Consumer Protection Current Affairs

BND-4201: India’s first home-grown high purity gold reference standard launched

India Government Mint (IGM), a unit of Security Printing and Minting Corp of India Ltd has launched India’s first home-grown high purity gold reference standard –Bharatiya Nirdeshak Dravya (BND-4201).

The BND-4201 is reference material for gold of ‘9999’ fineness (gold that is 99.99% pure with impurities of only 100 parts-per-million). It will be beneficial to the consumers and public at large to ensure purity of gold.

Key Facts

BND-4201, the high purity gold reference standard has been developed through collaboration between IGM, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) — Council of Scientific & Industrial Research-National Physical Laboratory (New Delhi) and National Centre for Compositional Characterisation of Materials (Hyderabad).

The gold reference standard is indispensable in gold and jewellery hall marking. This reference will also be useful for Collection and Purity Testing Centres to certify purity of gold deposits under gold monetization scheme.


India despites being second largest markets for gold after China, goldsmiths in the country were depended on imported reference gold bars (mostly imported was sourced from Canada and Switzerland) to check purity of their biscuits, coins and jewellery. BND-4201 standard reference material will help to minimise dependency on foreign countries and add to Make in India campaign, saving foreign exchange.

The BND-4201 standard gold bar are 25% cheaper than the imported version. It will also help jewellers to move towards more instrumental methods rather than conventional fire assay methods for testing purity of gold, which time consuming and non-environment friendly as poisonous gases are released.


First International Conference on Consumer Protection held in New Delhi

The First International Consumer Protection Conference on empowering consumers in new markets for South, South East and East Asian Countries was held in New Delhi from 26 to 27 October 2017. The theme of the conference was “Empowering Consumers in New Markets”. It was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Key Facts

The two day conference was organised by Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution in association with UNCTAD. The conference was attended by 1600 participants that included delegates from 19 countries from East, South and South-East Asia which account for majority of global consumers and share common challenges and experiences participated in it.

New Consumer Protection Bill

During inauguration of the conference PM Narendra Modi announced that new consumer protection law is on anvil to crack down on misleading advertisements and simplify grievance redressal mechanism. The main objective of new law will be to protect the rights of consumers.

It will replace previous Consumer Protection Act of 1986 by incorporating amended 2015 UN guidelines on consumer protection. It proposes to have Central Consumer Protection Authority with executive powers will be constituted for quick remedial action. It also establishes Consumer Dispute Redressal Commissions at every district, state and national levels.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

UNCTAD is principal organ of United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) dealing with trade, investment, and development issues. It was established in 1964 and its permanent secretariat is in Geneva. Its primary objective is to formulate policies relating to all aspects of development including trade, aid, transport, finance and technology. It ordinarily meets once in four years.