Rapid technological change and its impact on consumer behaviour is taking place within an increasingly liberalized market place in which the global drive to compete brings new challenges to both existing and nascent regulatory authorities. Consumers’ needs and expectations vary according to the availability, accessibility and affordability of goods and services. Nevertheless consumers’ expectations are likely to be disappointed if the quality of goods and services is poor. Shoddy services, bad quality products, broken promises, and contract foul-ups are just some of the problems faced regularly by consumers. Due to the prevalent unfair trade practices, consumers’ faith in the market has been shaken. Strong, well regulated retail markets that place the best interests of consumers at their heart are necessary for consumer confidence and economic growth in the medium and longer term. For this it is important that the shortcomings like lack of transparency, low awareness of risks, and poor handling of conflicts of interest are effectively tackled. Encouraging active participation of citizens in the good functioning of markets definitely helps in maintaining healthy competitive conditions in the market. In particular, access to redress by consumers when consumer rights are violated by traders promotes consumer confidence in the markets and improves their performance.
Thus promoting consumers’ rights, prosperity and well-being are core values to be considered both by the government and the business. For this there is a need to empower consumers by creating a more transparent market that offers consumers real choice in terms of price and quality. The consumers’ welfare must be enhanced and increased in terms of parameters like price, quality, diversity, affordability, safety, etc. n view of the emerging global markets and concerns for good governance coupled with rising expectations of the people for better services, quality goods, availability of choice and value for money, there is universal emphasis for protection and promotion of Consumers’ rights and interests. It is well recognized, world over, that protection of Consumers’ rights and interests not only promotes the interests of business but also of the state as well.
Session 1. Globalisation, Market and Consumer Protection
This session will help understand the need and importance of consumer protection and how globalization and technological innovations have not only changed the market but have also brought in new challenges. It will also focus on the current market mechanisms and how consumers are exploited by various producers and service providers.
Session 2. Consumer Protection: Law and Policy
There are a number of laws that help protect the consumers but the most important Act is the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. This session will focus on the laws that are available to protect the consumers and deal with the various provisions of the Consumer Protection Act 1986 and the Consumer Protection Act, 2019 including the three tier mechanism available for redressal of grievances. It will also focus on policies that are being implemented to protect the consumers.
Session 3. Consumer Protection: Education and Empowerment
Consumer education and awareness is the best method to empower the consumers. This session will provide a variety of information to empower the consumers. It will help them to be smart consumers with adequate information and do’s and don’ts to be safe in the market. A number of sources of information will also be shared in the session so that the consumer’s can use these sources in their day to day life.
Session 4. Misleading Advertisements and Consumer
Consumers use a variety of services on a daily basis. This session will highlight the rights and responsibilities of the consumers as well as the service provides. Participants will be acquainted with various judgments of the National Commission and the Supreme court regarding their rights against the service provides. The complaint mechanism that is available in case of deficiency of services will also be discussed.
Session 5. Food Safety and Consumer
Consumers of the 21st century have become more demanding in regard to healthy and safe food. Good food hygiene is therefore essential for food producers to make and sell food that is safe to eat. Awareness about food safety and how to prevent it is of prime importance. This session will give an insight into various dimensions of food safety and the role of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India in ensuring consumers gets safe food.
Session 6. Legal Metrology and Consumer
Metrology refers to (Science of measurement). Legal Metrology is a branch of Metrology which deals with unit of weighment & measurement, method of weighment & measurement. The thrust area of legal metrology is regulation of correct use of Weights and Measures in trade and commerce and prevention of short weighment and measurement as well as periodic verification and re-verification of weighing and measuring instrument. In this session we will discuss legal metrology and its importance, the laws that regulate legal metrology and how the consumer is market so that he gets correct weights and measures
Session 7. Patients Rights and Medical Negligence
We all have to visit a doctor some times. Medical service is a nobel profession and doctor is considered to be next to god.In this session we will discuss the rights of a patient, his responsibilities, what is the duty of doctor , what constitutes negligence and what are the remedies available under Consumer Protection Act in case of a medical negligence. Some important case laws in this area will also be discussed to understand the various dimensions of medical negligence.
Session 8. Protecting Rural Consumer
Nearly 70% of Indian Consumers live in rural areas. Due to various reasons like lack of education, information and choice the rural consumers are exploited by the marketers. Availability of fake and look alike products not only harm consumers right to safety but are also hazardous to use. In this session we will discuss the nature and characteristics of rural consumers, the reasons for growth of rural markets, the problems faced by rural consumers and what strategies need to be adopted to protect them.
Session 9. e- Commerce and Consumer
Ecommerce, also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet, and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions. Ecommerce is often used to refer to the sale of physical products online, but it can also describe any kind of commercial transaction that is facilitated through the internet. In India e- commerce is growing very fast due to convenience, saves time and also easy to access. The young generation prefers to use digital mode to buy good and avail services. This session will discuss the nuts and bolts of e- commerce from a consumer’s perspective.
Session 10. Alternate Dispute Redressal:Role of National Consumer Helpline
The National Consumer Helpline (NCH) is an Alternate Dispute Redressal mechanism to take grievances of the consumers. NCH receives enquiries and grievances from consumers across the country who face problems in their day-to-day dealings with business and service providers. This session will acquaint the participants with the working of the NCH and role being played in redressal of consumer grievances.