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‘Achche Din’ For You As ‘Consumer Protection Act, 2019’ Comes Into Force

The Act provides for punishment for manufacture or sale of adulterant/spurious goods.

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NEW DELHI: The Consumer Protection Act, 2019 came into force yesterday. Briefing the media about the new law through a video conference in New Delhi yesterday, Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said that this new Act will empower consumers and help them in protecting their rights through its various notified Rules and provisions.

He said the Act includes the establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority, CCPA to promote, protect and enforce the rights of consumers.

The CCPA will be empowered to conduct investigations into violations of consumer rights and institute complaints or prosecution, order a recall of unsafe goods and services, order discontinuance of unfair trade practices and misleading advertisements, impose penalties on manufacturers or endorsers or publishers of misleading advertisements.


Paswan said that the rules for the prevention of unfair trade practice by e-commerce platforms will also be covered under this Act. The gazette notification for establishment of the Central Consumer Protection Authority and rules for prevention of unfair trade practice in e-commerce are under publication.

Details:

The new Act provides for simplifying the consumer dispute adjudication process in the consumer commissions, which include, among others,  empowerment of the State and District Commissions to review their own orders, enabling a consumer to file complaints electronically and file complaints in consumer Commissions that have jurisdiction over the place of his residence, videoconferencing for hearing and deemed admissibility of complaints if the question of admissibility is not decided within the specified period of 21 days.


The Minister said an Alternate Dispute Resolution mechanism of Mediation has been provided in the new Act.  This will simplify the adjudication process.

A complaint will be referred by a Consumer Commission for mediation, wherever scope for early settlement exists and parties agree for it.

The mediation will be held in the Mediation Cells to be established under the aegis of the Consumer Commissions.  There will be no appeal against settlement through mediation.

The Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rules, there will be no fee for filing cases up to Rs. 5 lakh.

There are provisions for filing complaints electronically, credit of amount due to unidentifiable consumers to the Consumer Welfare Fund (CWF).  The State Commissions will furnish information to Central Government on a quarterly basis on vacancies, disposal, the pendency of cases and other matters.


The New Act also introduces the concept of product liability and brings within its scope, the product manufacturer, product service provider and product seller, for any claim for compensation.

The Act provides for punishment by a competent court for manufacture or sale of adulterant/spurious goods.

The court may, in case of a first conviction, suspend any licence issued to the person for a period of up to two years, and in case of second or subsequent conviction, cancel the licence.

Under this new Act, besides general rules, there are Central Consumer Protection Council Rules, Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission Rules, Appointment of President & Members in State/District Commission Rules, Mediation Rules, Model Rules and E-Commerce Rules and Consumer Commission Procedure Regulations, Mediation Regulations and Administrative control over State Commission & District Commission Regulations.

Paswan said that the Central Consumer Protection Council Rules are provided for constitution of the Central Consumer Protection Council, an advisory body on consumer issues, headed by the Union Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution with the Minister of State as Vice Chairperson and 34 other members from different fields.

The Council, which has a three-year tenure, will have Minister-in-charge of consumer affairs from two States from each region- North, South, East, West, and NER. There is also provision for having working groups from amongst the members for specific tasks.

In his concluding remarks, Shri Paswan said that in earlier Consumer Protection Act, 1986a single-point access to justice was given, which is also time-consuming.

The new act has been introduced after many amendments to provide protection to buyers not only from traditional sellers but also from the new e-commerce retailers/platforms. He said that this Act will prove a significant tool in protecting consumer rights in the country.

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AGENTS OF CHANGE

World Cotton Day: Smriti Irani Launches First-Ever Brand Logo For Indian Cotton

India’s premium Cotton would now be known as ‘Kasturi Cotton’ in the world cotton trade.

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NEW DELHI: Smriti Zubin Irani, Union Minister of Textiles and Women & Child Development launched the 1st ever Brand & Logo for Indian Cotton on 2nd World Cotton Day on October 7, 2020, through Video Conferencing.

India’s premium Cotton would now be known as ‘Kasturi Cotton’ in the world cotton trade.

The Kasturi Cotton brand will represent Whiteness, Brightness, Softness, Purity, Luster, Uniqueness and Indianness.

Speaking on this occasion, Irani said that this is a much-awaited moment that TODAY the Indian Cotton has been endowed with a Brand and Logo. This event becomes more important as the 2nd World Cotton Day is being celebrated world over today.


The Minister recounted the importance of Cotton in the Indian economy:

Cotton is one of the principal commercial crops of India and it provides livelihood to about 6o lakh cotton farmers.

India is the 2nd largest cotton producer and the largest consumer of cotton in the world.


India produces about 6.00 million tons of cotton every year which is about 23% of the world cotton.

India produces about 51% of the total organic cotton production of the world, which demonstrates India’s effort towards sustainability.

Smt. Irani said that to ensure sustainability, integrity and end-to-end traceability of the organic products, a certification system based on comparable international standards verified through an internationally acceptable institutional system is required to be put in place.

Accordingly, the Ministry of Textiles through APEDA under Ministry of Commerce and Industry has prescribed a certification system for organic Cotton which will be introduced in phases in the entire textile value chain.

Similarly, prescribing a certification system for non-organic Cotton has also been taken up with APEDA so that usages of cotton can be suitably augmented.


The Minister stated that Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) made ever highest Minimum Support Price (MSP) operation of cotton and hopeful that during the new cotton season, the procurement under MSP will be increased.

CCI has opened 430 procurement centres in all cotton-growing states and payments are being made digitally to farmers’ account within 72 hours.

Further, leveraging the technology, a mobile app, “Cott-Ally” has been developed by CCI for providing latest news regarding weather condition, Crop situation and best farm practices.

