The Government of India has decided that no mobile can be sold in the country without an inbuilt panic button and global positioning system (GPS) from January 1, 2017, and January 1, 2018, respectively. Still, DoT allowed importing smartphones without panic button till February.
Panic Button will now be more than an app, it will be a hard button on your device as made mandatory by IT Minister and Govt. of India. It is oriented at women safety and to increase accountability of security forces.Technology is solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women?” said Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, after signing the order.
This move will make a lot of phones that don’t come with built-in GPS and panic button illegal from January 2018. But hold on right there will making panic buttons and GPS compulsory affect anything, What if some women don’t buy these phones or can’t simply afford these phones. There many challenges here to tackle like internet connectivity, will the government provide free access to the internet since GPS requires some medium i.e. WIFI, Bluetooth and Especially internet access to help locate the device. What if the device is offline? What will the women do then? Will it be also included into basic feature phones that people still use?
On the smartphone side, the government wants either a dedicated panic button or the power button to have this as an add-on feature. It is unlikely that most smartphone manufacturers will add a new button for just one country. Imagine an iPhone with a panic button just for India.
The use of technology is much welcome from our side but there should be some human interface in between because this technology isn’t perfect. Maybe the govt. will boost smartphone sales unknowingly or knowingly.
Digital India is a long way Dear IT Minister, DoT, TRAI. Please take an initiative to first make people understand technology in villages and small town first. Provide affordable smartphones, boost development of Indus OS which supports many Indian Languages etc.