Bureau of Indian Standards encourages ease of doing business
On 1 March 2021, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) announced several reforms within the organisation. They are mainly related to standard setting processes and compliance procedures for BIS certifications. The structural changes are aimed at promoting ease of doing business and faster economic development in India.
Piyush Goyal, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Railways and Commerce & Industry, underlined that products manufactured in India should meet international standards - whether they are manufactured for the local or the international market. He proposed to add ‘standards’ as the fourth dimension to Prime Minister Modi’s three mantras of economic growth: skill, scale and speed. Emphasising the need for ‘One nation, One Standard’, Indian standards should be based on global benchmarks, he said. The minister called for the technical committees of BIS to develop new standards for products not yet covered in the shortest possible time, and to review and revise existing standards considering national priorities.
As part of the reforms, BIS will expand and upgrade its testing facilities to enable companies better access to facilities close to their manufacturing sites. Testing charges will be reduced for MSMEs, start-ups and women entrepreneurs during the initial years of their businesses in order encourage them to get their products certified.
The announcement of the reform steps was followed by a workshop on ‘Easing Compliance of BIS Certifications’ organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and BIS on 3 March 2021. It was attended by more than 200 participants from industry associations and the government, who discussed current problems faced by the industry and made recommendations for better adoption of Indian Standards. These included active participation of BIS in international standardisation, mutual recognition arrangements, adequate testing facilities and capacity building for the industry, especially MSMEs.
The Global Project Quality Infrastructure (GPQI) of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) supports Indo-German cooperation in the areas of standardisation, conformity assessment, accreditation, product safety and market surveillance. Topics such as harmonisation with international standards, participation at international level (ISO/IEC) and conformity assessment are part of this ongoing dialogue.
Find out more about the Global Project Quality Infrastructure of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and the activities of the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure.