Panic Button Trial in Uttar Pradesh From Jan 26th To Ensure Safety Of Women!
A panic button on mobile phones is the need of the hour in an environment where crimes against women are on the rise.
The Ministry of Women & Child Development is ready to launch a real-time emergency response system in the form of a panic button in mobiles. The trials will begin in Uttar Pradesh from 26th January of this year.
The trials, beginning on Republic day, will feature a panic button on mobile phones that will go a long way in ensuring the safety of women in the state, said Union minister Maneka Gandhi.
Women’s Safety & Technology
Last year in April, the Department of Telecommunications notified through a gazette and made it mandatory for all the mobile phone manufacturers to include a panic button on all mobile phones by the end of January 2017.
According to the order, it is mandatory for all manufacturers to include a panic button on all mobile phones. It should be embedded in the numeric keys 5 or 9 so that it is easily available during an emergency.
Not only feature phones, but smartphones too need to come have this facility.
Implementation Delayed By One Year
Due to various reasons, the implementation of the panic buttons in phones was delayed by over a year, finally being flagged off on 26th January.
The earlier trials of the panic button project saw a huge number of prank calls which lead to a delay in the implementation the panic button feature in mobile phones.
Trial Zone – Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh is going to be the first state to start with the trial of panic buttons in mobile phones. All the systems will be backed by a real-time police response system.
The Minister said, if the feature works well in UP, it can work anywhere in the country, giving veiled reference to the high crime-rate against women in the northern state.
All the upcoming phones in India will now have the panic button on it and the back-end architecture is currently being implemented in Uttar Pradesh.
How To Use Panic Button?
Feature phones will have the panic button embedded in the numeric keypad. A long press on the designated button will connect to an emergency number. Some basic phones may even come with a dedicated panic button key.
In smartphones, users will have to download a mobile application. It will send alerts if the victim long-presses the panic button on their smartphone. The government is yet to notify smartphones makers as to which button on the phone should function as a secondary panic button.
When a user will press the panic button on their phone, a call will be instantly made to the emergency number 112, which will also will be integrated with the police emergency number 100.
All the call log details on the phone will be sent via SMS, with the geolocation of the device. All the necessary details will be sent via SMS and emails to the police officials at the state, district and local authorities.
At the same time, SMS will also be sent with victim’s location to five of the pre-decided family members or friends. Similar SMS are also sent to 25-50 volunteers in the vicinity.
The volunteers would be screened by the authorities and will be provided with an orientation on how to provide assistance to the woman in distress.
Pan India Launch Likely Soon
If the trial is successful in Uttar Pradesh, the feature will be implemented in three other states identified by the Centre, where crime rate against women is high. Eventually, the system will be rolled out in the whole country.
The objective of the Government is to ensure a pan-India implementation of the panic button before the year-end. After 2012 Delhi gang-rape, Justice Verma Committee recommended the setting up of a public emergency response system as soon as possible.