ANI Photo | Department of Consumer Affairs organises conference on ‘pioneering’ Global Online Dispute Resolution platform

The Department of Consumer Affairs organized a round table conference on “pioneering Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform for seamless cross-border e-commerce dispute resolution”, here in National Capital, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution said in a statement.
It informed that the conference was organised to have a constructive dialogue between the DoCA and stakeholders to explore issues regarding the resolution of consumer cross-border e-commerce disputes.
“The key objective of the session is “How to effectively frame a Global ODR Platform for the disposal of consumer e-commerce disputes”, the release added.
Welcoming the participants, Secretary DoCA Rohit Kumar Singh said that in the era of digital transformation, where e-commerce platforms and online services have become integral to our daily lives, ensuring a seamless and effective dispute resolution mechanism is paramount.
“We should make use of the strength of technology that India is offering today. Raising cross-border e-commerce has led to diverse disputes (e.g., payments, deliveries, quality) and given the lack of a clear legal framework and awareness among various stakeholders of avenues for resolving such disputes, ODR can become a convenient and effective solution”.
The release further said that globally, cross-border e-commerce shipments accounted for 22 per cent of total e-commerce shipments, amounting to USD 3.5 Trillion 26 per cent cross-border proportion of total e-commerce is in India.
The Ministry asserted that DoCA is committed to ensuring that our ODR mechanism “is not just a legal formality but a dynamic and effective tool for resolving disputes”.
“By strengthening this mechanism, we are laying the foundation for a trustworthy and resilient digital economy consumption ecosystem,” the official said.
During the conference, discussions on major challenges in framing the global ODR platform like cross-border jurisdictional issues, the enforceability of settlement agreements, language, technology supports, privacy and data protection, fees, funding, cost sharing, awareness, and training were held, as per the statement.
“The discussions laid out three key elements for developing a robust cross-border ODR mechanism. First, defining the purview of ODR, scope and users of the ODR platform for cross-border disputes. Second, legal prerequisites and procedures. Third, Digitization & innovation of the legal processes, using technology to overcome language and literacy barriers,” the release said.
The statement pointed out that the platform should include multilingual support through AI Speech Technology i.e. real-time translation, transcription, etc to redress language barriers. “Multicultural Neutral Panels and Algorithm Empowered by Online Dispute Resolution will make understanding of the consumer dispute easier”

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