Centre for Consumer Studies (CCS)
In view of the emerging global markets and concerns for good governance coupled with rising expectations of the people for better services, quality goods, availability of choice and value for money, there is universal emphasis for protection and promotion of Consumers’ rights and interests. It is well recognised, world over, that protection of Consumers’ rights and interests not only promotes the interests of business but also of the state as well. To give boost to the efforts of the Government in the area of Consumer Protection and Consumer Welfare the need of a dedicated Centre was felt at the Government level. It was further realised that the involvement and convergence of various stakeholders particularly the institutions of local self-government in the area of consumer protection will certainly prove to be beneficial in furtherance of the policy objectives of the Department of Consumer Affairs. In view of the above, the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food, and Public Distribution, GoI, has established a dedicated Centre for Consumer Studies (CCS) at the Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), New Delhi. The Centre operates within the legal framework of the IIPA and the policy directions of the Monitoring Committee chaired by the Secretary, CA, GoI. The role of the Centre is both operational as well as promotional.
The Centre for Consumer Studies keeps abreast of the long- term policies, to position itself as a major contributor to the identification of issues and priorities as well as solutions to ensure better protection of the consumers. Its success largely depends on close networking, cooperation, teamwork and shared knowledge with not only government organizations, but also by building up partnerships with various other institutions and organizations. The vision is to create a professional organization, which allows the government to govern better and to create opportunities to maximize the benefit to the consumers.
The Centre seeks to network, with national and international agencies and interface with other stakeholders by serving as a bridging “think tank”, with an intensive advocacy role. It acts as a forum for creating dialogue among policy-makers, service providers, representatives of various business establishments and their associations, professional bodies/associations, civil society organisations, educational/ research institutions, economic and social development organizations as well as leading NGOs. It also acts as a storing and clearing- house for the exchange and constant flow of information, ideas and activities relating to consumer protection and welfare. The Centre closely works in association with the Department of Consumer Affairs, GoI, National/ State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions and District Forums.
The CCS is envisaged as a Centre functioning with flexibility and openness. Its broad areas of focus comprise;
- Advocacy , Policy Analysis and Research
- Advisory and Consultative Services
- Capacity Building, and
- Networking and Information Exchange
The aim of the Centre is to perform, facilitate and promote better protection of Consumers’ rights and interests with special reference to rural India.
The objectives of the Centre are to:
- conduct / facilitate in-depth action research in the area of consumer protection and consumer welfare;
- organize and help other organizations in training of personnel engaged in administration and adjudication of consumer justice in the country;
- network with the other institutions/ organisations, nationally and internationally, working for the cause of consumer rights protection;
- organise seminars/ workshops/ conferences/ round tables on the contemporary issues relating to consumer protection;
- sensitise trade and industry and the service providers to the requirements of the consumers, especially to alternative and informal mechanisms to resolve their complaints and redress their grievances;
- create resource centre for future research and publish books/ monographs/ occasional papers to fill up existing knowledge gap and
- provide policy inputs to the Department of Consumer Affairs from time to time.
Activities of the Centre
The Centre performs the following activities:
- In-depth action research in the area of consumer protection and consumer welfare with a special emphasis on rural areas;
- Training of personnel engaged in administration and adjudication of consumer justice in the country and the elected representatives of the local bodies;
- Networking with the other institutions/ organisations, nationally and internationally;
- Organise seminars/ workshops/ conferences/ round tables on the contemporary issues relating to consumer protection;
- Sensitize trade and industry and the service providers to the requirements of the consumers;
- Create resource centre for future research;
- Publish books/ monographs/ occasional papers to fill up existing knowledge gap and
- Provide policy inputs to the Department of Consumer Affairs from time to time.
Monitoring and Supervision
For the purpose of effective monitoring, advice and supervision of the activities of the Centre, a Monitoring Committee has been constituted by the DCA. The Monitoring Committee shall meet at least twice in a year and comprises of the following: -
- Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs - Chairperson
- Director, IIPA - Member
- Additional Secretary, DCA - Member
- Joint Secretary, DCA - Member
- Chief Controller of Accounts, DCA - Member
- Director/Deputy Secretary (CWF) - Member
- Co-ordinator of the Centre - Member
- Chair Professor, In-charge of the Centre, IIPA - Member Secretary