Indian Government Launches ‘Right-to-Repair’ Initiative to Promote Sustainability and Reduce Electronic Waste

The Indian government has launched a new initiative called the “Right-to-Repair” on a unified portal, which aims to cover four sectors including consumer durables, electronic devices, automobiles, and farm equipment. The website, called “righttorepairindia.gov.in,” will allow consumers to access repair services not only from original manufacturers but also from reliable third-party technicians. This will ultimately reduce costs and increase the shelf life of devices, equipment, and home appliances.

Unfortunately, research has shown that consumers often replace their tech products with newer ones instead of repairing them because the process is often difficult and expensive. Manufacturers also tend not to disclose complete servicing information or stop repairing older models, which further drives consumers to buy new products as part of a practice known as planned obsolescence.

By creating a consumer-centric ecosystem that prioritizes transparency and collaboration, the government aims to increase reparability and reduce waste. This initiative aligns with the World Consumer Rights Day 2023, which celebrates “empowering consumers through clean energy transitions.”

Major brands such as Samsung, Honda, Kent RO Systems, Havells, Hewlett Packard, and Hero MotoCorp have already been onboarded to the portal, which also seeks to streamline trade between original equipment manufacturers and third-party sellers.

India generated an estimated 5 million tonnes of electronic waste in 2022, making it the second-largest producer behind China and the US, according to an ASSOCHAM-EY report titled “Electronic Waste Management in India.”Similar initiatives have been launched in other parts of the world, with governments becoming increasingly sensitive to the demand for reliable repairs. The European Union is currently working on establishing a right-to-repair to save costs for consumers and facilitate a circular economy. In 2021, US President Joe Biden also issued an executive order that included a directive for limits on how tech manufacturers could restrict repairs, according to a New York Times report.

The Indian government’s Right-to-Repair initiative is a positive step towards promoting sustainability and reducing electronic waste. The onboarding of major brands and the establishment of a unified portal for repairs will empower consumers to make more environmentally conscious choices and lead to lower costs and longer shelf life for devices. With India ranking as one of the largest producers of electronic waste globally, this initiative is much needed and showcases the government’s commitment to addressing environmental challenges.

Overall, the Right-to-Repair initiative could have a positive impact on the environment by reducing electronic waste and promoting sustainability.

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