India Discusses Road Ahead for its Quality Infrastructure
The Special Standards Conclave organised by the Indian Department of Commerce (DoC) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) took place on 8th and 9th of February 2019 in Mumbai. After last year’s launch of the Indian National Strategy for Standardization (INSS), government officials and experts used this year’s forum to discuss its implementation. A National Action Plan for the implementation of the INSS is planned to be released in the next months.
Secretary Anup Wadhawan from the DoC emphasised the importance of standards and technical regulations for achieving policy objectives such as safety, health, performance, and quality of products and services. He underlined that regulations equally apply to imported and domestically manufactured products – and shall thereby also support the advancement of the Indian industry. Secretary Wadhawan identified the role clarity of different Indian organisations as a key future step for the development of India’s quality infrastructure system.
The conclave reiterated India’s goal to increase the number of technical regulations which is lower than in other countries. Indian government officials announced that new technical regulations, such as mandatory conformity assessment requirements, would be introduced during the next months. It was emphasised that the choice of sectors and the schemes shall follow a risk-based approach, for example using self-certification for low-risk products. Speakers discussed the advantages of a category-based rather than a product-by-product approach for technical regulations as mostly practiced so far. Indian government officials spoke in favour of creating an online platform that informs about regulations and allows for feedback.
In the light of the upcoming technical regulations, Indian government officials invited foreign conformity assessment bodies to increase their presence in India to support the growing need for third-party testing, inspection, and certification. With regards to the enforcement of regulations, the Indian government encouraged inputs from industry and stakeholders on the development of market surveillance at the border and the domestic market. Mr Sudhanshu Pandey, Additional Secretary at the DoC, welcomed that organisations such as GIZ bring in international practices from other countries.
Representatives of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) informed that on basis of the INSS, India’s national standards body has developed a Standards National Action Plan (SNAP) which will be released in due time. The SNAP is the result of various stakeholder consultations by BIS and shall identify priorities areas and objectives for standards development in India.
Within the framework of the Global Project Quality Infrastructure (GPQI), GIZ acted as knowledge partner at the Special Standards Conclave and gave a presentation on machinery safety, based on the recent study of the project in cooperation with the German Engineering Association (VDMA).