The Consumer In The Marketplace

On the market, consumers are often exploited. Individual customers are often placed in a sensitive situation. The consumer movement is an attempt to improve the situation.

Consumer Movement

The consumer movement emerged as a result of customer unhappiness with the sellers’ unfair business tactics. There was no legal structure in place to protect customers from exploitation in the marketplace.

It took several years for organizations in India and throughout the globe to raise public awareness.

Food shortages, black marketing, hoarding, and adulteration of edible oil in India in the 1960s sparked an organised consumer movement.

Until the 1970s, consumer organisations were mostly concerned with publishing articles and organising exhibits. They organised consumer groups to investigate ration store fraud.

This movement was successful in putting pressure on commercial enterprises as well as the government to reform business practices that were unfair and against the interests of consumers as a whole.

Finally, the Indian government took a significant stride forward with the passage of the Consumer Protection Act (COPRA) in 1986.

Consumer Rights

  1. A consumer has various rights, including
    (1) the right to safety,
    (ii) the right to be informed,
    (iii) the right to select,
    (iv) the right to seek redress, and
    (v) the right to represent.
  2. Consumer Forums or Consumer Protection Councils are a variety of organisations in the region. They provide guidance to clients on how to file consumer court cases. The government also provides financial aid to them in order to promote awareness.
  3. Under COPRA, a three-tier quasi-judicial system for resolving consumer issues has been established at the district, state, and national levels.
  4. The United Nations approved the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection in 1985. ‘On a global scale, it has become the foundation for consumer action.’ Consumer International now comprises approximately 250 member organisations from 120 countries.

Become Well-Informed Consumers

While customers are aware of their rights when purchasing products and services, they will be able to discriminate and make educated decisions. Customers who want their rights must also fulfill some responsibilities.

Following a transaction, everyone must insist on a cash memo.

When buying anything, everyone should be attentive about the quality of the goods as well as the guarantee of products and services.

While buying, look for logos and certifications such as ISI and Agmark.

COPRA is not without flaws. The consumer redressal procedure is growing more complicated, costly, and time-consuming.

Taking The Consumer Movement Forward

  1. The 24th of December has been declared as National Consumers’ Day in India. On this day in 1986, the Indian Parliament passed the Consumer Protection Act.
  2. In India, there are around 700 consumer organisations, but only approximately 20-25 are well-organized and running well.
  3. Only with the active participation of consumers can consumer movements be successful. It necessitates a voluntary effort and struggle on the part of everyone.

NCERT Notes for Class 10 Social Science (Economics) Chapter 5 -Consumer Rights

You will explore consumer rights in the last chapter of Economics in the context of the Indian market. CBSE Notes Class 10 Economics Chapter 5 on Consumer Rights explains that the understanding of being an educated consumer evolved as a result of the consumer movement and the active engagement of people over a long period of time in their battles. Additionally, this chapter discusses a few organisations that assist customers in a variety of ways. Finally, it discusses several crucial concerns confronting India’s consumer movement.

CBSE Class 10 Social Science notes will assist students in studying the topic thoroughly and clearly.

These CBSE Class 10 Social Science notes were written by subject experts who made the study material very basic, both in terms of language and format.

NCERT Question Answers for Class 10 Social Science (Economics) Chapter 5

Q1. Why are rules and regulations required in the marketplace? Illustrate with a few examples.

Answer: 

(i) In the market, there are many ways to take advantage of consumers.

There are many ways to take advantage of consumers. Traders sometimes do things that aren’t fair, like selling shops that weigh less than they should, adding fees that weren’t mentioned before, or selling items that have been tampered with or are broken.

(ii) Markets don’t work fairly when there are a few powerful producers and a lot of small, spread out buyers. This happens when big companies make these things. With their huge amounts of money, power, and reach, these companies can change the market in many ways. In order to get people to buy something, sometimes the media spreads false information. In these situations, laws and regulations are needed to protect consumers in the marketplace.

