Beginning next year, mobile phones sold in India must have a dedicated panic button, which will send out a distress signal in conjunction with a Global Positioning System (GPS) location.

In a statement Ravi Prasad, the Minister of Communications & Information said,

“Technology is solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women, 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 sets should also have inbuilt GPS,”

Maneka Gandhi, who is with the Ministry of Women & Child Development, had been pushing mobile phone manufacturers for this since last year.

Once the panic button is pressed, a call will be made to the nearest security agency. However, the details of how the system will work are yet to be finalized.

India mandates panic buttonEarly last year, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced, 'Himmat.' A mobile application from Delhi Police that allows women to send a distress signal to Police dispatch and family/friends.

Singh also distributed pepper spray to women and awarded girls who had successfully completed Delhi Police self-defence program.

The Himmat app during an emergency can send an alert by shaking the phone or by pressing the power button/soft button. As soon as the distress button is pressed, it triggers a 30-second audio and video recording on the phone which would be relayed to the Police, and the victim would get a call back.