Robust response system can only make panic button successful: IAMAI

New Delhi:  Though the government has made installation of panic button mandatory for mobile handset makers, industry stakeholders feel it is more necessary to ensure that the response system is robust to make the effort successful. According to the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), only introducing any hardware and software tweaks in smart phones and feature phones will not solve the issue of safety and security of women in India.  A central government notification had asked all handset manufacturers to install panic button in all phones to be sold from January 1, 2017 and from January 1, 2018 onwards all mobile phone handsets sold should be GPS enabled.  According to IAMAI, the use of a high-tech app or a number facility will fail if the response system is not prompt. The typical response time in India varies across the country and distance to police station from complainant determines the speed of response. In rural and semi-urban areas, there is hardly any response, it said, adding that the association is of the view that the government needs to form a system ensuring that the back-end system is robust.  "There is an urgent need to enhance the existing law enforcement initiatives and sensitize the agencies to handle emergency situations rather than mandate conditions that are deemed to fail from its inception," the IAMAI said in a statement. It said a national emergency response number must be created, calls to which will be addressed within a stipulated time and "a strong back-end support will encourage the businesses to innovate, leading to easy adoption by users.  “The moot point to be noted is that the emergency call or notification has to be routed to the relevant authority and within a specific time for any such call to be of any use,” it added.