Q2. What factors gave birth to the consumer movement in India? Trace its evolution.

Answer:

  • In India, the consumer movement started as a social force that wanted to protect and promote the interests of consumers in the face of unethical and unfair business practises.
  • In the 1960s, widespread food shortages, stockpiling, black markets, and tainted cooking oil led to an organised consumer movement.
  • Until the 1970s, most of what consumer organisations did was publish articles and hold exhibitions. They set up consumer groups to look into fraud in ration stores and overcrowding in passenger transportation on the roads.
  • This campaign was successful in getting businesses and the government to change the way they run their businesses.
  • The Indian government finally made a big step forward in 1986 when it passed COPRA. India’s National Consumers’ Day is on December 24. This is because the Consumer Protection Act (COPRA) went into effect on December 24, 1986.

Q3. Explain the need for consumer consciousness by giving two examples. 

Answer:

  • When dealers and manufacturers started doing unfair things like charging outrageous prices, selling contaminated goods, making things weigh less than they should, etc., it became clear that consumers needed to know more.
  • It became very important for consumers to be aware when dishonest dealers started putting people’s health at risk by mixing up edible oils, milk, butter, ghee, and other foods.

Q4. Mention a few factors which cause exploitation of consumers.

Answer: Consumer exploitation is caused by a number of factors 

  • Few consumers know what their rights and responsibilities are.
  • Limited supply: When there aren’t enough goods to meet demand, prices go up. The traders take advantage of this situation. They start to save these things. Because of this, consumers are taken advantage of.
  • Low literacy or lack of knowledge: Most people don’t know how to judge different kinds of products. Low-quality or fake items cost less to make, and it’s easy to trick a consumer, whether they can read or not. When customers don’t look at the retail price on the package of a product, merchants often add extra costs. In places where people don’t know their rights or about the COPRA, they are not protected from being taken advantage of. Also, retailers get out of taking responsibility by blaming the manufacturer. Customers feel helpless in this situation.
  • Not enough competition: Markets don’t work fairly when there are only a few strong producers and a lot of small, spread-out buyers. This happens when big companies make these things. These companies have a lot of money and power, so they can change the market in many ways. Because of this, consumers are also taken advantage of.

Q5. What is the rationale behind the enactment of Consumer Protection Act 1986?

Answer: The Consumer Protection Act was enacted in 1986 to provide customers with more protection.

  • There were no laws to protect customers from sellers’ unethical actions, and sellers used a variety of unethical methods.
  • It was thought that the consumer had to be careful when buying a product or service.
  • In the marketplace, there were widespread food shortages, hoarding, black marketing, and adulteration of food and edible oil, to name a few unethical and unfair practises.

As a result, the Consumer Protection Act was passed on December 24, 1986, to protect the interests of consumers.

Q6. Describe some of your duties as consumers if you visit a shopping complex in your locality.

Answer: Customers who want to use their rights must additionally comply with the following obligations:

  • We have to make sure we get a cash memo after every purchase.
  • When we buy something, we need to think about both the quality of the item and the guarantee that comes with it.
  • We should buy certified goods from ISI, AGMARK, and other places.
  • Consumers should form Consumer Awareness Organizations in their communities to help and teach others.
  • Consumers need to know what their rights are and be able to use them.

Q7. Suppose you buy a bottle of honey and a biscuit packet. Which logo or mark you will have to look for and why?

Answer: Look for a logo or mark when buying a bottle of honey or a pack of cookies. There are two choices: ISI or Agmark. These logos and certifications give consumers confidence in the quality of the goods and services they buy. These marks can only be used by producers who meet the quality standards set by the organisations that give these certifications. If one of these symbols is on a bottle of honey or a package of cookies, it means that the product is of high quality.

Q8. What legal measures were taken by the government to empower the consumers in India?

Answer: In India, the government has taken numerous legal steps to empower consumers.

