Shri Raosaheb Dadarao Danve, Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, is currently heading a high-powered delegation to Australia for talks on the Collaborative Consumer Project.
The project, led by the Business School’s Professor Gail Pearson, brings together Australian and Indian experts in a joint effort to strengthen consumer protection in one of the world’s largest and most complex economic, commercial and social environments.
Launched in New Delhi last year, the project is funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs Trade’s Australia India Council, also includes the Australian Competition Consumer Commission, NSW Fair Trading and Consumer Affairs Victoria.
Consumer protection is the mark of a mature economy and this university is very proud of the role that we have played.
Speaking during a meeting at the Business School with academics and researchers from across the University, Shri Danve described the project as “a great exchange between two excellent nations” which would significantly benefit the Indian people.
“The government of India is committed to improving consumer awareness and the wellbeing of the consumers of India by empowering them with consumer rights under the country’s new Consumer Protection Act,” the Minister said.
Detailing the Act the Minister said it addressed the e-commerce sector, “which is presenting challenges in various parts of the world”, and allowed for “consumer complaints to be lodged electronically from any part of India ensuring the speedy delivery of justice”.
The visit by the Indian delegation is seen as a significant development in the University of Sydney’s efforts to strengthen relations with India’s business and educational sectors.
University of Sydney’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Miles told the Indian visitors that the University “would like to continue to play a role in improving the economic, political, cultural and social relationships between our two countries”.
“In the Collaborative Consumer Project we have found a perfect combination where academic research and teaching has come together with government to develop legislation for the common good,” Professor Miles said.
“Consumer protection is the mark of a mature economy and this university is very proud of the role that we have played, particularly Professor Gail Pearson, in partnership with you and your department in setting up this consumer protection.”
“We are engaging with India because we know how important India is to our future,” said Professor Pearson ahead of the delegation’s arrival.
“India’s economy is being transformed and it has a very large and skilled population.”
“Consumer protection is essential for a successful and competitive economy because it means that companies can compete equally on the basis of meeting consumer needs,” she said.
In addition to the Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, the high-level Indian delegation included: