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Right to repair: Indian govt. plans framework to facilitate self, third party repair of products

The government of India is planning to facilitate a comprehensive framework, known as the right to repair, to empower consumers to easily make self or third-party repairs.

Farming equipment, mobile phones or tablets, consumer durables and automobiles or automobile equipment were identified as important sectors for the right to repair.

 

The government of India is planning to facilitate a comprehensive framework, known as the right to repair, to empower consumers to easily make self or third-party repairs.

 

Under the Lifestyle for the Environment, or LiFE, movement launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the country last month, a committee set up by the Department of Consumer Affairs held its first meeting on July 13 wherein important sectors for the right to repair were identified. These include farming equipment, mobile phones or tablets, consumer durables and automobiles or automobile equipment.

 

According to a government release, manufacturers’ monopoly on repair processes infringes the customer’s ‘right to choose’ and a culture of ‘planned obsolescence’ is encouraged by them whereby the product lasts a particular time only and after that particular period it has to be mandatorily replaced. Besides, most products come with warranty cards mentioning that getting them repaired from an outfit not recognised by the manufacturer would lead to customers losing their warranty benefit.

 

“The rationale behind the “Right to Repair” is that when we buy a product, it is inherent that we must own it completely for which the consumers should be able to repair and modify the product with ease and at reasonable cost, without being captive to the whims of manufacturers for repairs,” according to the statement.

 

“However, over a period of time it has been observed that the Right to Repair is getting severely restricted, and not only there is a considerable delay in repair but at times the products are repaired at an exorbitantly high price and the consumer who has once bought the product is hardly given any choice. Often the spare parts are not available, which causes consumers great distress and harassment,” it added.

 

Once it is rolled out in India, it will become a “game-changer” in terms of product sustainability and employment generation. Before India, countries like the U.S., U.K and European Union have already recognised the right to repair.

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