsets

panic button on mobile phones

Keeping women safety in conscience, Centre has decided to regulate the Mobile Phone Handset Rules, clarifying that all the mobile manufacturing companies will have to provide a panic button and inbuilt GPS in the mobile handsets. Union Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad approved the proposal on Monday.

India has witnessed several cases in past few years, exposing the threats to security of women and nothing new had been implemented to address the growing concern. Calling it the basic guideline to be followed now, Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “Technology is solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women.”

ravi shakar prasad panic button mobile“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 ets should have inbuilt GPS,” Prasad added.

An official notification followed the announcement that reads, “With effect from January 1, 2018, no mobile phone handset manufacturing company shall sell the new mobile phone hand set in India without the facility of identifying the location through Satellite based GPS.”

As per the Communications Ministry, all mobile will have a panic button from 1 January 2017 onward. The ministry will also curb the sale of mobile phones without a panic button from next year. The official statement also included that mobile users will have to dial 5 or 9 number from their handset for help during any panic condition. On the contrary, mobile phone manufacturers have been asked to provide GPS in all handsets from January 1, 2018.

How this panic button works?

Mobile users can feed at least 3 numbers in the contacts listed under the Panic category. Once keeping the ‘panic’ key pressed, all those listed contacts will be informed through message. Users can feed the numbers of their close relatives or Police so that the help can be reached in no time.

While it is almost impractical to add a separate button in mobile phones for the function, it has been decided that the objective can be achieved by adding the feature functionality to existing keypad (numeric keys – 5 or 9). Though in case of smartphone with almost no button, it has been proposed that the existing power button (on-off) should do that if short pressed thrice in quick succession.

The proposal was first raised by Union Minister (Women and Child Development) Maneka Gandhi at PIB Summit in Jaipur on February 1, wherein she had said the feature will be rolled out in March. Working on the plan, Union Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad confirmed the same to be rolled out next year.

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