back to article Indian government starts work on right to repair rules

India’s Ministry of Consumer Affairs says it is developing a right to repair framework to reduce waste and bolster parts of the economy. The committee set up to address the matter identified mobile phones and tablets as priorities at its first meeting last week. The Ministry drew upon two separate initiatives to justify the …

  1. Potemkine! Silver badge

    India is right

    It's so obvious that only lobbying from MegaTechCorps can derail the right to repair. Name and shame them for a start.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But where will the good intentions lead?

    This may be an unpopular view but my concern with the right to repair concept (which I can’t disagree with in principle) is that the legislators will overshoot and require easy repair as well. That, when implemented and enforced could return us to the time in the 60’s and 70’s when consumer goods such as TVs, radios, kettles, etc were quite easy to repair (and part-time work doing so, whilst a student, nicely supplemented my grants/loans). The problem was that it often needed repairing because the very act of making repair easy resulted in more points of failure. As TV electronics became more integrated and difficult to repair, the number of repairs (per unit sold) reduced. If we had the same reliability as 40 years ago, with the vastly greater number of units sold, all the empty high street units would be full of repair shops.

    The current bête noir is often the iPhone and its battery. My experience with mobile phones over the past 30 years has been that the iPhone has been the most reliable and, any time I’ve needed a battery replacement, it’s been no more expensive than it used to cost for, say, a common Nokia.

    Taking the automotive sector, most cars are far harder to repair nowadays, but the current situation where routine services are annual/10,000 miles and, even then, little more than an oil and filter change - and no need to tinker between services to maintain performance - would have seemed utopia when I first got a car.

    Yes, we need the right to repair, and access to manuals, tools and spares, but not at the expense of increasing the *need* for repair.

  3. VoiceOfTruth Silver badge

    I hope they hit Apple

    right in the knackers.

  4. vtcodger Silver badge

    Popcorn time?

    Given the somewhat ... searching for an adjective here ... Well, maybe "problematic" ... Not exactly what I had in mind, but I guess it'll have to do.

    Given the somewhat problematic results of India's previous attempts at tech regulation, one wonders exactly what wondrous, but likely impractical, regulation(s) will be forthcoming as a result of this effort. If nothing else, India's right to repair regulations will likely be entertaining. ... If you don't have to figure out how to comply with them.

    1. vtcodger Silver badge

      Re: Popcorn time?

      I should make it clear. I'm 100% in favor of right to repair legislation. Stringent Right to Repair legislation. I'm just a bit skeptical of India's ability to craft such legislation and get it right on their first try.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Arctic Circle did hit on the core problem..

    See here: who is going to support a home repair?

    Having just scolded an end user who "repaired" the laptop he just poured a sugary drink over by "following a Youtube video" about removing keyboards and so irrepairably damaging the keyboard ribbon clamps on the motherboard (which was totally not his fault "because he builds his own PCs" and thus clearly has the expertise to work at component level without any further need for actual experience) I have my doubts about the average oink buying a kit from iFixit and letting themselves loose on yet-another-cracked-screen-because-fitting-a-protector-screen-and-case-is-clearly-unneccesary (for a device that costs a LOT of money).

    Right to alternative sources of repair, OK, but let's not forget that some expertise remains required or we'll end up with more landfill, not less.

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