Consumer Affairs Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh announced Wednesday that India will switch to a USB type C charging port for all smart devices after stakeholders reached an agreement at a meeting of an inter-ministerial task force convened by the Union government.
“During the meeting, a broad consensus emerged among stakeholders on adoption of USB Type – C as a charging port for electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops etc. Further, it was deliberated that a different charging port may be adopted for feature phones,” Singh said.
One of India’s concerns is that once EU makes the shift, obsolete phones and equipment could be dumped in India, a second official said.
Representatives from Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology, Confederation of Indian Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change attended the meeting on Wednesday.
The official cited above said stakeholders agreed on a phased roll-out of uniform charging port for “effective implementation and easy adoption”, adding: “Industry should overcome inertia in adopting a uniform charging port in the interest of consumer welfare and prevention of avoidable e-waste.”
An impact study is likely to be conducted by the environment ministry to “assess and examine” the impact of a changeover to uniform charging port on e-waste generation, the second official said.
“Globally, the shift is pivoted towards USB-C ports, so it would make sense for us to adopt it too. One important point is that the rate of technological obsolescence in the electronic industry is very high and what is in today is out tomorrow,” said Ajay Garg of Electronic Industries Association of India.