  • The first and most important is the COPRA, which was set up in 1986.
  • Then, in October 2005, the Right to Information Act was passed, giving the public access to all information about how government departments work.
  • If a consumer’s complaint is turned down at the district level, COPRA gives him the right to appeal to state and federal courts.

So, consumers have the right to go to the consumer court with a complaint.

Q9. Mention some of the rights of consumers and write a few sentences on each.

Answer: 

  1. Everyone has the right to safety. As consumers, we have the right to be protected from the marketing and delivery of goods and services that are dangerous to people’s lives and property. All rules and regulations must be followed by producers. When it comes to safety, many of the things and services we buy require us to be extra careful. For example, pressure cookers have a safety valve that can cause an accident if it stops working. The LPG gas cylinder should be sealed and not let any gas out.
  2. Right to be informed: When we buy something, we look at the packaging for information. These things include the ingredients, the price, the batch number, the date it was made, the date it goes bad, and the location of the manufacturer. We have a right to know this information so that if a product turns out to be bad, customers can file a complaint and ask for compensation or a replacement. Recently, this right has been expanded to include more government services. In October 2005, the Indian government passed the RTI (Right to Information) Act, which gives citizens access to all information about how government departments work.
  3. Right to choose: Any customer who gets a service in any way, regardless of age, gender, or type of service, has the right to decide whether or not to keep getting the service. Consumers have the right to get help if they are taken advantage of or treated unfairly in a business transaction. If a consumer gets hurt, he or she has the right to get money depending on how bad the injury is.
  4. Right to be represented: COPRA gave us the right to be our own lawyers in consumer court. Local groups include Consumer Forums and Consumer Protection Councils. They tell customers how to go to consumer courts to file a lawsuit. The government also gives them money to help them in their efforts to raise awareness.

Q10. By what means can the consumers express their solidarity?

Answer: Consumers can support each other by joining consumer groups that write articles or put on shows to protest how traders take advantage of them. These groups tell people how to talk to a consumer court and even stand in court for their clients. The government gives money to these groups so that more people will know about them. If everyone joins in, consumer solidarity will be even stronger.

Q11. Critically examine the progress of consumer movement in India.

Answer: India’s consumer movement has made some progress, both in terms of the number of organised groups and the things they do. There are more than 700 consumer groups in the country right now, but only about 20 to 25 are well-organized and known for their work. But because customers are often forced to hire lawyers, the process of getting their money back is getting harder, more expensive, and takes more time. For these things, you need time to do things like file paperwork and go to court hearings. Most purchases don’t come with cash memos, so it’s hard to find proof. Also, most purchases at the market are small retail transactions. Existing rules are also not clear about how consumers who have been hurt by defective products should be compensated. It takes time to file cases, go to court hearings, hire attorneys, and do other things.

Q12. Match the following:

(i) Availing details of ingredients

(a) Right to safety of a product

(ii) Agmark

(b) Dealing with consumer cases

(iii) Accident due to faulty engine

(c) Certification of edible oil and cereals in a scooter

(iv) District Consumer Court

(d) Agency that develops standards for goods and services

(v) Consumers International

(e) Right to information

(vi) Bureau of Indian Standards

(f) Global-level institution of consumer welfare organizations

Answer: (i)-(e) (ii)-(c) (iii)-(a) (iv)-(b) (v)-(f) (vi)-(d).

Q13. Say True or False.

(i) COPRA applies only to goods.

(it) India is one of the many countries in the world which has exclusive courts for

consumer redressal.

(iii) When a consumer feels that he has been exploited, he must file a case in the

District Consumer Court.

(iv) It is worthwhile to move to consumer courts only if the damages incurred are of high value.

(v) Hallmark is the certification maintained for standardization of jewelry.

(vi) The consumer redressal process is very simple and quick.

(vii) A consumer has the right to get compensation depending on the degree of the damage.

Answer: (i) False, (ii) True, (iii) True, (iv) True, (v) True, (vi) False, (vii) True.

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