Special National Standards Conclave Held in Mumbai

Mumbai: A Special National Standards Conclave was organized by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India on February 8-9 in Mumbai, in association with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Export Inspection Council (EIC), Centre for Research in International Trade (CRIT) and National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB). Commerce Secretary, Shri Anup Wadhawan inaugurated the conclave.

Dr. Anup Wadhawan, Secretary, Department of Commerce, in his keynote address underlined the importance of avoiding conflict of interest among regulators policy environment and implementation bodies to achieve quality ecosystem. He also mentioned that the Indian National Strategy for Standardization (INSS) is a dynamic document and needs to get more ambitious as time and technology advances.

Mr. Sudhanshu Pandey, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, while emphasizing that standards are not only for exporters, but have become essential for producers, manufacturers and service providers for their survival itself, he further informed the audience about the work being currently underway in Government of India for strengthening regulatory ecosystem without compromising on the ease of doing business.

The conclave deliberated INSS for the effective implementation on the first day and the market access and industry aspect of utilising this strategy on the second day. Following recommendations were given at the end of conclave as the way forward:

Separation of roles for avoidance of conflict of interest in regulatory framework
An overarching de novo legislative instrument for notifying technical regulations, and surveillance mechanism with an independent market surveillance agency (for non-agricultural goods) needs to be set up
Set up a National Task Force under Department of Commerce to drive standards setting for services especially champion sectors
Acceptability of industry driven standards by Standards Developing Organizations
Formulation of appropriate conformity assessment procedures based on international best practices and self-regulation by Conformity Assessment Bodies to uphold the credibility of conformity assessment
Strategy to dominate participation in international standardization in critical sectors for India in standards and conformity assessment with an oversight mechanism to ensure high expertise
Expedite notification of technical regulations to bridge regulatory deficit
Consortium of concerned Ministries and Government agencies, CII and Industry Bodies, QCI, BIS, to create awareness and build capacity among industry (especially MSMEs) and other stakeholders regarding new regulations being implemented (Pillar 4 -INSS)

The Conclave was attended by senior officers from Department of Commerce, other central government ministries and departments and from state governments. Industry associations, subject experts and general public with interest in the subject participated in the conclave in large numbers.

The Special Standards Conclave also saw launch of voluntary certification and rating scheme for private security services developed by QCI.