Mangaluru, Feb 16: A two-day national seminar on ‘Consumer Protection – Issues and Challenges’ was organized by the faculty of Commerce, St Aloysius College (Autonomous), in collaboration with Centre for Consumer Studies (CCS), Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), New Delhi, in Eric Mathias Hall on February 16 and 17.
Dr Suresh Poojary, dean, department of Commerce, St Aloysius College (Autonomous), welcomed the gathering and introduced the dignitaries of the day.
The inaugural address was given by the Chief guest, Dr Ravindranath Shanbhog, president of the Human Rights Protection Foundation, Udupi,who is a pioneer in consumer protection movement in which he was actively involved 7 years prior to the implementation of the Consumer Protection Act of 1986. In his address he expressed his views on the definition of the word ‘consumer’ and the difference between the words ‘customer’ and ‘consumer’. He also highlighted the fact of human rights violation that happens in prisons and other government offices.
The guest of honour, Dr Suresh Misra, the resource person of the seminar, in his address mentioned the Consumer Forum is a government funded body, which receives only 30% of financial aid, and the rest is raised by the Forum. He also expressed his concern that the recent study indicates that only 15% of our country’s population was aware of the Consumer Protection Act, and the rights of the consumer. He said that there are many Issues concerned with the Consumer Protection but the Challenges are much more, especially in the field of E-commerce, where maximum complaints are registered.
The president of the programme and principal of St Aloysius College (Autonomous) Fr Dr Praveen Martis, in his presidential address remarked that, students should actively participate in the consumer protection movement and know the nuances in the process of getting redressed. He also voiced his concern on the role of humans in the wake of Artificial Intelligence revolution and the protection of the human rights.
Dr Manuel Tauro, the convenor of the national seminar, expressed his gratitude to all those who were involved in organizing the event. Jenifer Quadros was the master of the ceremony. Co-convener Caroleena Janefer was also instrumental in organizing this event. The students choir sang the college Anthem and the proceedings for the day followed thereafter.
Dr Suresh Misra, Professor and Chairman, CCS, IIPA, New Delhi will be the resource person for two sessions – ‘Consumer Protection and Empowerment’, and ‘Misleading Advertisements and Consumer’. Dr Sapna Chadah, faculty of Constitutional and Administrative law, CCS, IIPA will speak on ‘Medical Services and Consumer and Legal Framework in respect of Consumer Protection’. NikeshShetty, advocate will give his views on issues relating to ‘Financial Services and Consumer’. Sessions on e-Commerce, Cyber Security and Consumer by SavitraTeja from the City Cyber Crime Police Station, Mangaluru and on Food Safety and Consumer will be engaged by NageshPai, former president, Canara Chamber of Commerce and Industries, Mangaluru.
Around 200 participants were present which included teachers, students, researchers, goods and service providers, trainers and NGOs. There will be paper presentation sessions on the following day. The national seminar is sponsored by the department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Government of India.