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Initiatives on women’s safety conceptualized by the WCD Ministry

Topics Covered:

  1. Issues related to women.
  2. e-governance- applications, models, successes, limitations, and potential.

 

Initiatives on women’s safety conceptualized by the WCD Ministry

 

What to study?

  • For Prelims: Overview of the initiatives launched.
  • For Mains: Significance and the need for such initiatives, other measures necessary to ensure safety of women.

 

Context: The Ministry of Women and Child Development has launched three important initiatives on women’s safety. They are:

  1. Panic button.
  2. SCIM portal under Safe City Project.
  3. DNA Analysis Facilities in States.

 

  1. Panic button:

Conceived way back in 2015, mobile phone manufacturers and mobile telephony service providers were mandated by the Ministry of Telecom to include a physical panic button on all mobile phones in the country. Such a panic button must be backed by an emergency response mechanism through the local police when panic button message would alert the specified family members etc. of a woman in distress situation. The emergency response system can be triggered in the following manners:

  • On the smart phones, the power button when pressed three times quickly.
  • Dialing 112 from any phone.
  • In case of feature phones, long press of the touch key 5 or 9.
  • Using 112 India Mobile App.

The emergency message coming out of the above modes, will trigger a response from the emergency response centre through a team of trained personnel who can handle emergency requests of various kinds and get the necessary relief services launched.

 

  1. SCIM portal under Safe City Project:

Being implemented in 8 cities, the project includes creation on ground assets & resources and mindset safety of women. Some of the key features of the safe city project include:

  • Identification of sensitive hot spots in each city.
  • Installation of CCTV surveillance covering the entire hot spot.
  • Automated number plate reading machines to be deployed in extremely sensitive areas.
  • Intensive patrolling in vulnerable areas beyond the identified hot spots.
  • Improving street lighting and public toilet facilities for women.
  • Others like setting up women help desks in police stations, augmentation of women support centres etc.

All the above measures would be coordinated through an Integrated Smart Control Room in the city. In order to facilitate States to monitor and manage the Safe City projects and avoid duplication on ground, an online Safe City Implementation Monitoring (SCIM) portal has been developed by MHA.

SCIM will facilitate online tracking of deployment of assets and infrastructure created under the Safe City projects. SCIM facilitates an evidence based online monitoring system. SCIM also creates a digital repository of assets, infrastructure and social outreach programs, as well as best practices achieved in each City.

 

  1. DNA Analysis Facilities in States:

In view of the complaints of delay in cases of sexual assault investigations, it was proposed that dedicated DNA analysis facilities should be created in the forensic science laboratories on a mission mode. Timely testing of DNA samples from the crime scene is the quickest process of obtaining forensic evidence in cases of sexual assault on women. In the initial phase, dedicated DNA analysis facilities have been sanctioned for the forensic science laboratories located at Chennai, Madurai, Agra, Lucknow, Mumbai and Kolkata.

 

Mains Question: There is increasing concern about women’s safety in cities over the past few years. How can technology be used to ensure safety of women in cities? Examine.