Consumer Awareness (1997)
Consumer Protection Council
Thillai Nagar Main Road
Tiruchirapalli – 620018.
The Tamilnadu scenario is closely linked with the national scenario as consumer movement had trend setters in Tamilnadu and also as Tamilnadu was one of the earliest to start the movement.
The reason for low awareness level in the British India was Britishers used services mainly for British troops, goods and lastly for native citizens whose rights of course they did not recognize. This continued to be so in the post independent India also as focus was on means of production an ownership of production, rarely on consumers. Besides food situation diverted the attention towards self-sufficiency and imports, heavy taxation and socialistic sloganeering only paved way for blackmarket, blackmoney; power and low level of production. In 1974 the protest crystalised and alround threat of time the consumer organizations were formed indifferent parts of India.
Demonstration of organised consumer power brought about changes and the cat that changes could be brought about created confidence and consumer awareness grew and culminated in the demand of bringing in the famous Consumer Protection Act.
The Act with its 450 para settled down firmly to redress the consumer’s grievances effectively. Compensation awarded; Govt. business and industry become consumer conscious in today’s scenario.
As a strong base has been laid, future agenda could centre around a public utilities Regulatory Commission, Citizen charter ombudsmen, and even plain English for consumer laws.
With opportunities aplenty, it is for the people and consumer organization to completely replace caveat Emptor with Caveat Vendor.
At 50 although India stands at crossroads, opportunities for growth and sustained development seem promising. This is perhaps the most appropriate time to look back and forward. Tamilnadu, in particular, has emerged as an above average State in many of the economic, social and political indicators (Food self-sufficiency, pop. Control, electricity generation, stable democracy crime-rate etc.,) Insofar as Consumer movement is concerned, Tamilnadu has particularly taken the lead and has been a trendsetter in several aspects.
This article seeks to trace the genesis of consumer movement and awareness in India and in Tamilnadu, to present the scenario of the post-independence India till now, to discuss the spread and depth of the awareness in today’s . India and to project prospective growth and development in this area in the next few decades. While doing so, the role of the voluntary consumer organisations and the role of Government in enacting legislations to protect the interest of consumers will be discussed.
Since in several ways, the pioneers in Tamilnadu have brought about changes at National level and the National Thrust has influenced the Tamilnadu scenario in diverse ways-the interplay being mutually beneficial-certain overlapping seems inevitable. An attempt has been made to visualize the strength and the opportunities of the consumer movement in the next few decades, particularly, in the context of free market economy, a course on which India seems firmly set.
A few words about the genesis of this consumer awareness and consumer protection become necessary in the context of widely held misconception. As John.F.Kennedy incorporated Consumer rights in American constitution on march 15th 1962, Ralph Nader made waves in the same year and organized consumer bodies surfaced in India only in the 1997s, it is widely believed that his consumer protection- hence awareness- concept has been imported from the west and it is a modern concept. The concept of Consumer Protection is neither Western nor modern. It is as India and ancient as the Indus-valley civilization.
Kautilya’s Arthashastra (a treatise on the art of governance) dated between321 B.C. and 150 A.D. speaks in detail about the consumer protection measures prevailing then. The duties of the Chief controller of private trading listed (vide “The Arthashastra”2 L.N. Rangarajan’s translation-penguin 1987 p.86) are exactly similar to these of the officers in Office for Fair trading and Trading Standards Authority in the U.K. to day. Kautilya talks about Chief Superintendent of weights and measures responsible for checking weights and lists several ways of frauds. There are specific provisions to protect the consumers from erring washermen (if the garments are returned after the prescribed period, the customer need not pay the charge for washing and dying: if he loses the clothers, he will pay compensation plus twice the value as fine.) If the patient dies as a result of the Physician’s negligence (he has to inform the royal officer before every peration) the doctor shall be punished. There are provisions to deal with frauds in counting, weighing, adulteration, frauds by goldsmiths and artisans etc., (Ibid pp242-252)
Although we had the tradition, unfortunately a systematic norms and legislations of consumer protection have not passed on to us.
