NEW DELHI: After making it mandatory for mobile phone operators to have a panic button service for women in distress, the government is now moving towards ensuring all mobile handsets currently in use have the feature.
Sources said the Department of Telecommunications will come out with a notification making it mandatory for operators to offer software patches by which buttons 5 and 9 could be configured to send out emergency calls. These software patches will be made available for download on smartphones.
Apart from this, from January 1 2018, all mobile phones will be required to have the GPS-based location identification facility. India is the first country to make it mandatory to have such buttons on cell phones. Women & Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said her ministry was also proposing to introduce an app “which will alert 10 people to come to the rescue of women before police arrive”.