January 2024 \ Business & Investment \ Business and Governance

New Delhi: Commerce and Industry Ministry Piyush Goyal in early January urged the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to make the country’s standards compatible to international standards wherever possible like in case of lifts, air filters or medical items. “This can be achieved through an increase in stakeholder consultations and by involving industry representatives,” the minister said while addressing the 77th Foundation Day function of BIS.

BIS and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) jointly organised the ‘Dialogue for Strengthening Quality Ecosystem in India’ to mark the foundation day. The minister said that a comprehensive network of modern labs have been set up to facilitate testing by BIS and industry. BIS recently agreed to invest Rs 40 crore to set up 21 labs for cotton testing.

He called upon industry to come forward with areas for which testing is required. He said BIS has ample funds and asked the organization to ensure a transparent ecosystem and high surveillance for better delivery. Goyal applauded the efforts of BIS in hallmarking jewellery and pointed out that mandatory hallmarking covers 343 districts. More than 4.3 lakh articles are hallmarked every day and 90 per cent jewellery that people are buying is hallmarked, he added.

The minister said that till 2014 there were only 14 Quality Control Orders of 106 products but now there are 156 QCOs of 672 products. The minister also pointed out that there had been a 52 per cent decline in toy imports in 2023 compared to 2015 because of QCOs that mandated quality above all. “QCO’s are being processed in nearly 2500 more items which reflects our commitment towards quality by providing high standard goods and services,” he said.

He said that nine years ago, PM Modi gave the vision of Zero Defect, Zero Effect which means that India should make products of high quality that are sustainable, eco-friendly and have zero climate impact. He quoted PM Modi as saying: “Over decades, India had been dependent on foreign standards for quality. Now India’s pace and progress will be decided by our own standards.”

Goyal said that good quality is non-negotiable and with the awareness generated by BIS, its benefits are understood by consumers, industry, exporters and importers. He also appealed to the younger generation to become the young ambassadors of quality and of Viksit Bharat. He said that the youngsters can promote e-learning, and can upgrade PARAKH initiative in colleges and universities.

Delegates including experts from diverse fields related to standardization, policymakers, industry professionals, consumer groups, academicians, representatives of various Industries, associations, leading manufacturers, traders, special invitees and representatives from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and DPIIT, also participated in the event. The inaugural session was followed by technical sessions.