I Nils Is an Important Act winch seeks to provoke netter protection AT ten consumers. Interests of the consumers. In the present situation, consumer protection, though as old as consumer exploitation, has assumed greater importance and relevance. Now there are laws and policies which focus on consumer protection and welfare. Special emphasis is being given to consumer education so that people become aware about their rights and responsibilities as consumers and how to redress their grievances.
In India various Acts intended to protect the consumers directly or indirectly against efferent forms of exploitation were enacted from time to time. However, except for the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRS.) Act, 1969, all the other Acts were mainly punitive and preventive in nature. In spite of these Acts the consumers did not have any effective mechanism or institutional arrangements for the speedy redressed of their grievances and also the lack of effective popular movement isolated the consumer and his plight only increased.
Seeing the pressure mounting from various consumer protection groups and the consumers themselves the Parliament enacted the Consumer Protection Act in 1986. Consumer Awareness in India The Consumer Protection Act enacted on 24th December, 1986 is a benevolent, unique and highly progressive piece of social welfare legislation providing for simple, speedy and less expensive remedy for the redressed of consumer grievances in relation to defective goods and deficient services.
Consumer Protection Act is a weapon in the hands of consumers to fight against exploitation by traders, manufacturers and sellers on one hand and providers of services on the other. The Act provides effective, people oriented, broad based and efficient remedy to nonusers against unfair dealings and exploitation. It was enacted with an objective to provide better protection of the interests of the consumers and to make provision for the establishment of Consumer Councils and other authorities for the settlement of consumer disputes.
Unlike other laws, which are basically punitive or preventive in nature the provisions of the Act are compensatory. It is a matter of great satisfaction that we can legitimately boast that we now have in our country a statute, which provides more effective protection to the consumers than any corresponding escalation in force in countries, which are considered to be much more advanced and industrialized. The Act contemplates establishment of adjudicatory and advisory structures in the form of consumer foray and council structure respectively for the protection of consumers’ rights.
It extends to the whole of India except the State of Gamma and Kashmir which has its own Consumer Protection Act. The Act applies to all goods and services unless any good or service is expressly excluded by the Central Government by notification. The Act extends to all sectors -public, private or cooperative. The Consumer Protection Act is an alternative and additional remedy to the remedies already available to the aggrieved persons/consumers by way of civil suit.
To provide cheap, speedy and simple redressed to consumer disputes, three tier quasi-Judicial machinery is set up at each District, State and National levels called District Forums, State Consumer Disputes Redressed Commission and National Consumer Disputes Redressed Commission respectively. The need for consumer education has increased over time as today the consumers operate in an increasingly complex marketplace and are faced with increasing mounts of information and an expanding choice of complex products and services.
As a consequence they are more exposed to fraud and require a wider range of skills and knowledge than ever before. Consumer education is a Potent tool for empowering consumers as it equips consumers with information and skills necessary to meet challenges posed by the markets. Through education, consumers obtain information about the products and the services and empower them and make them aware of their rights and responsibilities and helps to ensure their welfare.
Consumer education improves the position of the consumers in the marketplace and helps them make informed choice and thereby enhance their welfare. It also contributes to the well-functioning of the markets by promoting effective competition. It is thus in the common interest of governments, consumers and businesses to empower the individual consumer as much as possible through awareness of his/her rights, knowledge of how to defend himself against various pitfalls and to cope with the subsequent consequences, as well as the ability to act proactively in the marketplace
Available literature indicates that consumer education takes many forms and takes place in many different settings, from formal courses in schools or universities to informal experience in families, communities and workplaces. Three forms of consumer education are being implemented in COED member countries and some non-member economies which are as follows: Formal education: – refers to learning through a programmed of instruction in an educational institution, adult training centre or in the workplace, and is generally recognized by a qualification or a artifice.
All countries acknowledge that children and young people are particularly important targets of consumer education as theses age groups account for an ever- increasing share of family consumption. At the same time they are likely to be particularly vulnerable to making unwise Decisions and or falling victim to aggressive marketing. The fact that both parents often work outside the home has led to a change in the role of parents in consumer training. Lifelong education:- There is wide consensus that learning, which is of significance to individuals as well as to communities and societies, must extend beyond formal education.
Lifelong education covers all purposeful learning activity “from the cradle to the grave” which aims to improve the knowledge and competencies of all individuals who participate in learning activities. A prerequisite for lifelong learning is a sound foundation in basic educational competencies acquired in formal education and opportunities for further learning once persons leave initial education and training. Practically, this includes education available at community centers as ell as loosely organized education. Argent coeducation:- It raters to a range AT coeducational satellites gleaned Tort particular consumer groups that are considered vulnerable (e. G. Women, the disabled and the poor) to help protect them against fraudulent or deceptive practices in the marketplace or other specific consumer-related issues. Specific groups which are targeted in various countries in their major initiatives are: young Children, the elderly, women, people with a limiting or longstanding illness or handicapped, populations in rural areas, unemployed persons and tourists. These three concepts re not mutually exclusive.
Lifelong education is a broad concept that encompasses both formal and targeted education. At the same time, several countries implement formal and/or targeted education but do not Support the lifelong learning concept. Lifelong and targeted consumer education may be “non-formal” or “informal Framework for Consumer Education Most countries have a centralized institutional framework for consumer education, under which the central government develops consumer education policies which reach local areas through local governments or through regional networks.