Fri, Jan 03|
HNGU Conventional Hall
National Workshop on Consumer Protection in Digital Era
The growing interdependence of the world economy and international character of the business practices have contributed to the development of universal emphasis on consumer rights, protection and promotion. Consumers, world over, ...
Time & Location
Jan 03, 2020, 8:30 AM GMT-11 – Jan 04, 2020, 5:30 PM GMT-11
HNGU Conventional Hall, Samalpati, Gujarat 384265, India
About the Event
Background of the Workshop
The growing interdependence of the world economy and international character of the business practices have contributed to the development of universal emphasis on consumer rights, protection and promotion. Consumers, world over, are demanding value for money in the form of quality goods and better services. Modern technological developments have no doubt made great impact on the quality, availability and safety of goods and services. But the fact of life is that the consumers are still victims of unscrupulous and exploitative practices.
The internet and evolving technologies have dramatically changed the way people do everyday activities like shopping, and banking. The common practice before was going to a physical store to learn more about a product, canvas, and finally purchase. Now, it’s possible to do everything in a few clicks using a smart device. People don’t even have to leave their homes.
Because of these innovations, the consumer buying behavior has changed. The internet has become an authoritative source of information for buyers and an avenue for marketers to advertise their products. To retain customers and increase sales, many brick-and-mortar stores have put up an online version of their shop to keep up with the demands of their customers.
Smartphones have also become a shopping assistant to most people. Large number of shoppers today use their devices while in the store so they can get more information about the item, compare prices with other brands, or look for better deals. People have come a long way from relying on salespeople for product information. Increasing use of smartphone or a computer, and logging into social media or pay online bills, buy gadgets from an ecommerce website, or withdraw money from an ATM, users are sitting at risk. In such activities, phishing attempt has also been increased for sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, Aadhar card information, and credit card details, often for malicious reasons through electronic communication. If user
has poor tech skills and trusting freely on any app or website, he/she may be victim of phishing or online cheating.
As per the RBI data, 11,997 cases related to ATM, credit and debit cards as well as Net banking frauds were reported by banks in 2015-16. This raises a concern for consumerism and lack of awareness about such malicious activities. Therefore, the workshop is required to build the capacity to identify such risk of phishing, unethical practices and grievance redressal.
The way business is conducted today has also changed better services and products are available today. Businesses have seen fit to adapt to these changes-and rightly so. Failing to adapt can only result to being left behind by competitors. Hence, aside from employing digital ads, brick and mortar stores are setting up their e-commerce websites or listing their products in online marketplaces.
With the expansion of digital technology new kinds of problems are being faced by consumers. Exploitation of consumers assumes numerous forms such as adulteration of food spurious drugs, dubious hire purchase plans, high prices, poor quality, deficient services, deceptive advertisements, hazardous products, black marketing and many more. Consumers lack choice as well as the skills and knowledge to be safe in the market. Recent reports indicate that large number of fake and spurious products are available in the market. Exploitation is more severe in the rural areas as the consumers are illiterate and ignorant of their rights. In addition, the information revolution has thrown newer kinds of challenges to the consumers like e commerce, cybercrimes, plastic money etc., which affect the consumer in even bigger way.
The Consumer Protection Act 1986 provides for six consumer rights and a three tier consumer grievance redressal mechanism. The Act provides for simple, quick justice based on principles of natural justice. However over the years due to a variety of reasons there has been enormous delay in disposal of complaints. Moreover with globalization and advancement of information technology the Act has not been able to address new challenges. Keeping in view the need to address new challenges a new Consumer Protection Bill has been introduced in the Parliament. The bill provides for
provision to ensure protection to the consumers in the area of e -commerce, product liability, online filing of complaints etc.
Consumer protection is a socio-economic programme to be pursued by the government as well as the business as the satisfaction of the consumers is in the interest of both. In this context, the government, however, has a primary responsibility to protect the consumers’ interests and rights through appropriate policy measures, legal structure and administrative framework. The best way to empower the consumers is to educate them and make them aware about their rights and obligations and this two day workshop intends to do the same.
Objectives of the Workshop:
At the end of the Seminar the participants will be able to:
• appreciate the need and importance of Consumer Protection in market economy;
• understand the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act and other legislations having an impact on consumer protection;
• enhance their knowledge and skill relating to services and products;
• help understand the process of grievance redressal and filing of complaints;
• build their capacity in the area to enable them to take the consumer movement forward.
• For Whom:
The Seminar is meant for officials from various departments (Consumer & Food, Education, Health, Transport, Rural development & PRIs etc.,), teachers, service providers, trainers and NGO’s. (Group may consist of 70-80 participants)
• Duration of the Workshop: Two Days (Jan 3 & 4, 2020)
• Venue: Convention Hall, Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University, Patan, Gujarat
• Certificate: At the end of the two day workshop the participants will be awarded certificates on completing the program