Government sets up expert groups to study introduction of common chargers for mobile phones and electronic devices

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The government will set up expert groups to study the introduction of common chargers for mobile and all portable electronic devices and come up with a detailed report in two months, Consumer Minister Rohit Kumar Singh said on Wednesday. Emerging from the meeting with industry officials, the secretary said India could initially consider switching to two types of chargers, including a C-type connector.

“It’s a complex issue. India has a position in charger manufacturing. We need to understand everyone’s perspective – industry, users, manufacturers and environment – before making a final decision,” he told reporters.

Each stakeholder has a different perspective, and expert groups are being formed to study these issues separately, he said.

Separate expert groups will be formed to study charge connectors used in three segments Mobile and feature phones, laptops and iPads, and portable electronic devices.

The groups will be notified this month and will come up with the recommendations in two months, he said.

Industry associations and manufacturers, while agreeing with concerns about e-waste, are seeking further discussion on the issue, he added.

The announcement came on Wednesday after the government met with industry experts and stakeholders on the possibility of using a common charger for all mobile phones and portable electronic devices.

Currently, consumers in India are forced to buy a separate charger every time they buy a new device due to the incompatible connectors of the existing charger.

The European Union recently announced the adoption of a common charging standard for small electronic devices with a USB-C connector by 2024. A similar requirement also exists in the USA.

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