India Standards Portal

4th National Standards Conclave : Evolving a Comprehensive National Strategy for Standards - Sectoral and Regional Inclusiveness

The  4th  Standards Conclave was held in  New Delhi on 1-2 May 2017 on the theme ‘Evolving a Comprehensive National Strategy for Standards  : Sectoral and Regional Inclusiveness’ jointly organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

As the theme suggested, the focus of the two day conclave on highlighting issues and capturing recommendations that will enhance competitiveness of India’s goods and services by developing a comprehensive strategy for standardization, conformity assessment and technical regulations.

The Conclave was inaugurated by Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State (IC) for Commerce and Industry. “India needs to make it possible to provide quality goods at an affordable price, the minister said. She highlighted the importance of  India becoming a prominent player in standards setting system and increasing the conformity level of goods and services to the standards.  Standards are not just about export promotion but also making India ready to meet its internal needs, she added. One aspect that needs urgent attention is taking part in international negotiations on standards to ensure flexibility in  variety of products that can be accepted. She also emphasized on the need to disseminate timely information on the large number of WTO TBT and SPS notifications issued by nations every month to the relevant industry sectors and exporters.

The hon’ble Minister inaugurated the India Standards Portal during the inaugural session.

The conclave was also addressed by Mr. R V Deshpande, Minister for Large and Medium Industries and Infrastructure Development, Government of Karnataka, who informed that Karnataka is providing incentives to the industrial units adopting standards and the State’s procurement policy included conformity to standards. He added that the State  is building an infrastructure for conformity assessment with focus on Research and Development.

Commerce Secretary, Ms Rita Teotia noted the important developments  in the passing of the  new Bureau of India Standards (BIS) Act that was amended in line with the  recommendations of the previous Standards Conclaves. She noted that for the first time, standards in the services sector are being addressed.

The concave was addressed by a host of eminent overseas and Indian speakers. See list of speakers and their presentations. This included the presentation of the theme paper highlighting the National strategies for standards set up by many other countries and the possible themes that the Indian strategy could adopt. A key focus  of the conclave was to include States in the discussion agenda for the development of the strategy document.

Some of the key recommendations made during the Conclave include

  1. Align the National Strategy for Standards with the 3 year Action agenda released by Niti Ayog, with specific emphasis on improving agricultural productivity, enhancing exports through technology upgradation and adoption of international standards, and raising food standards to converge with international standards
  2. Ensuring presence at global standards setting forums and advocating national interests
  3. Work towards making India a recognized standards player and standards writer not only for domestic market but also for the world.
  4. Bring the Indian regulatory framework for standards at par with the developed nations both in terms of sectors covered and practices adopted
  5. Discovering methods for securing voluntary commitment from industry for compliance to standards. Promoting concept of self-regulating membership based bodies. Promote self-certification with an adequate mix of pre and post market surveillance
  6. Keeping a close market watch on substandard imports and response mechanisms in consultation with domestic industries
  7. Developing a coordination mechanisms among regulators and export promotion agencies especially in food sector
  8. Move towards use of independent, third party bodies, risk classification and proportionate regulatory approval process to streamline approvals.
  9. Promote acceptance of NABCB/ NABL accredited conformity assessment results among organized foreign buyers to reduce costs especially for MSMEs

It has been proposed to prepare the Indian National Strategy for Standardization in consultation with all stakeholders.

Click here for viewing the presentations at the 4th Standards Conclave


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