The National Consumer Day 2023, celebrated by the Department of Consumer Affairs in New Delhi, marked a pivotal moment in India’s commitment to consumer protection and grievance redressal through technology. The event was graced by the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Textiles, and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal, who emphasized the crucial role of customer satisfaction in the country’s development.
In his inaugural address, Minister Goyal underscored the importance of consumer care, echoing the sentiments expressed by the Honorable Prime Minister during the B20 summit. He emphasized that the progress of the nation is intricately linked to ensuring consumer satisfaction. Applauding the Department’s initiatives, he highlighted the launch of the e-Jagriti portal, VC facility for NCDRC, drone testing in NTH, National Consumer Helpline 2.0 in 17 languages, and a significant increase in calls, showcasing the government’s efforts to build consumer trust.
The Minister commended the release of the “Guidelines for Prevention and Regulation of Dark Patterns, 2023,” emphasizing the need for comprehensive discussions on AI and consumer protection. These guidelines, outlining 13 specific dark patterns, aim to create a fair and transparent marketplace for consumers.
Acknowledging the efforts of Honorable Justice Shri Amreshwar Pratap Sahi, the newly appointed President of the National Commission, Minister Goyal urged collaborative strategies with consumer commissions to leverage technology for swift case resolution. He praised the Department’s proactive measures in controlling food inflation and the establishment of 140 new Price Monitoring Centres, protecting consumers from price fluctuations.
To ensure a better consumer future, Minister Goyal urged the Department to focus on creating awareness, providing choices, efficient grievance redressal, and continuous feedback. On the occasion, he inaugurated several crucial facilities and laboratories, emphasizing the commitment to enhancing consumer protection.
President of NCDRC, Hon’ble Justice Shri Amreshwar Pratap Sahi, highlighted the importance of ‘Upbhokta Devo Bhava’ and stressed the need for widespread consumer protection across the nation. He advocated for accessible e-filing of cases, ensuring even technologically challenged consumers can seek justice through e-daakhil.
Minister of State for Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, commended the Department’s efforts in automation and stressed the need for effective disposal of cases to protect and promote consumer rights in the era of rapid technological development and e-commerce growth.
The Secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs, Mr. Rohit Kumar Singh, outlined recent achievements and initiatives, emphasizing the department’s commitment to integrating technology for expedited case resolution and effective governance.
The technical sessions delved into crucial themes such as Artificial Intelligence & the protection of consumer rights, the role of technology in speedy case disposal, and the impact of Dark Patterns on consumer choices. The event witnessed the participation of key stakeholders, including senior officers, Presidents and Members of Consumer Commissions, Vice-Chancellors of National Law Universities, and representatives from States/UTs, industry associations, and consumer organizations.
National Consumer Day 2023 not only celebrated achievements but also set the stage for a future where technology plays a pivotal role in safeguarding consumer rights and promoting a fair and transparent marketplace.