Govt throws open e-Jagriti portal, video access to NCDRC to give consumers more clout

New Delhi, Dec 25: The government has thrown open the e-Jagriti portal and video conferencing (VC) facility for the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission and state consumer commissions as part of the focus on leveraging technology for consumer protection and grievance redressal.

Launching the facilities as part of the National Consumer Day celebrations, Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal said, the e-Jagriti portal, VC facility for NCDRC, drone testing in NTH, National Consumer Helpline 2.0 in 17 languages, exemplify the Indian government’s efforts to build consumer trust.

The Minister urged the Department of Consumer Affairs to focus on making Jagriti a “jan andolan” by spreading awareness, providing choices, efficient grievance redressal to consumers and getting continuous feedback from them.

He appreciated the fact that number of calls received at national consumer helpline had shot up from from 10,000 in 2013 to 1,32,209 till November this year

The minister urged the Department of Consumer Affairs to collaboratively strategise with consumer commissions in leveraging technology to eliminate old pending cases entirely and address new cases more swiftly and in real-time.

However, the minister also cautioned that along with this technological expansion comes an increase in associated risks. “The ongoing conversation regarding subjects such as AI and consumer protection, including the mitigation of dark patterns, highlights the imperative for a comprehensive stakeholder discussion,” he said.

Goyal commended the recent release of the “Guidelines for Prevention and Regulation of Dark Patterns, 2023” by the Department of Consumer Affairs. These guidelines, outlining 13 specific dark patterns, aim to prevent and regulate manipulative practices, fostering a fair and transparent marketplace for consumers.

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