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New Delhi: In the backdrop of the Hyderabad gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old veterinarian and several other similar cases of sexual violence against women being reported, the government on Tuesday said women''s safety is a high priority and it has taken several initiatives for their safety across the country.

Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy, in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, enumerated the steps taken by the government to prevent crimes against women, including launching a database on sexual offenders.

It said the Criminal Law (Amendment), Act 2013 was enacted for effective deterrence against sexual offences.

Five years later, the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018 was enacted to prescribe even more stringent penal provisions including death penalty for rape of a girl below the age of 12 years.

The Act also inter-alia mandates completion of investigation and trials within two months each.

The Emergency Response Support System provides a pan-India, single, internationally recognised phone number (112) based system for all emergencies, with computer aided dispatch of field resources to the location of distress.

It said that through the use of technology to aid smart policing and safety management, Safe City Projects have been sanctioned in the first Phase in eight cities -- Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai.

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) launched a cyber-crime portal on September 20, 2018 for citizens to report obscene content.

The MHA also launched a ''National Database on Sexual Offenders'' (NDSO) the same day to facilitate investigation and tracking of sexual offenders across the country by law enforcement agencies.

In order to help States/UTs, the MHA on February 19, 2019 launched an online analytic tool for police called ''Investigation Tracking System for Sexual Offences'' to monitor and track time-bound investigation in sexual assault cases in accordance with the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2018.

It said a One Stop Centre (OSC) scheme is being implemented across the country since April 1, 2015 which is exclusively designed to provide integrated services such as medical aid, police assistance, legal counselling/ court case management, psycho-social counselling and temporary shelter to women affected by violence under one roof.

It said 728 OSCs have been approved by the Government of India, while 595 such one stop centres are operational in the country.
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