India is preparing to introduce a Right to Repair framework, allowing people to easily repair products like mobile phones, tablets, consumer durables, and automobiles/automobile equipment. The idea is to make people self-efficient while contributing to a sustainable environment.
Right to Repair Law Coming in India?
The discussion to introduce a Right to Repair framework was held on July 13 and was chaired by Smt. Nidhi Khare, Additional Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs in India. The discussion also included DoCA, State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission, and Consumer Activists & Consumer Organizations as members.
The meeting talked about the main issue, which is how companies do not provide a manual for people to easily repair their products. It was also noted that manufacturers are advertising a culture of ‘planned obsolescence,’ which involves designing a product that doesn’t last long and hence, needs to be replaced too quickly. This not only costs people more but also increases the amount of e-waste.
A press statement by the Department of Consumer Affairs, states, “The aim of developing a framework on right to repair in India is to empower consumers and product buyers in the local market, harmonize trade between the original equipment manufacturers and the third-party buyers and sellers, emphasize on developing sustainable consumption of products and reduction in e-waste.“
A Right to Repair law will help curb this issue. It will provide people with more freedom to repair the products when needed, economically. And this can be a breeze in India for “there exists a vibrant repair service sector and third party repairs, including those who cannibalize the products for providing spare parts for the circular economy.”
The proposed framework is based on the concept of the LiFE movement (Lifestyle for Environment), recently launched by PM Narendra Modi. It encourages reusing and recycling various consumer products.
This comes after the introduction of the Right to Repair initiative by the U.S.A, U.K, and European Union. Following this, brands like Apple and Samsung allowed users to easily repair their devices at home at reasonable prices. India’s step in this direction could further ease the process for people who can comfortably do so. As the Ministry put it, it will be “a game-changer both for the sustainability of the products and as well as serve as a catalyst for employment generation through Aatmanirbhar Bharat by allowing third-party repairs.“
Since this meeting is just the tip of the iceberg, we still have more details to arrive, including when and if a law is passed and how this will be tackled in India. We shall get more details as discussions on this move ahead. So, stay tuned. Do you think a Right to Repair law is what we need? Do share your thoughts on this in the comments below.