NCERT Class 10 Economics Consumer Rights
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This chapter proposes to discuss the issue of consumer rights within the context of the ways markets operate in our country. There are many aspects of unequal situations in a market and poor enforcement of rules and regulations. Hence, there is a need to sensitise learners and encourage them to participate in the consumer movement. This chapter provides case histories – how some consumers were exploited in a real life situationand how legal institutions helped consumers in getting compensated and in upholding their rights as consumers. The case histories would enable the students to link these narratives to their life experiences. We have to enable students to understand that the awareness of being a wellinformed consumer arose out of consumer movement and active participation of people through their struggles over a long period. This chapter also provides details of a few organisations helping consumers in differentways. Finally it ends with some critical issues of the consumer movement in India.
Aspects of Teaching / Sources of Information This chapter has questions, case studies and activities. It would be preferred that students discuss these in groups orally. Some of these could be answered in writing individually. While carrying out each activity you could start with a brainstorming session about the activity. Similarly there are many opportunities for role-play in this chapter and this could be a useful way to share their experiences and understand the issues at a deeper level. Making posters collectively is another way to think about these issues. This lesson contains activities,which require visits – visit to consumer protection councils, consumer organisations, consumer court, retail shops, market places, etc. Organise the visits to maximise learners’ experience. Have a discussion with them about the purpose of the visit, things they need to do beforehand and things that need to be collected and the task (report/ project / article, etc.) they would carry out after the visit. As part of this chapter, the learners may do letter-writing andspeaking activities. We may have to be sensitive to the language aspect of exercises.
This chapter contains materials collected from authenticated websites, books, newspapers and magazines. For example, http:// www.mca.gov.in is a website of Central Government Ministry of Consumer Affairs. Another website www.cuts-international.org is the website of a consumer organisation working in India for more than 20 years. It publishes avariety of materials to create consumer awareness in India. They need to be sharedamong learners so that they can also collect materials as part of their activities. For example, case histories were taken from newspaper clippings and consumers who fought in consumer courts. Let learners collect and read such materials from different sources: consumer protection councils, consumer courts and internet.
THE CONSUMER IN THE MARKETPLACE
We participate in the market both as producers and consumers. As producers of goods and services we could be working in any of the sectors discussed earlier such as agriculture, industry, or services. Consumers participate in the market when they purchase goods and services that they need. These are the final goods that people as consumers use. In the preceding chapters we discussed the need for rules and regulations or steps that would promote development. These could be for the protection of workers in the unorganised sector or to protect people from high interest rates charged by moneylenders in the informal sector. Similarly, rules and regulations are also required for protecting the environment. For example, moneylenders in the informal sector that you read about in Chapter 3 adopt various tricks to bind the borrower: they could make the producer sell the produce to them at a low rate in return for a timely loan; they could force a small farmer like Swapna to sell her land to pay back the loan. Similarly, many people who work in the unorganised sector have to work at a low wage and accept conditions that are not fair and are also often harmful to their health. To prevent such exploitation, we have talked of rules and regulations for their protection. There are organisations that have struggled for long to ensure that these rules are followed.
1. Why are rules and regulations required in the marketplace? Illustrate with a few examples.
2. What factors gave birth to the consumer movement in India? Trace its evolution.
3. Explain the need for consumer consciousness by giving two examples.
4. Mention a few factors which cause exploitation of consumers.
5. What is the rationale behind the enactment of Consumer Protection Act 1986?
6. Describe some of your duties as consumers if you visit a shopping complex in your locality.
7. Suppose you buy a bottle of honey and a biscuit packet. Which logo or mark you will have to look for and why?
8. What legal measures were taken by the government to empower the consumers in India?
9. Mention some of the rights of consumers and write a few sentences on each.
10. By what means can the consumers express their solidarity?
11. Critically examine the progress of consumer movement in India.
12. Say True or False.
(i) COPRA applies only to goods.
(ii) 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 standardisation of jewellry.
(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.
Please refer to attached file for NCERT Class 10 Economics Consumer Rights