To help build consumer awareness, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has written to HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar for incorporating a small module on consumer studies in school and college syllabi.
Paswan said the Department of Consumer Affairs has been taking many steps to promote and protect consumer rights, as provided under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986.
“One of the activities is strengthening of the consumer movement in India through creating awareness among all segments of consumers, including young school and college-going ones, and that can only be achieved by inclusion of a small module on consumer studies in the existing school and college syllabi,” Paswan said in the letter.
This will raise awareness levels and encourage greater involvement of students in the consumer movement, he added.
The minister requested Javadekar to consider his suggestion and give appropriate directions to the authorities concerned.
“My ministry will provide resource material and the inputs for the suggested module. It will be better to have a dialogue among officials from both the departments to work out the modalities for it,” he suggested.
The Department of Consumer Affairs is running a consumer awareness campaign through ‘Jago Grahak Jago’. It also runs a consumer helpline for redressal of grievances.
The ministry has also introduced a new Bill to replace the 30-year-old Consumer Protection Act. It has a provision for product liability which will make manufacturers liable for sub-standard goods and services.
The new Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in August 2015. A Parliamentary Standing Committee has examined it and submitted the report.
The panel has recommended stringent provisions, including a jail term and hefty penalty on celebrities endorsing misleading advertisements to protect consumer interest.