Marking and quality certification of products and services
have become very important in today's rapidly changing business scenario.
This facilitate the production of quality goods/services as well as make
them available for the satisfaction of consumers at large. Because of
this, consumers get better choice and assurance of consistency in quality
of product/ service with its timely delivery. Further, they also get monitoring
of the firm's supplies and clear indication of its capabilities. Hence,
their time and money is saved in doing assessment of the suppliers. This
system of certification and marking is also beneficial for producers as
well. This helps them to gain a competitive edge in domestic as well as
global market. Disruptions created to their routine due to multiple assessment
by various customers is also reduced. They become more liable to produce
quality goods matching international standards.
Bureau of Indian
Standards (BIS) is the main authority which has been promoting the
industrial development in the country by formulation of National Standards,
Operation of Product Certification Scheme, Management Systems Certification
Schemes and Training.
Certification Scheme of BIS
aims to provide the Third Party Guarantee
of quality, safety and reliability of products to the ultimate consumers.
Under the scheme, BIS grants licences to manufacturers after assuring
that their product quality conform to the prescribed national standards/
specifications. The certification permits the licensees to use ISI certification
mark, known as Standard Mark, on their product. This conformity is ensured
by regular surveillance of the licensee's performance by surprise inspections
and testing of samples, drawn from both the market and factory.
ISI Mark holds a good brand image in the eyes of consumers
as it gives assurance about the quality of product. Therefore, the consumer
as well as organized purchaser gives preference to the ISI marked products
over non-ISI products.
The Product Certification Scheme is basically voluntary
in nature and is largely based on ISO Guide 28, which provides general
rules for third party certification system for determining conformity
of product quality with standards. It covers varied industrial disciplines
such as agriculture, textiles, electronics, metal products, rubber and
plastic, automotives, leather, wood, paper and pulp products, etc.
However, for a number of items affecting health and safety
of the consumer and those of mass consumption, this Scheme has been made
mandatory by the Government through various statutory measures such as
Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, Mines Act, Gas Cylinders Rules, along
of Indian Standards Act, 1986. Some of such items brought under mandatory
certification are LPG Cylinders, pressure stoves, Self ballasted lamps
for general lighting services (commonly known as CFL), Processed cereal
based complementary foods for infants, Sweetened ultra high temperature
treated condensed milk, skimmed milk powder, constant speed compression
ignition (diesel) engines for general purposes (up to 20 KW), Refillable
Seamless Steel Gas Cylinders, clinical thermometers, packaged drinking
water, different types of cement, etc.
To complement and support the activity of product certification,
BIS have established a chain of 8 laboratories in five regions, that is,
Sahibabad, Kolkata, Mohali, Mumbai and Chennai as well as a network of
33 Branch Offices set up in the State Capitals or major industrial towns.
Out of this, six laboratories have been accredited by National
Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL)
for their testing facilities. Electrical Calibration Laboratory at Sahibabad
has been accredited for its calibration facility.
BIS has also introduced Certification Schemes for foreign
manufacturers and Indian
importers. Under these schemes, foreign manufacturers can seek certification
from BIS for marking their products with BIS Standard Mark and Indian
importers can also seek BIS certification for applying BIS Standard Mark
on the products being imported into the country. Under the BIS Certification
scheme for foreign manufacturers, 65 licences have been granted and three
licences have been granted to importers.
Besides, there is BIS
Certification Scheme for Hallmarking of Gold Jewellery which has been
launched to protect consumers against any fraudulent practices due to
irregular gold quality. It, thus, instills confidence in the consumer
about the purity of gold jewellery and seeks to develop India as a leading
gold market centre in the world. The scheme is voluntary in nature and
operates through BIS network of regional and branch offices located across
the country. Under this, a jeweller has to obtain certification mark licence
from BIS to get his jewellery hallmarked from a BIS recognised Assaying
and Hallmarking Centre. The recognition of these Centres is done by BIS
after ensuring that the Centre are following BIS Criteria for Hallmarking
based on laid down norms for sampling, assaying and hallmarking as well
as have adequate testing facilities, trained and competent manpower.
Another major Scheme being operated by BIS is the Quality
Management Systems Certification Scheme, which is operating as per
IS/ISO 9001:2000 standard. The scheme was launched in 1991 covering a
wide range of industry as well as service sectors including engineering,
chemicals, pharmaceutical, cement, ceramics, food, textiles, automotives,
mechanical, metallurgical, electronics, aeronautics, hospitals, financial,
banking services, construction, hospitals, wholesale and retail trade,
education and training, hotel, power, printing, telecommunications, testing
laboratories and information technology. This scheme has received accreditation
in 23 technology sectors from the Raad
voor Accreditatie (RvA) of Netherlands, an international accreditation
body of repute and in 9 technology sectors from Quality
Council of India (QCI). In simpler terms, accreditation refers to
certification of the certification body.
Organization for Standardization (ISO)
is a worldwide federation of
national standards bodies, which aims to promote the development of standardization
and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating international
exchange of goods and services, and to developing cooperation in the spheres
of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity. The
results of ISO technical work are published as International Standards.
The ISO 9000 family of standards represents an international consensus
on good management practices with the aim of ensuring that the organization
can deliver the product or services that meet the consumers quality
requirements. BIS is a founder member of ISO and represents India in ISO.
ISO 9001:2000 is one of the core standards in the family
of ISO 9000 standards which deals with the requirements of Quality Management
Systems. The main benefits of implementing these requirements and getting
certification licence under Quality Management Systems Certification Scheme
are:- (i) provides an opportunity to increase value to the activities
of the organization; (ii) provides clear indication of firm's capabilities
as well as strong evidence of its commitment to quality; (iii) improves
the performance of processes/activities continually; (iv) leads to less
material wastage, production down time, rework, etc. through an increase
in 'quality know-how' and efficiency; (v) provides satisfaction to consumers
by assuring them quality of products; (vi) facilitates proper implementation
of statutory and regulatory requirements related to products/services;
(vii) facilitates better resource management; etc.