(IGP) Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013
Chapter: Gist of Press Information
Topic: 'Jago Grahak Jago' – An
Initiative Towards Consumer Education And Awareness
An enlightened consumer is an empowered consumer. An aware consumer not only
protects himself from exploitation but induces efficiency, transparency and
accountability in the entire manufacturing and services sector. Realising the
importance of consumer empowerment the Government has accorded top priority to
Consumer Education, Consumer Protection and Consumer Awareness. India is a
country, which has taken a lead in introducing progressive legislation for
The most important milestone in Consumer Movement in the country has been the
enactment of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The Act has set in motion a
revolution in the field of consumer rights that perhaps cannot have any parallel
anywhere else in the World. The Act applies to all goods and services unless
specially exempted by the Central Government, in all sectors whether Private,
Public or Co- operative.
Q. What are the basic components of Government’s initiatives
regarding Consumer protection?
Consumer protection initiatives by the Government hinge on 3
Firstly, ensuring a legal framework that comprises of
Consumer Protection Act.
Secondly, evolving standards for different products to
enable the consumers to make an informed choice about different products.
Standards could be on technical requirement (specifications), improved
specific standard terminology (glossary of terms), codes of practice or test
methods or management systems standards.
Thirdly, consumer awareness and education is the main
building block for consumer protection.
Q. What are the highlights of Consumer Protection Act, 1986?
Under the Act, a separate three-tier quasi judicial
consumer dispute redressal machinery popularly known as consumer courts or
consumer forums has been set up at the national, state and district level to
provide simple, speedy and inexpensive redressal to the consumer grievances
against any defective goods, deficiency in services including the
restrictive/unfair trade practices.
In order to establish complete interlinking of computer
networking of consumer court, namely, National Commission, 35 State
Commissions and 607 District Forums for its monitoring and accessing various
kinds of data, the Department is moving forward to introduce computerization
and networking of all consumer forums.
Q. What are the actions have been taken to aware consumes?
Government has taken up number of initiatives for
creating consumer awareness in the country. The slogan ‘Jago Grahak Jago’
has now become a household name as a result of the publicity campaign
undertaken in the last 4 years. As part of the consumer awareness scheme,
the rural and remote areas have been given top priority.
Multi-media publicity campaign is being undertaken
through print and electronic media on the issues such as ISI, Hallmark,
Labelling, MRP, Weights and Measures etc. Simultaneously, major initiative
are being launched wherein issues that have come into focus on account of
new emerging areas such as telecom, real estate, credit cards, financial
products, pharmaceuticals, Insurance, travel services, medicines etc. are
under taken either through joint campaigns or joint consultations with the
Consumer awareness messages are also being disseminated
through Meghdoot Post cards in consultation with Department of Post to reach
far-flung rural areas including North-East States. Posters carrying messages
pertaining to consumer awareness have been displayed in 1.55 lakh Rural Post
Offices and more than 25000 Urban Post Offices throughout the country.
The Department has launched a National Help Line. The
toll free number 1800-11-4000 facility is available to consumers from 9.30
A.M. to 5.30 P.M. on all the working days.
The Department has collaborated with Deutsche
Gesellschaft Fur Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) for providing technical
support regarding production and development of publicity material. Under
the GTZ Project, advertisement spots pertaining to electronic media in the
areas of MRP and consumer awareness regarding unhealthy trade practices were
produced. Under the Indo-German technical cooperation the publicity material
published by the Department has also been analysed and suggestions for new
publicity materials have been identified. A ‘Consumer Diary’ is also being
brought out under this Project.
Q. What is CORE Centre?
The Department has launched on March 15, 2005 Consumer on
Line Resources and Empowerment (CORE) Centre on the website www.core.nic.in for
consumer advocacy and online redressal of consumer grievances. Through the
various advertisements relating to consumer awareness, adequate publicity is
being given to the activities of CORE and its website so that consumers can take
the help of online counseling/guidance being provided through it.
Q. National Consumer Protection Authority?
Another important policy initiative by the Department is a
proposal for setting up a National Consumer Protection Authority, which would be
a proactive body, empowered to take suo moto action for better protection of the
interests of the consumers in general.