A discount of Rs.300/- per candy is being offered by CCI in its regular sale to MSME mills, Khadi and Village industry, Cooperative sector mills to enhance their competitiveness and efficiency.

It was also stated that cotton may be used across all dimension of Technical Textiles.

Further, Irani intimated that the government has passed bills for the welfare of the farmers, which also be beneficial to the industries.

The minister also attended the inaugural session of the webinar organised by TEXPROCIL and CITI on the theme of “NEW-LOOK COTTON” to facilitate the exchange of ideas on the emerging scenarios in cotton usage and application.

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AGENTS OF CHANGE

Strategically Important Atal Tunnel In Rohtang Open Now

It is the world’s longest tunnel above an altitude of 3,000 metres.

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MANALI (Himachal Pradesh): Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated the strategically important all-weather Atal Tunnel at Rohtang in Himachal Pradesh. PM Modi was accompanied by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Jai Ram Thakur, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur, Chief of Defence Staff, CDS Gen Bipin Rawat and Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane.

Earlier CDS General Rawat and Army Chief General Naravane received the Prime Minister at the South Portal of Atal Tunnel of Rohtang. Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Jai Ram Thakur received the PM at Sase Helipad at Manali.

Atal Tunnel, the longest highway tunnel in the world was built by the Border Roads Organisation. The tunnel reduces the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 km and the travel time by four to five hours. The 9.02-km tunnel connects Manali to Lahaul-Spiti valley throughout the year, the valley was earlier cut off for about six months every year due to heavy snowfall.


The Atal Bihari Vajpayee government had taken the decision to construct a strategic tunnel below the Rohtang Pass on June 3, 2000, and the foundation stone for the access road to the south portal of the tunnel was laid on May 26, 2002.

In December 2019, the Government decided to name the Rohtang Tunnel as Atal Tunnel in honour of the former Prime Minister and scholar Atal Bihari Vajpayee who had passed away the previous year.

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In the absence of protocols, devices would not be able to understand the electronic signals that they send while communicating over network connections. Nowadays, protocols use packet switching techniques to send and receive messages in the form of packets. These messages are again divided, collected, and reassembled at their destination. Numerous computer network protocols serve defined purpose and environment.

Highlights:

  1. The Atal Tunnel is constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 3500-4000 crores.
  2. It reduces the distance between Leh and Manali by 46 km, the tunnel will bring down the driving time by around 4 hours.
  3. The BRO built this tunnel in the shape of a horseshoe.
  4. It is the world’s longest tunnel above an altitude of 3,000 metres.
  5. It is a 10.5-metre wide single tube bi-lane tunnel with a fireproof emergency egress tunnel built into the main tunnel itself.
  6. With the help of this tunnel, connectivity to the remote border areas of Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh will easily be possible, regardless of the weather conditions.
  7. The opening of the Atal Tunnel will bring a boost in tourism activities in the Lahaul-Spiti region and will also simultaneously create more employment opportunities for locals in the area.
  8. The tunnel also provides a telephone facility on every 150 meters, a fire hydrant on every 60 meters, an emergency exit on every 500 meters, a turning cavern on every 2.2 km, an air quality monitoring on every 1 km, a broadcasting system, and an automatic incident detection system with CCTV cameras on every 250 meters.
  9. The construction of this tunnel consumed 14,508 metric tonnes of steel, 2,37,596 metric tonnes of cement, and 14 lakh cubic meters of soil and rocks.
  10. This tunnel is unique in its own way as it is India’s first tunnel to have an escape tunnel within the main tunnel due to the topography. It is also the first tunnel to deploy the Rowa flyer technology, which allows engineers to work at inverted levels.
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AGENTS OF CHANGE

Railways Generates 10 Lakh Man-Days Of Employment Under Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan

Rs 2190.7 crores have been released to the contractors for the projects being implemented.

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NEW DELHI: Indian Railways has generated 10,66,246 man-days of work till September 25, 2020, under Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyaan in 6 States viz. Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry is closely monitoring the progress made in these projects and generation of work opportunities for the migrant labours of these states under this scheme. Around 164 Railway infrastructure projects are being executed in these states.

Till September 25, 2020, 12,276 workers have been engaged in this Abhiyaan and the payment of Rs 2190.7 crores has been released to the contractors for the projects being implemented.


Railway has appointed nodal officers in each district as well as in the States so that close coordination is established with the State Government.

Railway has identified no. of Railway works which are being executed under this scheme. The works are related to

(i) construction and maintenance of approach roads for level crossings
(ii) development & cleaning of silted waterways, trenches and drains along the track
(iii) construction and maintenance of approach road to railway stations
(iv) repair and widening of existing railway embankments/cuttings
(v) plantation of trees at the extreme boundary of railway land
(vi) protection works of existing embankments/ cuttings/bridges


It may be noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched massive employment-cum-rural public works campaign named Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan to empower and provide livelihood opportunities in areas/villages witnessing a large number of returnee migrant workers affected by the devastating COVID-19 on June 20, 2020.

The PM announced that an amount of Rs 50,000 crores would be spent for building durable rural infrastructure under the Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan.

This Abhiyaan of 125 days, is being undertaken in mission mode and involves focused implementation of 25 categories of works/ activities in 116 districts, each with a large concentration of returnee migrant workers in 6 states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha.

Public works are being undertaken during this campaign will have a resource envelope of Rs. 50,000 crores.

The Abhiyaan is a convergent effort between 12 different Ministries/Departments, namely; Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Road Transport & Highways, Mines, Drinking Water & Sanitation, Environment, Railways, Petroleum & Natural Gas, New & Renewable Energy, Border Roads, Telecom and Agriculture, to expedite implementation of 25 public infrastructure works and works relating to augmentation of livelihood opportunities.


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