'112' soon to be pan-India emergency No

India will soon have '112' as its single emergency contact number, similar to 911 in the United States

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has approved the proposal of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) for this emergency number across the country.

The existing emergency numbers - 100, 101, 102 and 108 - will continue to exist as secondary numbers. If you dial any of them, you will be re-routed to 112.

''These numbers will be closed in a phased manner following a public awareness campaign,'' the DoT said in its response to Trai.

The telecom regulator had earlier recommended having all phones in the country use GPS systems to be able to pinpoint the location of the caller, but the DoT had rejected that proposal saying that a large percentage of low-cost handsets in the country do not support GPS.

In a statement, Trai reiterated its recommendations for deciding on a sunset date for incorporation of GPS in all mobile handsets so as to obtain more accurate location information of the caller.

The telecom regulator also supported the early implementation of the guidelines issued by the union ministry of home affairs for a nationwide emergency response system.