New Delhi: The Union Home Ministry has decided to launch a nation-wide unique and single emergency response number which can be used in case of any emergency, especially by women in distress.

The Ministry today said it has invited proposals from reputed and experienced companies to participate in the competitive bidding process for implementation and maintenance of the "Nationwide Emergency Response System" for five years across all states.

The plan was mooted by the Ministry in the aftermath of the December 16, 2012 gang rape of a young woman in the national capital where it was felt that various emergency call numbers like Police (100), Fire (101) and Ambulance (102) could be integrated into one to not only act as "receivers" of emergency calls but also as "responders" in a very quick time.

The ministry has also explained the reason for initiation of this ambitious project which will integrate all smart communication facilities like calls, SMSes and online chat platforms into one.

"After the incident of December 16, 2012 in Delhi, a committee headed by Justice (retd.) J S Verma, former Chief Justice of Supreme Court, with Justice (retired) Leila Seth and Gopal Subramanian as members, was set up on December 23, 2012 to give recommendations on amending laws to provide for speedy justice and enhanced punishment for criminals in sexual assault cases of extreme nature.

"The committee had recommended the setting up of a public emergency response system which will have the ability to dispatch an Emergency Response (ER) unit to respond and close the ER call," it said.

Responding to this recommendation, the Home Ministry said it "received the project approval for Computer Aided Dispatch System for emergency response".

"With the current challenges being faced by major police forces in the country for an immediate emergency response system specifically inclined towards women issues, the project is conceived to bridge the gap," it said.

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