The Indian government has decided to follow in the footsteps of the European Union (EU) by making the USB-C charging port a standard for smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
For those unaware, the European Union (EU) last month approved the rule that enforces USB-C charging port as a common charging port for all consumer electronics.
This new law is part of a broader EU effort to reduce e-waste and to empower consumers to make more sustainable choices.
According to the rule, companies will be required to offer USB Type-C ports for small devices like iPhones, Android smartphones, tablets, Bluetooth earphones, and other portable devices in the EU by the end of 2024.
From spring 2026, the obligation will extend to laptops.
This means that consumers will no longer need a different charger every time they purchase a new device, as they will be able to use one single charger for a whole range of small and medium-sized portable electronic devices.
India’s Approach To USB-C
India’s Central Inter-Ministerial Task Force recently held a meeting to discuss whether USB-C should be mandated on all electronic devices sold in the country, which was later agreed upon.
The meeting was attended by representatives from industry associations such as MAIT, FICCI, CII, educational institutions including IIT Kanpur, IIT (BHU), Varanasi, and Central Government ministries including Ministry of Environment Forrest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
By adopting USB-C as a standard charging port across all smartphones, tablets, and laptops, India is looking to reduce the e-waste that the country generates every year and help consumers by simplifying things for them.
“India will shift to a USB type C charging port for all smart devices after stakeholders reached a consensus at a meeting of an inter-ministerial task force set up by the Union government,” said Rohit Kumar Singh, Consumer Affairs Secretary, who chaired the meeting.
“During the meeting, a broad consensus emerged among stakeholders on the adoption of USB Type-C as a charging port for electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. Further, it was deliberated that a different charging port may be adopted for feature phones.”
Apparently, the Indian government is holding extensive consultations that are intended to keep two common chargers instead of one charger. One charging system will be for all smartphones, tablets, and compatible devices, while another one will be for low-cost feature phones.
“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 the Electronic Industries Association of India.
Further, the MoEFCC may also conduct an impact study to assess and examine the possible impact of adopting one charging port for electronic devices with regard to e-waste.
“The Department has also decided to form a sub-group to examine the feasibility of uniform charging ports for wearables. The sub-group will include representatives from industry bodies, educational institutions, etc,” the Ministry of Consumer Affairs said in a press release.
It is also suggested that stakeholders have agreed to a phased roll-out of the common charging port so that adoption of the same can be applied by the industry and adopted by consumers simultaneously.
Currently, it is only known that the policy will be rolled out in phases. However, there is no clarity on when the Indian government will mandate USB-C as the common charging standard.