All mobile phones sold in India after December 31, 2016, will have to have a panic button, according to a government notification to the Department of Telecommunications. The notification said the button was mandatory so people can easily reach out for help in case of an emergency. The nearest security agency will receive a call when the button is pressed. The government is still finalising the mechanism that will make this possible, reported The Hindu.

The notice also states that all handsets must have a functional Global Positioning System after January 1, 2018. “Technology is solely meant to make human life better, and what's better than using it for security of women? I have taken a decision that from January 1, 2017, no cell phone can be sold without a panic button, and from January 1, 2018, handsets should also have GPS inbuilt,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.

The rule is applicable for all handsets to be sold in India after the deadline, irrespective of the brand or operating system.