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Union Government launches three women safety initiatives

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has launched various initiatives to promote the safety of women in their living spaces, working spaces and the public spaces. The Emergency Response Support System will be launched in 16 states and union territories and Mumbai city.

Feb 19, 2019 15:42 IST
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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh along with Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi jointly launched three significant initiatives to promote the safety of women in their living spaces, working spaces and the public spaces on February 18, 2019 at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi.

The initiatives include Emergency Response Support System, Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences (ITSSO) and Safe City Implementation Monitoring Portal. The Ministry launched Emergency Response Support System in 16 states and union territories including Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, UP, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Andaman, Dadar Nagar Haveli, Daman & Diu and Jammu and Kashmir.

The Union Government has enacted the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 to provide effective deterrence against the offence of rape. For the effective implementation of the Act, to strengthen investigation and prosecution machinery and to instill a sense of security amongst women, the government is launching the following initiatives:

Emergency Response Support System (ERSS)

The Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) is a pan-India single number (112) based response system for persons in distress.

Citizens can access emergency services by using the following methods:

Dial 112: A person in distress can dial a pan-India number: 112.

Press power button: A citizen can press the power button on a smartphone thrice quickly to activate a panic call to ERC.

Long press 5, 9 keys: In case of a feature phone, a citizen can long press on number 5 or 9 on the phone keypad to activate the panic call.

The other ways to access the emergency service is by logging onto the ERSS website for the state and lodge the emergency or send SOS alert to State ERC or use 112 India Mobile App, which is available free on Google Play store and Apple store.  

Key Highlights

Under this system, all the states have to set up a dedicated Emergency Response Centre (ERC).

The centres will have a team of trained call-takers and dispatchers to handle emergency requests relating to assistance from police, fire & rescue, health and other emergency services.

The police can view all events after an emergency call is made at the ERC. The ERCs are connected to District Command Centres (DCC) and the Emergency Response Vehicles and assistance and response to victims are facilitated through them.

The centre is designed to be a common protocol managed by each state and union territory.

For Women and children, 112 India App provides a special SHOUT feature which alerts registered volunteers in the vicinity of the victim for immediate assistance.

The Central Government is funding Rs 321.69 crore to the states and union territories for the emergency system as a part of Nirbhaya scheme project. The service has already been launched in Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland.

Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences (ITSSO)

The Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences (ITSSO) is an online module available to law enforcement agencies at all levels- national, state, district and police station that allows states to undertake real-time monitoring and management for completion of investigation in rape cases in two months.

The system leverages the existing CCTNS database, which covers nearly 15000 police stations in the country.

It would greatly strengthen the states’ ability for analytics and prognosis for timely investigation and prosecution in rape cases.

Significance

The Criminal Law Amendment in April 2018 prescribes stringent penal provisions including the death penalty for rape of a girl below the age of 12 years.

For swift administration of justice in such cases, the Act also inter-alia mandates completion of investigation and trials within two months.

To enhance women safety in the country, the government has formulated a multi-pronged action plan and initiated a series of measures. ITSSO is one of such measures developed by the Home Ministry towards smart policing.

Safe City Implementation Monitoring (SCIM) portal

The Government has identified eight cities for implementation of Safe City projects in the first phase at a cost of Rs 2,919 crore, in order to instil a sense of security in women in metro cities.

The cities include Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai.

The projects are funded under the Nirbhaya Fund scheme. They have been prepared jointly by Municipal bodies and City Police and reflect integrated action for the safety of women.

The safe city projects involve the creation of on-ground assets, resources and behaviour change programs for the safety of women.

The projects will supplement existing assets and meet citizen demands for safe eco-system for women in these cities.

Key features of projects:

Identification of crime hot-spots in each city.

Saturating such Hot-spots with increased CCTV surveillance.

Automated Number Plate Reading (ANPR) and drone-based surveillance also being deployed in few cities as per requirement.

Setting up women police out-posts for facilitating ease of access by any aggrieved woman to report incidence or seek assistance.

Patrols by women police in vulnerable areas.

Setting up women help desks in police stations with facility for trained counsellors

Augmentation of existing women support centers like Asha Jyoti Kendra or Bharosa centers

Implementing safety measures in buses, including cameras.

Improving street lighting in identified hot spot areas.

Setting up toilets for women.

Undertaking social awareness programmes on women safety and gender sensitivity.

Other Details

All the 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 the ground, an online Safe City Implementation Monitoring (SCIM) portal has been developed by the Home Ministry.

The portal will facilitate online tracking of deployment of assets and infrastructure created under the Safe City projects.

It will facilitate an evidence-based online monitoring system. The details on assets and infrastructure are captured along with latitude and longitude using GPS for greater transparency.

The portal also creates a digital repository of assets, infrastructure and social outreach programs, as well as best practices achieved in each city. 

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