Consumer Awareness:

1. An Exhibition-cum-Seminar titled ‘Towards Food Security & Consumer Empowerment’ was organized on 17.5.2016 at Sri Krishna Memorial Hall, Patna to showcase the achievements of the Department of Consumer Affairs. The participants of the Exhibition, were National Test House, Bureau of Indian Standards, National Consumer Helpline, Legal Metrology Division and Voluntary Consumer Organizations like SAVERA, Consumer Online Foundation and CERC etc. The Conference was attended by approx. 3000 people.

2. Consumer Mela and Swachhata Pakhwada were organized/observed on 20th October, 2016 at Central Park, Connaught Place, New Delhi to bring consumers, companies, regulators and Department of Consumer Affairs on one platform for Consumer Awareness, grievance redressal and on the spot registration of grievances. At Consumer Mela, the Minister also launched a Consumer Empowerment week to be observed throughout the country. A short film on the Achievements of this Department titled ‘BADLAV’ was screened during the event apart from the Swachh Bharat Film of the Government of India. In addition to the Mela at Delhi, the Department participated in two month long Melas in Bihar viz. Shravani Mela in July and Sonepur Mela in November.

3. Support was extended to Voluntary Consumer Organizations (VCOs) for undertaking Consumer Protection and Awareness Raising e.g.Consumer Online Foundation, Delhi: To protect consumers from spurious or contraband medicines in the country. CONCERT, Chennai: For empowering rural consumer choice through information by conducting training camps. SAVERA, Delhi: For publishing and distributing ‘Grameen Upbhokta Magazine’ in the state of Bihar. VOICE Society, Delhi: For conducting comparative testing of 15 food products.

4. This year, an extensive Outdoor Publicity Plan is being carried out keeping in view the growing population in the urban and semi urban areas. The visibility of ‘Jago Grahak Jago’ Campaign in Bus-back panels, Railway Stations, Metro trains, Airports, Bus stands, Bus stations etc. has increased manifolds. Joint Publicity Campaign has been carried out in the Print Media with NPPA on Jan Pharma Samadhan.

Bureau of Indian standards

BIS has published around 19000 Standards till now. Out of these, 110 are mandatory standards and 30 are under Compulsory Registration Scheme of MEITY. With effect from 9th June 2016, BIS has extended its simplified procedure for grant of licence under the Product Certification Scheme to include products covered under compulsory certification except for the product requiring approval from other Statutory Bodies. Under the compulsory registration scheme for Electronics & IT products, as on 25th November 2016, a total of 7299 registrations have been granted by BIS to manufacturers located throughout the world. The following MoUs have been entered into :-

(a) between BIS and Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS)

(b) Mutual Recognition Agreement between BIS and Associacao Brasileira de Normas Tecnicas (ABNT), Brazil on 24th Oct 2016.

(c) Between BIS and Maruti Center for Excellence (MACE) on 18th May, 2016 to facilitate vendors of Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) in obtaining Management Systems Certification from BIS.

Grievance Redressal

1. Department of Consumer Affairs has launched an Integrated Grievance Redress Mechanism (INGRAM) portal for bringing all stakeholders such as consumers, Central and State Government Agencies, private companies, regulators on to a single platform for implementation in a phased manner.

2. Keeping in view the increasing number of calls to the National Consumer Helpline, the number of desks in the National Consumer Helpline has been increased to sixty.

3. As value added services, an easy to remember five-digit short code 14404 has been obtained and will be launched shortly. Similarly, a mobile application that allows a consumer to register and monitor complaints against defective goods/deficient services will also be launched soon.

4. New set of Hardware was supplied to 47 districts under the CONFONET scheme. The number of district for a using CONFONET increased to 560. Since inception, 1392482 cases have been reflected on the CONFONET portal. 332 personnel have been trained under CONFONET.

5. Two twitter handles (a) @consaff for addressing consumer grievances including e-commerce related and (b) @jagograhakjago for creating awareness amongst consumers were created during the year and are being regularly watched and important information pertaining to consumers disseminated

VIII. National Test House :

NTH has decided to start Testing of Packaged Drinking Water inclusive of Micro-Biological Testing in All Six Regional Centres. Out of these, Jaipur has already achieved the required Accreditation and has started functioning. NTH has started Testing of “IT Hardware Products” at Ghaziabad, Chennai and Kolkata. NTH has also decided to start Testing of LED Based Luminaries at Kolkata.

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