Consumer protection to be taught as a subject in undergraduate colleges in Bengal

The department has been conducting workshops in various schools and colleges for the past two years and found keen interest in a large number of students in the matter.

kolkata Updated: Mar 15, 2018 19:37 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times
Consumer Affairs,West Bengal,Redressal
Consumer disputes and protection may be offered as an optional subject in colleges in Bengal.(File Photo)

The Bengal government is planning to introduce ‘consumer disputes and protection’ as a subject at the undergraduate level in the state’s colleges, a move that the consumer affairs minister has claimed will be the first in the country.

The contours of the curriculum are being finalised by his department, said Bengal consumer affairs minister Sadhan Pande.

Read: Cabinet approves new Consumer Protection Bill

It will be offered as an optional subject.

“Once the plan is drawn up, we will take it up with the higher education department. Then we will move the chief minister’s office for clearance, following which it will be placed in the cabinet,” said Pande.

The minister said the trigger came after observing the keen interest among high school and college students, where the department conducted periodic workshops on consumer disputes and protection for the past couple of years.

“We found an increasing interest among the students to participate in such workshops and also engage themselves in interactions with those conducting the workshops. The present generation is quite sensitive about their consumer rights,” said the minister.

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An official of the department said the various aspects of consumer disputes and protection such as points that a consumer should keep in mind while going for a new product or service, types and levels of legal backup that a consumer has and how the state consumer affairs department functions in resolving consumer disputes will be some of the things included in the curriculum. “We will introduce case studies on how state consumer affairs department finally settled the disputes in favour of the consumers,” the official said.

The minister said that all attempts will be made to introduce the subject at the earliest.

“According to plans, initially the subject might be introduced as an option- additional subject. Later, it can be later introduced as one of the pass subjects at undergraduate level depending on the level of interest it generates among students,” said the minister.

The Consumer Affairs Department in West Bengal was set up in September 1999 for protecting consumer interest as envisaged by the Consumer Protection Act. 1986. The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, 21 Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, the Directorate of Legal Metrology and Directorate of Consumer Affairs and Fair Business Practices function under this department.

First Published: Mar 15, 2018 19:37 IST