When the British were here, the area of consumer protection was the weakest and consumer awareness was the lowest. Consumer resistance to foreign cloth was made a political tool. When the British introduced the Railways (within 10 years of its introduction in England) it was not to help the Indian (native!) passengers but to move British troops and goods to British textile mills. Telegram was not a communication facility for the people but an invention to strengthen the hands of the British administration. If consumer protection was the last in the British agenda, it continued to be so in the post-independence India. What mattered was who should be the producer; or who should own the means of production. Concepts like command economy, state monopoly, socialism etc., ruled the day. As a result, we had our own Government Ambassador car, however rickety it was, our own (Govt.) steel plants however inefficient they were, while Pakistan could not produce its own car (even now!). We had controls on production fearing accumulation of wealth in a few hands and cement companies were fined for over-production. Enterprenership was discouraged as one had to pay at the highest slab (Rs.2 lakhs) 97% income tax!3 As a result Block money flourished in the parallel economy, consumer protection received a low since the rich did not care and anyway, their black money ought to be spend. Although there were about 30 consumer protection laws (like Prevention of Food Adulteration, standards of W&M Drugs etc.,) none of them could work satisfactorily in the context of blackmoney power of the traders and indifference of the politicians who thought producing more was a sin. In the imperfect, unfree, permit-licence market economy rules of competition, demand and supply did not work. For the first three decades, we could not make watches, cycles, polyster cloth, staplers, pins etc., when imports became unmanageable due to high duties, smuggling flourished. Our concerns were very different in the 1960s. Food scarcity was looming large on the horizon. In1968, we were asked to miss a meal a weak. Rice eaters were asked to take wheat (Food Minister C. Subramaniam’s statement in March 1968).
Competition was restricted. We had a scooter that used to lock itself while negotiating curves. Hundreds died of that. There was no organized protest. There was no one to monitor, survey and publish. The Company went scot free.
Discontent snowballed in the 1970s as prices rose steeply. The consumer Guidance Society of India was found in Bombay in1970. Consumer Action Forum was started in Calcutta in1972. (Ms. Renuka Roy) Jayaprakah Narayanan was crystalising the discontent into a social movement in 1974. The Consumer Council was formed simultaneously in Madras and Trichy in 1974.4 Flourishing black market, adulteration and black money power of the traders which encouraged corruption were the immediate causes.
The exploits of Ralph Nader- his book unsafe at any speed5 more inflow of information on Consumer’s rights from the U.S.A. and the U.K. and International Consumers organization spurred on the activists in India and in Tamilnadu. Dr. Rajeev Taranath, an English professor from Mysore, Mr. M. Meenakshi Sundaram, a socialist lawyer Dinamalar editor Mr. R.Krishnamurthy and the writer of this article started the movement in Tiruchirappalli. M. Radhakrishnan, a lawyer and Sivathanu, an actor started it in Madras which could not be sustained. An earlier effort by one M.K. Srinivasan of Madras did not fructify as his credibility was in question. Based on the constitution of Consumer Association, U.K, the Tiruchy Council stipulated that its office-bearers cold not have business connections and the council would take no money from business and industry and would accept no advertisements.
To make consumers believe that they have rights which can be exercised to their advantage was a difficult task undertaken as a challenge.
Came Emergency in1975. Although a black spot in our democratic tradition, the consumer movement did benefit from it as the officials were overtaken to act on complaints and stringent acts could be easily used on erring traders. A 20 point Programme was adopted by Smt. Indira Gandhi and point 17 was Consumer Protection. The following Janata Government also gave equal importance by forming a National Council for Consumer Protection.
The Consumer Council (hence rechristened as Consumer Protection Council, Tamilnadu,Tiruchy made the spreading of consumer awareness its thrust area. By demonstrating that organised protest would improve things for consumers, it created a confidence among the consumers in Tamilnadu and India that they could exercise their rights and protect their interests. (the series of checks on ration shops, the agitation to operate A/c in an A/c theatre etc.,)
In 1981 when the Railways declared five express trains as Superfast trains (that means one must pay a Superfast surcharge of Rs.12/-) without changing the timings and without adding any facility, the protest organized by Consumer Protection Council, Tamilnadu resulted in the withdrawal of superfast surcharge. In 1988 when another train was introduced (between Madras and Bombay), a Superfast train with Express speed, a sustained campaign by the same council saw the withdrawal of the train from the Superfast list.6 A Supreme Court case forced the Railways to fix speed norms for Superfast trains. Tamilnadu was setting norms for the Nation.
