Sustainability, Smartness, Services: BIS Releases Indian Action Plan for Standardisation
The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) released a Standards National Action Plan (SNAP) on 29 March 2019. The plan supplements the Indian National Strategy for Standardization (INSS) which the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry released in June 2018. During the next three years, the following objectives shall be worked towards:
- Identification of standardisation needs and enhancing stakeholder involvement;
- Making standardisation processes efficient and fast;
- Ensuring harmonious standardisation activities in the country;
- Increased participation and involvement in international standardisation activities;
- Increasing awareness and implementation of standards.
The plan was developed based on stakeholder consultations which identified key issues such as the need for establishing a regular feedback mechanism on standards, and constraints for participation in national and international standardisation.
Through an assessment of social and economic needs in India, the plan prioritised standardisation areas. Key aspects for future standards development are sustainability, smartness, and services. Priority areas include for example digital technologies (e.g. IT security, Artificial Intelligence, and the Internet of Things), sustainable environment and waste management (e.g. air and water quality), housing and structural safety, petroleum and fuels, agricultural machinery, and smart cities. A full ranking of priority areas can be found in Annex 2 of the action plan.
In light of a growing role of Standards Developing Organisations (SDOs) in India, the SNAP announces BIS’ plan to introduce a scheme for accreditation or recognition of SDOs. This shall ensure a coordinated and harmonised standards development in India. Further actions defined in the report include conducting quarterly meetings with ministries, regulators, and industry associations to assess standardisation needs and promote the use of standards through policies and regulations.
The plan sets the objective to set up an online platform for easy-to-use submission of comments and feedback on existing standards and draft documents. The conversion of standards to an XML format shall enhance their ease of access and management. Participation of experts in national and international meetings shall be improved by funding 20 percent more experts every year.
BIS aspires to strengthen its role in international standardisation, for example by identifying at least five subjects annually where India can play a leading role. For this, BIS intends to increase the collaboration with other National Standards Bodies.
BIS’ action plan focuses on key areas discussed in the Indo-German Standardisation Dialogue within the framework of the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure. The close collaboration between BIS, the German standards bodies DIN and DKE, and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy will contribute to achieving the action plan’s objectives and improve the bilateral economic relations.