The Government has mandated that mobile phones sold in India will come with a dedicated panic button that can be used by a person, including females, in distress. The Department of Telecommunications has issued a Gazette notification dated 22nd April 2016 for inclusion of panic button in all new mobile phones handsets with effect from 1st January 2017.
The implementation date was subsequently extended to 28th February 2017. The Ministry of Home Affairs is implementing a project namely, Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) under Nirbhaya Fund scheme, with the objectives providing a single number 112 based emergency support services, which could be accessed through panic button in mobile phone.
According to Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Emergency Response Centers in States/UTs will respond to distress calls through computer aided dispatch support system. The project has been devised in coordination with the Ministry of Women & Child Development under Nirbhaya Fund scheme.
An all-India launch was requested by Ministry of Women and Child Development vide letter dated 28 November 2018. Launch of ERSS is taking place State/Union Territory wise based on readiness of the State/ Union Territory. As on date, ERSS has commenced in the States of Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland in November & December, 2018 respectively. ERSS has an overlay of check mechanism in the system to prevent any misuse.