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India govt. to set up expert committees to explore adoption of common chargers

India govt. to set up expert committees to explore adoption of common chargers
The decision comes after some other major countries are mulling over adopting a one-charger-for-all-devices policy.


India’s federal government will set up committees of experts to explore the adoption of a common charger for all portable electronic devices and the expert groups will have to submit a detailed report along with their recommendations in two months.


At a meeting held on Aug. 17, it was decided that different expert committees will be formed that will study charging ports used in three segments. These are mobile and feature phones, laptops and tablets, and wearable electronic devices. The expert groups will be notified this month.


The meeting was chaired by Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh, while various industry stakeholders also attended it. The Secretary noted that the country can initially think of exploring shifting to two types of chargers, including a USB Type-C port.


“It is a complex issue. India has a position in manufacturing of chargers. We have to understand everybody’s perspective — industry, the users, manufacturers and environment — before taking a final decision,” according to media reports that cited Singh.


“Each stakeholder shared different perspectives and the impact of shifting to a common charger while accepting the need to address the growing environmental concerns of e-waste,” it added.


Further, the stakeholder suggested that before moving on to the said policy there is a need to examine its impact as Asia’s third-largest economy is a manufacturer and exporter of charging cables and adapters to several nations. Also, a majority of the market segment still uses low-cost feature phones, which do not have USB-C ports, and it is another challenge to shift towards a common charging device as this could increase the price of feature phones.


A balanced approach is necessary as, on the other hand, there has been a strong demand for the adoption of USB Type-C charging ports as it will lessen the burden on consumers to buy different charging devices every time they buy a new electronic device. In addition to this, a single charger policy will help reduce e-waste and also reduce the threat of India becoming a dumping ground of such chargers at a time when some other major countries are mulling over adopting a one-charger-for-all-devices policy.


The European Union, in June, finalised a deal on single charging ports for phones, tablets and headphones by 2024. A similar demand for a common charging port is sprouting in the U.S. as well.

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