As part of a briefing about electronic innovations planned for this year by the department in charge of electronic innovations, the Indian government unveiled early plans for a new device it hopes will reduce crimes against women. It is a watch that can alert authorities and family members that you feel you are in danger and start filming at the same time.
The initiative was unveiled by Kapil Sibal, information technology minister, earlier this week. He said the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, a unit within the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, is working on the proposed gadget. The government noted in a subsequent press release that it would be timely given “unfortunate incidents of crimes against women in particular.”
This was an apparent reference to the Dec. 16 gangrape of a 23-year-old physiotherapy student on a moving bus in the center of India’s capital; she later died of her injuries.
The wrist-borne device, Mr. Sibal said, would, upon the pressing of a button, send a text message to the nearest police station as well as pre-selected family members. A global positioning system within the watch would notify them of the wearer’s coordinates.
Mr. Sibal said the government would come up with a prototype by mid-year and then farm the idea out to companies for production. The government has held initial talks on manufacturing the product with state-run telecom equipment maker ITI Ltd., according to the government’s release. ITI’s chairman, K.L. Dhingra, confirmed the discussions to India Real Time: “In case the government decides, we are very much interested to manufacture it.” The watch will be sold in two variants, one for $20, the other for around $50, Mr. Sibal said.
It also will have an inbuilt video that, upon activation, would shoot for 30 minutes, the minister said.
IT’S DOUBTFUL THAT A TECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTION COULD PROVIDE A MEANINGFUL DETERRENT TO VIOLENCE
Safety is a major concern in the country, whose legal system has faced intense international scrutiny following the fatal gang rape of 23 year-old Jyoti Singh Pandey aboard a New Delhi bus last month. But until real legislative and social reforms take hold, it’s doubtful that a technological solution could provide a meaningful deterrent to violence. Speaking to India Real Time, Delhi women’s rights activist Sehba Farooqi said, “I don’t think this will make any difference in controlling rape cases.”
Source: India Realtime