Indian government mandates panic button on all phones sold in the country from 2017

India (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Windows Central)

The Indian government has announced that all mobile phones sold in the country from January 1, 2017 should come with a panic button that will allow anyone in need the ability to contact authorities with a single key. Built-in GPS is also a mandatory feature in phones going on sale next year. The move comes after the government has instituted a single "112" number for emergencies, including police services, ambulances, and the fire department.

For smartphones that cannot accommodate dedicated buttons — such as the Lumia 950 and 950 XL — manufacturers will have to incorporate a mechanism through which users can contact authorities by pressing the power button thrice in quick succession:

Smartphones without the facility of emergency call button by pressing the same for long time to invoke emergency call or the use of existing power on or off button, when short pressed thrice in quick succession.The feature phones without the facility of panic button by pressing 'numeric key - 5' or 'numeric key - 9' to invoke emergency call.

From Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad:

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 Global Positioning System inbuilt.Technology is solely meant to make human life better and what better than using it for the security of women.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia for Android Central, Windows Central's sister site. When not reviewing phones, he's testing PC hardware, including video cards, motherboards, gaming accessories, and keyboards.