In 1986, we fought against noise pollution, drew the noise map of Tiruchy and had the menacing air-horn banned. The use of sound level instruments for 8 days for 14 hours a day exposed the weakness of Indian battery cells. We realised that the shelf life was only six months for a cell and there was no way a consumer could find out how fresh were his cells. Our campaigning brought an article ‘Selling dead cells as dry cells’ (Indian Express- all eds. Sep.5, 1986). This prompted a question in parliament and this resulted in a committee being set up and finally from Oct. 1, 19877 all dry cells in India were brought under mandatory certification of ISI (which meant each cell should carry the date of manufacture on it). All these before the famous CP Act. Again TN was taking the lead.
Efforts like these created waves in the Consumer movement and were responsible for the spread of consumer awareness at a much faster pace. Hence it was a easy to call the First State Conference of all consumer activists in Tamilnadu on Sep.20,1987 at Tiruchy which marked a turning point in terms of sprouting of several voluntary consumer organizations in Tamilnadu. National recognition had already come. In the first meeting of Consumer organizations at National level, this Council’s representatives made their mark adjust as the Constituent Assembly produced the Constitution this group after two subsequent meetings helped to bring out the land mark legislation- the Consumer Protection Act, 19868 Shri. Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister for ten consecutive days and nights closely involved himself in its making.
This single piece of legislation combined in itself the small causes court of U.K. and the trading standards and fair trading aspects of U.K. regulatory bodies and the mix has been unique. Any consumer or a consumer organisation can sue against the seller for defective goods and against service provides for deficiency of service. Defects can be rectified, goods can be replaced or money can be refunded or more importantly compensation would have to be paid for loss or injury arising from the negligence of the opposite party.
This Act however could reach the consumers only in 1989-90. Before that, CPC-TN in a well documented case got a solatium of Rs.20,000/- for a patient from a doctor who left a broken needle inside while injecting. This news, internationally flashed, injected confidence in the minds of consumers that every profession is accountable. Level of awareness started raising.
The Consumer Protection Act saw the establishment of 450 District Consumer Dispute Redressal For a in the country (one per each dt.) as many State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commissions as there are States and the apex National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commissions at New Delhi. The voluntary consumer organizations took upon themselves to spread awareness about the Act, the ways and means to get redressal and even fought cases themselves on behalf of other consumer. The consumer movement has begun taking roots in all parts of the country. There are organization in Agartola (TRIPURA), Srinager, Kanyakumari and in Surat. The consumer Guidance Society of India, Bombay the pioneer with its publication keemat9 is a steady influence. The Consumer Education & Research Trust of Ahmedabad manned by Mr. Manubhai Shah started in 1978 and built for itself a strong capital base and specialized in legal action and testing labs. They have the highest number of publications on consumer movement.
Common cause10 run by Shri. H.D. Shourie of Delhi tackles all kinds of problems like pensioners’ and tenants’ etc. and also focuses on consumer issues. When there was a delay in the establishment of District For a & State Commission, Common Cause filed a writ in Supreme court and forced the State Government to form them.
Tamilnadu is one of the first states to establish the District For a in all districts. After the State Conference in 1987 at Tiruchy about 50 organisation have been started all over Tamilnadu. Some of them are branches of CPC-TN. Many of them are independent organization in Madurai, Erode and Madras. Consumer Action Group a Madras based organization was founded in 1985. They run a regular periodical and specialize in legal activity. Some of these organizations have come together under a Federation called Federation of Cos in Tamilnadu. They do not think it unethical to receive business sponsorship for their conferences and activities. They concentrate in mobilising rural women. The Government of India constituted a statutory body called the Central Consumer Protection Council consisting of public sector chiefs, representatives of trade, industry, commerce and representatives of voluntary consumer organizations. This meets twice or thrice a year to discuss consumer issues. The CPC-TN has been represented as the only organization from TN for the first two terms. Now there are four representatives from Tn. The State Government has also constituted a similar body at the State level to discuss consumer issues. Besides CPC-TN there are four consumer organization represented in this.
The press plays its parts by giving due recognition to the activities of consumer organizations and duly publishing important District Fora and State Consumer commission decisions.
The number of voluntary organization has steeply gone up. At the all-India level from 180 in1985, it has grown to 450 by 1993. In Tamilnadu, from a handful in1987 to 53 by 1993. And by 1997 this further has gone up to 85. The Central Govt. and Govt. of Tamilnadu occasionally help with grant-in-aid for consumer awareness programme in rural areas. Organizations like CPC-TN solely depend on membership subscription (Rs.25p.a. in 1997) plus Govt. grants for specific projects and still run on shoe-string budgets although the constraints are many.
