Earlier we had reported that all smartphones in India were to come with a panic button at the beginning of 2017.
However, according to the latest development, the Department of Telecom is now allowing import of mobile phones without the panic button or emergency calling feature till February 28, 2017.
DoT in an office memorandum has stated that the decision has been made by the competent authority and 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 shall be allowed till 28th February 2017 wef 01.01.2017.
Just to recap, the government in April 2016 had mandated that all mobile phones in the country from January 1, 2017, should be sold with a panic button feature. The government had also mandated that from January 1, 2018, no mobile handset manufacturer could sell new devices in India without the facility of identifying the location through satellite-based GPS.
In essence, the move by the government has been directed towards improving and tightening the security for women and at the same time increase accountability of the security forces as well. Additionally, the government has shared their opinion that while technology has been solely meant to make human life better, it could also be used for better security.
Meanwhile, pressing the panic button will make a call to single emergency number 112 which is equivalent to 911 of the US's all-in-one emergency services.