Project for Studying Consumer Protection Issues was a Study for the Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India, by Shaping Tomorrow in partnership with IIM Kashipur. In January, 2017 Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India asked Shaping Tomorrow and IIM, Kashipur to take up this project to study the consumer issues in India, to look at the changing nature of consumers, their rights & responsibilities, and current global perspectives & best practices for consumer protection, and advise on strategy and modalities for putting a strong and dynamic consumer protection system in place. The project was conducted jointly and a report submitted to the Government in August, 2018.
The primary objectives of the Projects were :
1) Study and assess the activities and various important/major initiatives/schemes of the Department of Consumer Affairs and various agencies/attached or subordinate offices associated with the Department, with a view to identify gaps in areas of Consumer Protection, Consumer Welfare, Legal Metrology, testing, standards, certification, etc. inter-alia, keeping in view the provisions of respective laws and to suggest measures to realize the potential envisaged in various legislations and suggest more effective implementation of laws and objectives.
2) Study and analyze the changing nature of consumers, consumer duties/obligations, behavior of neo-consumers, assessment of adequacy of present consumer laws to address these aspects, emerging international trends and likely future scenario with respect to consumer protection and identification of new areas for intervention, including those related to sustainable development goals..
3) Study other relevant laws, including Companies Act, Competition Act as well as activities of other Departments of the Government aimed at addressing consumer grievances and empowering consumers for suggesting harmonized and coordinated functioning with the D/o Consumer Affairs. International practices in this area may also be studied.
4) Identify and suggest measures for outreach to provide awareness to consumers in rural and tribal areas.
5) Suggest measures to realign the internal systems/processes in the Department so as to achieve the delivery of the above.
The study was conducted in collaboration with international experts and agencies. It took note of the unprecedented pace of change from business to social norms, and impact of emerging/ disruptive technologies including the five digital forces ( Social, Mobile, Big Data & Analytics, Cloud, Robotics), in the VUCA ( Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambitious) world of today. It is looking at possible implications of technologies like Artificial Intelligence becoming ubiquitous ( with robot Sophia even being granted citizenship of Saudi Arabia ) and 3 D Printing ( printing everything from shoes to houses, crockery to bridges, food to body parts like ears, limbs, kidney, hearts ); and impact on sectors like transport ( autonomous cars, traveling anywhere in the world in half an hour with Elon Musk's rockets ) and healthcare ( rise of preventive, predictive and personalized medication, with healthcare systems using genomics, nanotechnology, wearables etc , making hospitals as we know them obsolete and requiring doctors to be half data-scientists). It also intended to study the Fourth Industrial Revolution holistically, along with it's implications for markets and consumer protection issues.
Introducing technologies raised a number of other factors, including environmental, legal and societal. For example, introduction of Internet of Things has legal and political ramifications, and requires standardized regulation to meet privacy and security concerns. Similarly, technology for autonomous cars is advancing rapidly, but there are regulatory issues to consider, like what would happen if an autonomous car got in an accident, and how an autonomous vehicle would decide between an unavoidable accident that would potentially kill or hurt the passenger or a bystander. These issues need to be discussed and agreed upon with a strong legal framework that is consistent across states and countries. Sustainability is also becoming an increasingly important factor in development and use of technology, and calls for society-wide consumer awareness, with appropriate legal and regulatory framework.
The project also considered some other areas like a possible strategy for using Strategic Foresight for designing and putting in place futuristic consumer protection systems. New concepts like developing a Consumer Protection Index, designing smart regulation etc. were also explored.
Apart from these, Shaping Tomorrow is already involved in an ongoing research project on Consumer Protection Issues. It has also completed the Workshop project of ONGC - HR about "Managing People".
Managing People in Tomorrow's World - ONGC HR Workshop :
The Workshop has been conceived not as a training or capacity building exercise, but as an opportunity for senior ONGC officials to be exposed to latest global thinking on future of work and HR followed by interaction, to facilitate re-thinking and re-imagining of Human Resource Management, with HR transitioning from a support function to a strategic change driver through 'Managing People'.READ MORE...
Shaping Tomorrow will take up other various project initiatives which will help in betterment of society and people of India. These will, in turn, also help the Government of India and India's Development.
To know more about our projects and initiatives or to submit any proposal for project ideas, please contact us.