As the confidence about the CP Act increased by the decision of the For a and Commissions against the Railways, Telecom and Transport corporations etc., people turn to voluntary consumer organisations more the more. An organization like CPC-TN handles about 300 complaints a year, many of them solved at the Council level.
Besides it CP Act, there were other changes due to the increasing consumer awareness and the demand of the consumer organizations. ISI was reconstituted as Burerau of Indian Standards with consumer organizations representatives becoming members of the Burerau. CPC-TN had been the sole representative from the south for the first two terms. The secretary of the CPC-TN was chosen by the Govt. of India as a one-man delegation to represent the country in the International Standards Organisations meeting at Florida on April 26, 1990. There he was chosen to serve the working group of five nations to revise the ISO Guide on Product Information11 and Instruction for ‘Consumers’ use.
Standards of Weights and Measures Act, Drugs and Cosmetics Act BIS Act, MRTP Act, Prevention of Food Adulteration Act have been now amended empowering consumers not only to take samples but to prosecute.
In 1993, CP Act was further amended due to the pressure of the consumer organisation now in the Central Consumer Protection Council, empowering one consumer or consumer organization to represent all consumers, providing for cease and desist order for the District Fora and making the unfair trade practice section specific. (Any difference between stated quantity, quality, standards purity is an unfair trade practice. Gift schemes to promote the sales is also one) By1993, the President (serving or a retired judge) and the two members (persons of ability, experience and Knowledge in public affairs, trade education and commerce) of which one of them shall be a woman) found the work load too heavy to function part-time. They all become functional full-time. The State Commission, with five members (always full time) is now accused of delay with hundreds of cases pending.
The awareness originally confined to urban areas has now percolated to rural areas also, l thanks to AIR and TV. Although 70% of the Consumer Organisations are urban-based, they are making efforts to go to rural areas.
The section that makes better use of these consumer protection measures is the educated middle-class section. The voluntary organizations reach the educated through its programmes and help them exercise their rights. Fortunately due to the strength of character of the pioneers the movement has no political shades and it is definitely beyond religion and a caste considerations. As there is no fee to be paid for cases before the District For a, the lack of infrastructure has been a problem all over. Owing to the pressure of the Consumer organizations and mainly due to the good offices of the President of the National Commission Justice Eradi, Rs.62 crores were allotted District For a (each 10 lakhs) and to the State Commissions (each Rs.50 lakhs) the money is yet to reach all the District For a but it will and it should result in better functioning.
One of the first cases in the State Commission, TN was against the railways filed by CPC-TN. A passenger was given a confirmed ticket to Bombay from Tiruchy on a day the train did not run(only 5 days a week). The passenger had to travel in an unreserved carriage in the next train for 27 hours suffering hardship. The passenger was given a compensation of Rs.8,000/- and Railways as kept the train timings of trains leaving from Madras in all reservation counters in TN to prevent such mistakes.
CPC-TN has also expanded the frontiers of the CP Act. When a passenger met a tragic end when he was thrown forward in a Tiruvalluvar Transport Corpn. Bus and the protruding rod of the exposed front seat went into his forehead fatally, CPC-TN took this case to National commission and proved the design and manufacture were defective and got R.6.8 lakhs compensation for the widow. Deficiency of service was further interpreted to include mismanagement in a recent case by the National commission. When a boat in a lake maintained by the army capsized killing two the army was asked to pay compensation to the families of the victims (Apr.97).
Today, the Government, the Business and the Industry have started listening. The companies have now formed grievance cells in all its branches to prevent the customers from going to the Fora. The Electricity Board in TN meets periodically the representatives of consumer organizations in all districts. The Telecom Dept. in its Advisory committee had nominated reps. of Consumer organizations (Another effort of CPC-TN at the National level) The Railways in their Divisional Railway Users ‘Consultative Councils have representations for consumer organization representatives.
It has really been a long way for the Indian consumer from being a Very Ignorant Person-VIP to be on the way to becoming a well-informed person who makes his purchase decision on the performance characteristics of the product. Several factors are responsible.
- The first team of members and President of the National Commission set the tone-incorruptible, reasonable, and at the same time helping the poor consumers. The credibility level of these commissions and Fora was quite high.
