QCI and UL bring together government agencies and industry associations to accelerate

Bangalore, March 21, 2018: The Quality Council of India and UL, an independent, global safety science company recently concluded the third edition of the Standards Roundtable, an unique event that brings together government agencies and industry associations to further the quality ecosystem in the country through standardization.

Chaired bythe Ministry of Commerce and moderated by the Quality Council of India (QCI)and UL, the Standards Roundtable saw active participation of governmentagencies such as the National Accreditation Board for Testing and CalibrationLaboratories (NABL) and the Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC), and 16industry associations representing diverse sectors, as well as premier industrybodies such as the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).* 

A criticalagenda of the Standards Roundtable was the draft Indian National StandardsStrategy (INSS) released by the Ministry of Commerce recently. The draft INSSfocuses on, among other objectives, ‘using standards as an enhancer forcompetiveness in the domestic and international markets’ and ‘adopting bestpractices in standardization, conformity assessment and technical regulations,and creating an integrated infrastructure, roadmaps and institutions for theireffective management’. 

While Indiatoday has more than 19,000 standards, around 5,000 of them are updated andabout 135 are mandated for regulation. A phased approach to increase the levelof regulation to match other comparable markets will give the domestic industrythe right impetus to compete on global as well as domestic scale. 

Followingdetailed talks, participants of the Roundtable agreed to share their inputsabout the draft INSS document. Commenting on the first-of-its-kind effort bythe Government to devise a comprehensive Standards strategy, Mr. AnilJauhri, CEO, National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies, India said,“The Government is actively pushing the Standards agenda, and hopefully,with the draft INSS, where the roles of each stakeholder are clearly defined,we can create an action plan to further standardization in India with greaterparticipation from the industries.” 

Otherstrategic discussions in the event under the theme, “AcceleratingStandards Development For Building Brand India” centered aroundspeeding up the process of creating domestically relevant, technologicallysound, science-based and globally harmonized standards that can foster bettersafety, sustainability and healthy outcomes for the country. Experts reiteratedthe need for the industry to proactively support the standardization program ofthe Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). 

TheRoundtable also discussed an accreditation process for Standards DevelopmentOrganizations (SDO), so that the industry-level standards developed through aconsensus-based approach can be recognized and potentially adopted as theNational Standards – a practice followed in several mature markets. 

Commentingon the landmark event, Mr. Phil Piqueira, Vice President, GlobalStandards, UL said, “The Standards play a pivotal role in the economicdevelopment and are all the more relevant in today’s world where newtechnologies are proliferating at a rapid rate, shrinking the time to marketfrom years to months. In such a scenario, a collaborative effort is needed tosecure growth and address safety, quality and performance challenges. As anot-for-profit organization, UL’s mission is to promote safe living and workingenvironments around the world, and we are keen to extend this mission to Indiaby partnering with relevant stakeholders.” 

Speakingabout his association with the Standards Roundtable and the need to develop theIndia-specific Standards, Dr. R. P. Singh, Secretary General, QualityCouncil of India said, “This is perhaps the most exciting time forstandards and conformity assessment in India. The role of standards andconformity assessment as per international benchmarks has been recognizedbeyond doubt and there is a concerted effort to use this route to build Indianproducts and services as a brand.”

 Sharinghis views on the positive impact of the Standards Roundtable, Dr. RahulWalawalkar, Executive Director, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA), said, “Basedon the IESA-UL partnership launched in 2016 edition of the Standards Roundtable,the IESA hosted series of working group meetings with members to develop theIndia energy storage standards roadmap. This was later on adopted in the secondhalf of 2017 by the BIS-ETD 52 committee working on the stationary energystorage standards in India. In January 2018, the BIS has released these draftstandards for industry stakeholder comments and we anticipate that the firstset of standards will be approved by mid-2018. We will continue to work with ULand other stakeholders to develop other standards in 2018 and beyond.” 

Dr.Jyotirmay Mathur, Standards Committee Chair, Indian Society of Heating,Refrigerating and Air Conditioners (ISHRAE), adds, “HVAC industry veryaggressively adopts standards, it is evident from the fact that whereverthe Indian standards are not available, other standards from different parts ofthe globe are adopted and used. This Roundtable helped ISHRAE, anaccredited SDO see approaches used by other similar professional bodies todevelop, adopt and implement usage of standards, especially with rapidlychanging technology.”

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