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World Consumer Rights Day 2023

Mar 15, 2023

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In today's edition of our Current Affairs, we will discuss World Consumer Rights Day 2023. The topic's relevance to the UPSC CSE syllabus is mentioned below.

For Prelims: Indian Polity and Governance

World Consumer Rights Day, President John F Kennedy, National Consumer Day, The Consumer Protection Act of 1986.

For Mains: GS Paper II (Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues)

About World Consumer Rights Day, Objectives of World Consumer Rights Day, World Consumer Rights Day 2023, Need for Consumer Rights Protection, Government Initiatives for Consumers.

Context

World Consumer Rights Day, observed on March 15, is observed annually.

Probable Question

Explain the significance of World Consumer Rights Day. (150 words, 10 marks)

About World Consumer Rights Day

  • World Consumer Rights Day was inspired by President John F Kennedy.
  • On 15th March 1962, President John F Kennedy sent a special message to the US Congress, in which he formally addressed the issue of consumer rights. He was the first world leader to do so. 
  • The consumer movement first marked that date in 1983 and now uses the day every year to mobilise action on important issues and campaigns.
Note: India celebrates National Consumer Day on December 24th each year with a particular theme. 

The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 had the president's approval on this day. This Act's passage is regarded as a significant turning point in the nation's consumer movement.

People can use National Consumer Day to emphasize the significance of the consumer movement and the necessity of increasing consumer awareness of their rights and obligations.

Objectives of World Consumer Rights Day

  • World Consumer Rights Day is an annual international event that signifies celebration and solidarity in the international consumer movement, demanding that consumer rights are to be respected and protected. 
  • The event also gives a chance to protest against the market abuses and social injustices which undermine those rights.

World Consumer Rights Day 2023

Theme of Consumer Rights Day 2023

  • Each year, World Consumer Rights Day adopts a theme to highlight. 
  • This year the theme promoted is "Empowering consumers through clean energy transitions.".
  • The theme is to bring change in energy transitions, by  supporting consumers through the cost-of-living crisis and helping to meet net-zero targets by promoting access to sustainable energy globally.  

Need for Consumer Rights Protection

  • Energy crisis: Most economies are facing a deepening energy crisis globally which is having an especially untold impact on vulnerable consumers. 
  • High prices: Global energy prices are set to rise by 50% by the end of 2022 and will stay high in 2023. 
  • Consumer adaptation: Due to rising food and financial costs, consumers worldwide are drastically altering their lifestyles to meet basic needs. In fact, 81% of respondents to our global insights survey of Members stated that consumers are adjusting their spending plans in order to pay their energy bills.

Government Initiatives for Consumers

  • Consumer empowerment: Government is offering a range of services such as National and State Consumer Helplines, Publicity Campaigns through Jago Grahak Jago, funding of academic institutions and voluntary consumer organizations in conducting Consumer Awareness Programmes, and involvement of Industry Associations and Chambers of Commerce in policy consultations and joint campaigns.
  • Integrated Grievance Redress Mechanism (INGRAM) portal: The portal is creating awareness among consumers to protect their rights and inform them of their responsibilities. Consumers can register their grievances online through this portal. 
  • Smart consumer: The Department in association with GS1 India has launched a mobile application  “ Smart Consumer”  to enable the consumer to scan the barcode of the product and get all details of the product.
  • Online Consumer Mediation Centre (OCMC): OCMC has been established at the National Law School of India University, Bengaluru under the aegis of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Government of India. OCMC provides state-of-the-art infrastructure for resolving consumer disputes both through physical as well as online mediation through its platform.
  • Online dispute resolution: ODR uses technology to facilitate the resolution of disputes between parties. In this respect, it is often seen as being the online equivalent of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). 

Also read: Indian Polity- Union Legislature: NCERT Notes UPSC

Way Forward

  • Today’s challenge is to help consumers through present difficulties whilst enabling a rapid transition that guarantees sustainability, security, and affordability in the long term. 
  • Increasing access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy will also play a major part in averting catastrophic climate change, with consumption shifts now recognized and estimated to reduce future greenhouse gas emissions by 40-70%. 

News Source: Vikaspedia, PIB

https://vikaspedia.in/social-welfare/social-awareness/consumer-education/world-consumer-rights-day

https://pib.gov.in/newsite/printrelease.aspx?relid=157697

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is World Consumer Rights Day?

World Consumer Rights Day is an annual international event that signifies celebration and solidarity in the international consumer movement, demanding that consumer rights are to be respected and protected. 

What is the theme of World Consumer Rights Day 2023?

This year's theme is "Empowering consumers through clean energy transitions." The theme is to bring about change in energy transitions, by  supporting consumers through the cost-of-living crisis and helping to meet net zero targets by promoting access to sustainable energy globally.

Also read:All You Need to Know About Indian Judiciary- NCERT Notes UPSC

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