India government has announced the new rules according to which it is essential for all mobile phones to have a “panic button,” to protect women and prevent rape.
The regulations, which take force in 2017, were announced this week by India’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
The government has announced that manufacturers are also required to include GPS in all phones by 2018, to help improve security.
Mobile companies already include a panic response feature, but India does not currently have a centralized emergency call system. Because different phone numbers are required to reach police, medical and fire services, this feature has limited utility.
Authorities plan to address the problem with a new national emergency number 112 that will roll out in the coming months.
India’s government started exploring ways to improve women’s safety following a high-profile rape in December 2012 when a young woman was gang-raped by six men in Delhi. The victim eventually died of her injuries.
JS Deepak said secretary in the communications ministry,
Women’s safety is the key driver to this regulation happening
He also said the government has worked closely with manufacturers to develop the new regulations, and that he expects full compliance.