Under pressure on the issue of safety of women in the country, the NDA-government has turned to technology for a solution. The Ministry of Electronics and IT in partnership with IIT-Delhi is working on a switch-based device in cars and buses to aid safety of women.
“We are using technology to ensure help in case of distress while travelling in public transport. The proposed panic switch system when invoked will generate a loud alarm in the vehicle which will attract public attention, and send the coordinates of the person to a server (police control room) to provide necessary help,” a senior ministry official said.
Ensures system health
The system will include features such as authenticating the driver of the vehicles and a camera interface. “The system is designed [to] monitor that health of the switch…whether it is in proper working condition or not, and it will also enable tamper proof operation,” the official said.
The field trials for the beta version of the system are already underway, and the Ministry expects to start rolling out the final version by next month. “The first version has been field tested and final version is expected in May, 2018 for cars and by August, 2018 for buses,” the official said.
From Nirbhaya fund
The project, being developed by IIT-Delhi, is being funded by the Nirbhaya Fund, set up in 2013 for implementation of initiatives aimed at enhancing the safety and security of women in the country. However, the government has been facing criticism for under-utilisation of the fund.
The total number of crimes registered against women in the country during the year 2014, 2015 and 2016 were 3,39,457, 3,29,243 and 3,38,954, respectively, showing a mixed trend with a decline of 3.0% in 2015 over 2014 and an increase of 2.9% in 2016 over 2015, as per the government data.
In 2016, the government had announced plans to make it mandatory for mobile phone makers to provide a panic button on the device starting January 2017. However, the plans were delayed by almost a year. The trial for the system finally started in U.P. earlier this year.