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Class 10 Economics Chapter 5 Notes - Consumer Rights

Consumer rights are fundamental principles designed to protect individuals in their roles as buyers, ensuring fair treatment and ethical business practices. Enshrined to safeguard consumers against exploitation and substandard products or services, these rights empower individuals in their transactions. 

The Consumer in the Marketplace

  • Market Participation: We engage in the market as both producers and consumers. Whether working in agriculture, industry, or services, our roles extend to creating goods and services as producers and acquiring them as consumers.
  • Development and Regulation: In previous discussions, we emphasized the necessity for rules and regulations to promote development. These measures are crucial for protecting workers in the unorganized sector, preventing exploitation from moneylenders charging high interest rates in the informal sector, and safeguarding the environment.

Class 10 Economics Chapter 5 Notes - Consumer Rights

  • Exploitation in the Unorganized Sector: Moneylenders in the informal sector employ various tactics to exploit borrowers, compelling producers to sell their produce at low rates in return for timely loans. Small farmers, like Swapna, may be forced to sell their land to repay loans. Workers in the unorganized sector often endure low wages, unfair conditions, and adverse health impacts. To address such issues, rules and regulations have been discussed, with organizations striving to ensure their implementation.
  • Consumer Protection in the Marketplace: Rules and regulations are equally essential for protecting consumers in the marketplace. Individual consumers often find themselves in vulnerable positions when lodging complaints about purchased goods or services. Sellers tend to shift responsibility onto buyers, suggesting they go elsewhere if dissatisfied. The consumer movement, discussed later, aims to rectify this situation and enhance consumer rights.

Consumer Movement

• In India, the consumer movement as a ‘social force’ originated with the necessity of protecting and promoting the interests of consumers against unethical and unfair trade practices.

Rampant food shortages, hoarding, black marketing, adulteration of food and edible oil gave birth to the consumer movement in an organized form in the 1960s.

Class 10 Economics Chapter 5 Notes - Consumer Rights

• Till the 1970s, consumer organisations were largely engaged in writing articles and holding exhibitions. They formed consumer groups to look into the malpractices in ration shops and overcrowding in the road passenger transport.

• More recently, India witnessed an upsurge in the number of consumer groups.

Exploitative Practices in the Marketplace: Exploitation in the marketplace manifests in various ways, such as unfair trade practices. Traders may engage in deceptive practices like underweighing, undisclosed charges, or selling adulterated/defective goods. 

Question for Chapter Notes: Consumer Rights
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Why is there a need for rules and regulations to protect consumers in the marketplace?
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Consumers Rights

Rights which are provided by law : –

1. Right to safety: Consumers have the right to be protected against the marketing of goods and delivery of services that are hazardous to life and property. Producers need to strictly follow the required safety rules and regulations. There are many goods and services that we purchase that require special attention to safety.

Class 10 Economics Chapter 5 Notes - Consumer Rights


2.Right to be informed: Consumers have the right to be informed about the particulars of goods and services that they purchase. Consumers can then complain and ask for compensation or replacement if the product proves to be defective in any manner. Similarly, one can protest and complain if someone sells a good at more than the printed price on the packet. This is indicated by ‘MRP’ — maximum retail price.

3. Right to choose: Any consumer who receives a service in whatever capacity, regardless of age, gender and nature of service, has the right to choose whether to continue to receive the service.

4. Right to be heard: Consumers have the right to be heard in case of a grievance.

5. Right to seek redressal: Consumers have the right to seek redressal against unfair trade practices and exploitation. If any damage is done to a consumer, he or she has the right to get compensation depending on the degree of damage.
6. Right to represent in consumer courts: The consumer movement in India has led to the formation of various organisations locally known as consumer forums or consumer protection councils. They guide consumers on how to file cases in the consumer court. On many occasions, they also represent individual consumers in the consumer courts. These voluntary organisations also receive financial support from the government for creating awareness among people.

Question for Chapter Notes: Consumer Rights
Try yourself:
Which right ensures that consumers have the right to be protected against hazardous goods and services?
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Learning to become Well Informed Consumers


• To protect and promote the interest of consumers.
• Under COPRA, a three-tier quasi-judicial machinery at the district, state and national levels is set up for redressal of consumer disputes.

Class 10 Economics Chapter 5 Notes - Consumer Rights• The district level court deals with the cases involving claims upto Rs. 20 lakhs; The State level courts between Rs. 20 lakhs and Rs. 1 crore and the national level court deals with cases involving claims exceeding Rs. 1 crore.
• If a case is dismissed in district level court, the consumer can also appeal in state and then in national level courts. Thus, the Act has enabled us as consumers to have the right to represent in the consumer courts.

Taking the consumer movement forward

1. National Consumers' Day:

  • Observed on 24th December.
  • Enactment of Consumer Protection Act in 1986 by Indian Parliament.

Class 10 Economics Chapter 5 Notes - Consumer Rights

2. Consumer Protection Act (COPRA):

  • India has exclusive authority for consumer redressal.
  • Amended in 2019 to strengthen consumer rights, including online purchases.
  • Responsibility and penalties for service deficiencies or defective products.

Question for Chapter Notes: Consumer Rights
Try yourself:
What is the purpose of consumer rights?
View Solution

3. Consumer Movement Progress:

  • Organized groups show progress, but challenges in evidence gathering.
  • Small retail sales dominate the market.
  • More than 2000 consumer groups; 50-60 well-organized and recognized.

4. Settlement of Disputes:

  • Introduction of neutral intermediaries (mediators) outside Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.

5. Consumer Redressal Challenges:

  • Process becoming cumbersome, expensive, and time-consuming.
  • Consumers often need legal representation.

6. Consumer Awareness:

  • Slow spread despite 30+ years of COPRA.
  • Need for increased awareness and education.

7. Enforcement Challenges:

  • Weak enforcement of laws protecting workers, especially in unorganized sectors.
  • Non-adherence to market rules and regulations.
The document Class 10 Economics Chapter 5 Notes - Consumer Rights is a part of the Class 10 Course Social Studies (SST) Class 10.
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FAQs on Class 10 Economics Chapter 5 Notes - Consumer Rights

1. What is the consumer movement?
Ans. The consumer movement refers to a social movement that aims to protect the rights and interests of consumers. It seeks to ensure fair practices by businesses and governments, promote consumer education, and provide a platform for consumers to voice their grievances.
2. What are consumer rights?
Ans. Consumer rights are the set of rights that protect consumers in their interactions with businesses and governments. These rights include the right to safety, the right to be informed, the right to choose, the right to be heard, the right to redress, and the right to consumer education.
3. How can consumers exercise their rights?
Ans. Consumers can exercise their rights by being aware of their rights and responsibilities, demanding quality products and services, seeking redress for any grievances, reporting unfair practices to consumer protection agencies, participating in consumer movements, and spreading awareness about consumer rights.
4. What is the significance of the consumer movement?
Ans. The consumer movement is significant because it empowers consumers and holds businesses and governments accountable for their actions. It helps in creating a fair marketplace, ensuring the safety and well-being of consumers, and promoting ethical business practices. It also provides a platform for consumers to raise their concerns and seek redress for any violations of their rights.
5. How can consumers contribute to the consumer movement?
Ans. Consumers can contribute to the consumer movement by actively participating in consumer organizations and forums, reporting any unfair practices they come across, sharing their experiences and knowledge with others, educating themselves and others about consumer rights, and supporting initiatives and campaigns that promote consumer welfare.
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