Taking note of the growing trend of manufacturers monopolising the repair and spare parts market, the ministry has set up a panel of representatives from government, manufacturers, legal experts and consumer organisations to suggest the roadmap for this. Once the framework is in place, manufacturers won’t be able to artificially or deliberately restrict repair of their products, thereby forcing people to buy a new product.
According to the ministry, in its first meeting the panel had a view that manufacturers are encouraging a culture of “planned obsolescence”, designing products with an artificially limited useful life period and after that these have to be mandatorily replaced. “During the deliberations, it was felt that the tech companies should provide complete knowledge and access to manuals, schematics, and software updates and to which the software license shouldn’t limit the transparency of the product in sale. The parts and tools to service devices, including diagnostic tools should be made available to third parties, including individuals so that the product can be repaired, if there are minor glitches,” the ministry said in a statement.
There has been a growing demand for ‘Right to Repair’ across the globe and this has been recognised in many countries, including the US, UK and the EU. The ministry said the panel will learn from the best practices internationally and adapt them for Indian markets.