Joint efforts of India and Germany are necessary to improve product quality and safety: Secretary, Consumer Affairs Ministry

New Delhi: The Department of Consumer Affairs and German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) organised two days event on Quality Infrastructure (QI) which started here today. On the first day, experts discussed QI and emerging topics such as circular economy. The event will conclude on Friday, 8th July.

During his address, the Secretary, Department of Consumer Affairs, Shri Rohit Kumar Singh, underlined the importance of the Indo-German partnership, which was emphasised with the visit of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to the G7 meeting. He also underscored the importance of consumer protection through standards and certification processes. Joint efforts are necessary to improve product quality and safety, such as through the various technical exchanges during the Indo-German QI-Days. The Secretary welcomed the focus on emerging topics such as artificial intelligence, smart farming and circular economy, which are priorities for the Indian government. He urged involvement of all relevant stakeholders in the discussions on the various aspects of QI, to contribute to the success and the tangible results of this cooperation.

Dr Ole Janssen, Deputy Director General for Innovation and Technology Policy at BWMK, the co-chair from the German delegation, in his address, highlighted the importance of the bilateral cooperation on quality infrastructure and noted that the Indo-German QI-Days provided an important platform for dialogues to share information and expertise on issues of mutual interest to support bilateral trade and economic activities. Dr Janssen emphasised that the delegation visit to India has underlined the strategic partnership between Germany and India for innovation, and digital and green transformation.

The visit of the delegation from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) to India underlines the importance of Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure for trade, product safety and consumer protection and provides an excellent opportunity to the experts from both the sides to improve the mutual understanding of the German and Indian approaches to quality infrastructure (QI).

Quality infrastructure is a system that covers everything needed to ensure safe, high-quality products and services: from standardisation, conformity assessment (testing, inspection and certification) and accreditation to metrology and market surveillance. These elements form the system and processes that protect people, health and the environment. Quality infrastructure plays a vital role for business, innovation and trade – both nationally and across borders.

It is therefore important for a country to have a well-designed and coherent QI system which is also in line with international best practices to play a vital role in global trade. They reduce time, cost and business uncertainty for companies as well as ensure consumer safety.

The two-days event will see an expert exchange on market surveillance wherein both the sides will exchange different aspects for a robust market surveillance system. In addition, the 1st Indo-German Forum on Technical Regulation and Conformity Assessment, in which Indian and German experts will discuss how India and Germany can work together to improve the ease of doing business as well as the involvement of the relevant stakeholders in technical regulation. The strategic dialogue aims to improve the preparedness of the industry on upcoming regulatory changes. At the same time, it intends to enhance the effectiveness of regulations through the exchange on approaches to technical regulation in Germany and India as well as good regulatory practices.

The 3rd Indo-German Forum on Standardisation, during which standardisation bodies will discuss approaches and criteria for emerging topics, such as Artificial Intelligence, electromobility, circular economy, hydrogen and smart agriculture. The forum was established in 2019 and enables both countries to collaborate on issues of mutual interest that are relevant for the standard bodies, industry as well as consumers. During a panel discussion, Indo-German experts will also discuss role of standardisation roadmaps and integration of research in standard development processes.

An expert exchange on Circular Economy, which will discuss the role of QI in enabling and supporting the ecological transformation of our economies considering the developments and priorities in QI and at the national and international policy level. In the panel discussion, experts emphasised the role of standards and certification for the transition to a circular economy across different sectors.

The Indo-German QI-Days will be attended by German and Indian stakeholders including Indian ministries (DPIIT, MeitY, MoEFCC), NITI Aayog, standardisation and accreditation bodies (BIS, DIN, DKE, NABCB, DAkkS, BAM), industry and their associations (FICCI, CII, VDMA, IGCC), research bodies (Frauenhofer-Gesellschaft).

 

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