The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released draft Registration of Consumer Organisations (Amendment) Regulations, 2023.

TRAI had notified the Registration of Consumer Organisations Regulations, 2013 on February 21, 2013. At present, the regulator, under the principal regulations is registering consumer organisations state-wise who can assist it by performing the roles mentioned in the regulations.

According to TRAI, emerging technologies such as 5G, 6G, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (loT) etc. hold immense potential for the betterment of the lives of consumers. Consumer organisations can play a supporting role in raising awareness about the benefits accrued out of these emerging technologies, particularly to the marginalised communities and people in rural areas for bridging the digital divide. For conducting theme-based events, these organisations can assist TRAI in explaining the use cases of these technologies, educate consumers of different sections such as women, farmers, fisheries, students etc. about their potential benefits, and also propagate cyber hygiene and make consumers aware of data privacy.

TRAI notes that there is a need to register national-level consumer organisations with a presence in multiple states/UTs. These organisations, having the capability and experience in campaigning and conducting theme-based events by developing awareness material, can provide an interface between consumers and the regulator. The proposed amendment would enable TRAI to register capable consumer organisations having a wider reach to work in more than five states/UTs under national-level registration. It simplifies the registration process for such consumer organisations.

TRAI has invited comments from stakeholders on the draft regulations by October 4, 2023.