- The VCOs worked hard to reach the message to the people and brought about qualitative changes for the consumers.
- Government came in with the legislation and other backup measures at the right time. Justice inexpensive, quick was at the reach of the common man.
The base is good enough for tomorrow’s super structure.
India is making a strides, firm and long ones, towards Free Market Economy. The era of socialist sloganeering is gone. Government can only govern and not make shoes or run hotels. This aspect of the change is yet to be grasped by many in the consumer movement. It is sad that many consumer organizations even in Tamilnadu pass resolutions asking the Government to do this and that, to check prices and control everything.
While a free market-play will ensure competition and choice for consumers, there may be some need to regulate where there is no competition.
Two concepts need to be mentioned here in this context here as seeds have already been sown. One is the Public Utility Regulatory Commission (PURC).
Some public utilities are natural monopolies like Telecom (not every company can lay the cable in the same street) Sewerage corporation or Railways etc., Whenever it (PU) wants to change the service, increase the changes, it has to file all the papers explaining why it has to be done before the PURC. These documents will be open to public, The public policy advocates, Consumer groups or any individuals can go through them and file counter why it should not be granted. The Public Utility Regulatory Commission, (5 commissioners) here all the parties concerned in a public hearing and award a decision depending on merits. That is binding on the Pus (one appeal to Supreme Court lies). The Union Ministry of Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs appointed a working Group to set up a PURC on the model of PURC in the U.S.A. to regulate the monopolistic public utilities. The Secretary of the CPC-TN, a member of the working Group, by chance had an opportunity to visit five PURCs in the U.S.A. and a report of their working was given to the working Group. The working Group has recommended setting up such a PURC in India (April 1994)12. This was also recommended to the Govt. of India by the Central Consumer Protection Council. The consumer organizations need to put enough pressure to bring this into being. If it comes that will be a great step in establishing accountability and transparency in public utilities. The delay is due to Railways and Telecom opposing the move. Telecom wants to have its own Regulatory authority. It is hoped in a few years this common PURC will be set up strengthening consumers further.
Another concept for which seed has been sown is the scheme of Citizens’ Charter. This U.K. Scheme is an ISI for services. By this voluntary scheme, any institution a hotel, hospital, a bank, a post office- can assure quality service at the point of delivery. The inst. Has to set its own standards in consultation with the users, monitor its own performance and handle complaints and provide for what if it fails. Once approved by the Board, it can display a Charter Mak and use it for publicity purposes- the incentive, and even commercially gain. Like a hospital saying it would attend to every patient within 20 minutes of his arrival, and if he facilities fail, what they would do. The British Railways has set a standard that 90% of its trains would arrive within 5 minutes of the scheduled time. If not, they would refund 5% on the spot to passengers. British Rail paid 15 million pounds last year as compensation. (That they are seeking to revise the target is different matter). The mark for excellence would distinguish an institution that comes forward to be accountable fromother mediocre ones and for that it would be rewarded. As the users are consulted, consumer’s expectations would be fully realized. This is where customer matters.
Again the Union Ministry of Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs set up a Working Group in April 1995 to consider the introduction of Citizens’ Character in India in HealthServices. The Working Group consisted of representatives of Medical Council of India, Indian Medical Association and Health Ministry besides consumer activists (Secretary of CPC-TN was member and wrote the report)13. As the concept has not been properly understood, there has been opposition from the Health Ministry. It is expected that it would be overcome and very soon we will have a charter Mark Scheme. The good news is that Southern Railway has agreed to try this charter principles in a station(Tiruchirappalli) and the India Oil Corporation has agreed to try it ina petrol retail outlet as pilot projects.
Another agenda for the future is the scheme of ombudsman14 (an official who solves grievances against the executive branch of the Government). The Reserve Bank of India has appointed ombudsmen in five centres to begin with to look into the grievance of ther banking sector. This cover all nationalized, foreign, private and cooperative banks. The consumer can complain against any bank for any deficiency of service just by writing to (he has to write to the bank first and wait for a month for reply) ombudsman on going through the records will offer his recommendation and if not found satisfactory will pass an award after listening to both sides once again. The award is binding on the bank. It could include compensation up to Rs.10 Lakhs.
Although this has been set up 1996, due to lack of Puplicity, people are not making use of this. CPC-TN has taken upon itself to publicise this scheme after its secretary interviews the Governor RBI recently.
