Rohit Kumar, the Union government’s secretary for consumer affairs, said the parties came to an agreement at a meeting of an inter-ministerial task group.
Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh announced on Wednesday that India will switch to a USB type C charging port for all smart gadgets after stakeholders reached an agreement at a meeting of an inter-ministerial task force established by the Union government. In order to transition to two standard chargers—one for all compatible devices and another for inexpensive feature phones—the government is organising extensive discussions.Portable device universal chargers will not only make things easier for consumers, but also reduce the enormous volumes of e-waste produced in the nation.
According to an ASSOCHAM-EY report titled “Electronic Waste Management in India,” India is predicted to have produced 5 million tonnes of e-waste in 2021, trailing only China and the US in terms of production.“During the meeting, there was a general agreement among the participants to use USB Type-C as a charging port for electronic devices such laptops, tablets, and smartphones, among others.
Additionally, it was discussed if a different charging connector should be used for feature phones, according to Singh.
Standard connectors and charging devices are already becoming more prevalent in many affluent economies. The European Union (EU) wants all devices to have USB-C ports as standard. According to a Bloomberg story, the EU passed provisional law on June 7 this year requiring all future cellphones sold in the EU, including Apple’s iPhone, to include a universal USB-C connector for wired charging by the middle of 2024.
According to a second official, one of India’s worries is that after the EU makes the switch, it would dump outdated phones and equipment in India.
The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology, Confederation of Indian Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change all sent delegates to the meeting on Wednesday.
A separate sub-group of the task force has been established by the consumer affairs ministry to look at the viability of standard charging connections for wearable technology, such as smart watches.
In order to ensure “effective implementation and easy adoption,” the official cited above stated that stakeholders had agreed on a phased roll-out of uniform charging ports.
He continued, “Industry should overcome inertia in adopting a uniform charging port in the interest of consumer welfare and prevention of avoidable e-waste.”
The environment ministry will probably conduct an impact assessment to “evaluate and examine” the effects of switching to a standardised charging port on the production of electronic waste.
“Since the world is moving toward USB-C connectors, it makes sense for us to do the same.
Ajay Garg of the Electronic Industries Association of India noted one crucial fact: “What is in now is out tomorrow because the rate of technological obsolescence in the electronic business is very high.
According to a recent letter sent by the consumer affairs secretary to industry representatives inviting them to consultations, the Union government is of the opinion that the nation should move to two types of standard charging devices, one for smart phones and other portable devices like laptops and tablets, and another for cheaper feature phones, which has a larger market share.
Officials anticipate that by establishing a standard for universal chargers, phone manufacturers will no longer need to provide chargers in the box because consumers will already have the necessary chargers and charging accessories.