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Revolutionary Breakthrough Unveiled on National Consumer Day 2023: A Game-Changer in Consumer Protection

Piyush Goyal inaugurated several key initiatives, including the e-JAGRITI portal for consumer commissions, VC facility at NCDRC, drone certification facility at NTH, National Consumer Helpline 2.0, and new laboratories at the National Test House.

Shivam Dwivedi
Revolutionary Breakthrough Unveiled on National Consumer Day 2023: A Game-Changer in Consumer Protection (Photo Source: Consumer Affairs/Twitter)
Revolutionary Breakthrough Unveiled on National Consumer Day 2023: A Game-Changer in Consumer Protection (Photo Source: Consumer Affairs/Twitter)

The Department of Consumer Affairs marked National Consumer Day 2023 on December 24 in New Delhi, with a spotlight on harnessing technology for enhanced consumer protection and efficient grievance redressal. The Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Textiles, and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal, emphasized the pivotal role of customer satisfaction in the country's development during his inaugural address.

Government Initiatives and Technological Advancements

Goyal lauded the Department's recent initiatives, including the launch of the e-Jagriti portal, VC facility for NCDRC, drone testing in NTH, and the National Consumer Helpline 2.0 available in 17 languages. The substantial 13-fold increase in helpline calls underscores the government's commitment to building consumer trust. New Quality Control Orders (QCOs) signal a positive impact on the quality of goods in the market.

Acknowledging the rise in associated risks with technological expansion, the Minister highlighted the importance of comprehensive stakeholder discussions, particularly in the realm of AI and consumer protection. He praised the Department's proactive stance, citing the release of the "Guidelines for Prevention and Regulation of Dark Patterns, 2023," aimed at fostering a fair and transparent marketplace for consumers.

Goyal commended the efforts of Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi, the recently appointed President of the National Commission, for driving positive changes in case disposal. The Minister urged collaborative efforts with consumer commissions to leverage technology in eliminating old pending cases and addressing new cases more swiftly and in real-time.

Managing Food Inflation and Ensuring Consumer Welfare

Speaking on essential goods' prices, Goyal applauded India's success in managing food inflation through proactive measures and collaborative efforts with the Department of Consumer Affairs. The establishment of 140 new Price Monitoring Centres, making it a total of 550, demonstrates the government's commitment to shielding consumers from food inflation. The Minister also highlighted interventions providing essential goods at subsidized prices, showcasing the government's dedication to protecting consumers from inflation.​

Future Focus: Making Jagriti a Jan Andolan

To ensure a better consumer future, the Minister urged the Department to focus on making ‘Jagriti’ a ‘Jan Andolan’ by spreading awareness, providing choices, efficient grievance redressal, and continuous feedback.

Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi, in his keynote address, stressed the importance of ‘Upbhokta Devo bhava’ and the need for widespread consumer protection across the nation. He advocated for accessible e-filing of cases to every corner of the country, ensuring even technologically challenged consumers can utilize it for e-daakhil.

Support and Acknowledgment from Union Minister of State

Union Minister of State for Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, applauded the Department's efforts in automating processes through technology. He emphasized the need for effective and timely case disposal to protect and promote consumer rights, especially in the era of rapid technological development and e-commerce growth.

Commitment to Technology Integration: Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs

Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, affirmed the commitment to integrating technology for expedited case resolution and effective governance. He highlighted recent achievements, major initiatives, and accomplishments in testing standards, emphasizing the department's contribution to policy-level consumer protection and India's development.

Technical Sessions & Themes

Following the inaugural event, technical sessions were organized on crucial themes, including:

  1. Artificial Intelligence & the Protection of Consumer Rights

  2. Role of Technology in Speedy Disposal of Consumer Cases

  3. Impact of Dark Patterns on Consumer Choices & Preferences

The event saw participation from Joint Secretary Anupam Mishra, Vineet Mathur, senior officers, Presidents and Members of Consumer Commissions, Vice Chancellors of various National Law Universities, stakeholders from States/UTs, industry associations, and consumer organizations.

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