According to PTI news, the Department of Telecom has issued a statement that the government will continue to allow import of mobile phones without panic button or emergency calling feature till 28th February. Though this announcement has given some relief to mobile manufacturers but not for long as this feature will be mandated after 28th Feb 2017.
“…it has been decided by the competent authority that the import of mobile phone handsets without Panic Button/Emergency call button feature prescribed as per ‘Panic Button and Global Positioning System Facility in all mobile phone handsets Rules 2016…shall be allowed till 28th February 2017 wef 01.01.2017,” DoT said in an office memorandum Tuesday.
In April 2016, the government mandated that all mobile phones in the country will be sold with panic button feature, from January 1, 2017. According to reports, pressing panic button will make a call to single emergency number 112.
Government has also made it compulsory for the mobile manufacturers to sell new devices in India with the facility of identifying the location through satellite-based GPS. This step was taken by government after the brutal gangrape which happened in the capital city of our country.
The concept of a device with panic button feature is the need of the hour. The main aim of this initiative by the Government is to trace and respond to distress calls with minimum response time. This step will help make India secure and safe for everyone. According to reports, India’s helpline number 112 will be equivalent to 911 of the US’s all-in- one emergency services.