Once this becomes a success, other ombudsmen of oil industry, transport industry, electricity cannot be far behind. This scheme would further protect consumers interest.
Safety is a prime factor which brooks no compromise. The establishment of a Consumer product Safety Commission on the model of the U.S.A. is a long felt need. Consciousness of safety needs to be build up in industry, trade and among the consumers. An autonomous professional body like the Safety Commission would meet the interests of the consumers. Along with the Safety Commission will have to come the scheme of Product Recall. Once a product has been declared unsafe by the Safety Commission, the manufacturer will have to recall the product from the market or face damage suits, for selling unsafe product (now Certified by the Safety Commission to be so). This will ensure safety to the maximum extent and this is an institution that must be brought into being. The Consumer organization have to be at it persistently to persuade the Government to establish this.
The Indian Consumer and so the consumer in Tamilnadu will reap the fruits of competition in the next decade as more and more foreign players are coming in every field. The small print smartee (famous examples being the LIC of India) will be given a run for their money. (Some of the sentences in the LIC Policy in small print run to 18 lines: 20% of the agents are plain illiterates; 50% of them cannot explain the policy written in English).
A movement for Plain English is long due in this country and it will immensely benefit the consumers to have laws and clauses which he can understand. That is the way ensure fair deal. Mr. Martin Cutts of U.K. 15 is spreading the message in Tamilnadu and one could hope some improvements will come in the next decade at least.
The self-regulation by the advertising industry has miserably failed and more investments come to India, more advertisements will be appearing. As the percentage misleading advertisements is on the increase, an autonomous Advertising Standards Authority of India will have to be established. If PURC, Citizens’ Charter, Ombudsmen, Plain English and Advertising Standards Authority are some of the agenda for the future, does the Consumer movement have the where with all to carry out these? The answer could only be in the affirmative.
In the next 20 Years, the young activists would have become veterans. The 95 Crore pop. Would have become 110 crore. But if the growth rate is steady at 7%, we will have a burgeoning middle class of 400 million-bigger than pop. Of many countries. With the communication explosion, it should be possible to have a greater reach. Consumer awareness can only grow with more foreign participation and investment, Production will create a healthy competition, but marketing, product information and even consumption will become a more sophisticated affair. The consumer organizations will have to shift the chaff from the grain and be a beacon light to consumers. With the increase in purchasing power, hopefully, the man who pays will be able to call the tune. If the present strength is any indication, opportunities for the final thrust are bright: to replace finally and completely the dictum “Caveat Emptor’ with ‘Caveat Vendor’.
- Consumer Protection: yesterday, today and tomorrow. By Robert O.Herrman, Professor of Agri. Economics, Pennsylvania University, USA. A USIS publication. 1988
- Kautilya’s, “Arthashastr” Tr. By L.N. Rengarajan, penguin India 1987
- A. Palkhiwala, “We, the Nation” The Lost decades, UBSPD 1994, Delhi
- Consumer News – A CPS-TN periodical 1988
- Ralph Nader-“Unsafe at any Speed’, Knightsbridge publication New York 1963
- Consumer News-1988
- Proceeding of the committee for mandatory certification-Union Ministry of Civil Supplies 1986
- How to use Consumer Protection Act-A CPC-TN publication 1996
- Keemat-Consumer Guidance Society of India-Bombay, Hutment J. Mahapalika Mar, Bombay-1
- Common Cause-periodical; A-32 West End, New Delhi-32 ISO-Council-Committee on Consumer Policy 13th meeting work Documents 1996
- Report of the working Group on public Utilities regulatory commission- Central Consumer protection Council
- Report of the working group- Citizens’ Charter on health services Central Consumer protection Council
- Banking ombudsman/Indian Bankers Association Bombay 1995
- For the people – A consumer action handbook-Joane Manning Anderson Addition-welsey, 1971 Washington
- Report of the Public Service Commission of Maryland, Baltimore, Maryland 1991
- Standards and consumers 2nd ISO case Postale 56 CH 2111 Gneve 20 Switzerland
- Consumer Education & Research Centre, Ahemdabad Directory of Voluntary organisations
Professor Pushpavanam is working as Professor of English in National College,Trichirapalli since 1971. He dedicates his life to guide the Consumer Movement in Tamil Nadu. In this area he has contributed many articles and books.