The Indian Standardization System is complex and needs understanding of the various bodies and Ministries involved.
From standards point of view, India’s participation in International Standardization (ISO, IEC, and ITU) is at inter-governmental level since standardization is part of government ministries.
Each Union ministry may define regulations, polices in its area of competence. In reality this means that even within a ministry, several departments may be involved in standards and regulations within their area of competence – for example, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has two departments: Department of Telecommunications (DoT) which is a member of ITU and is responsible for developing and monitoring national telecommunications standards, policies and legislations whereas Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) is responsible for the electronics and IT industry and cover rest of the ICT standards; e.g. for Internet, e-governance, cyber security, national knowledge network, R&D in electronics & IT etc.
Departments and some autonomous bodies under the auspices of the Ministry of Science and Technology also participate in the definition of Indian standards/regulations. It has an objective of promoting new areas of Science & Technology and to play the role of a nodal department for organizing, coordinating and promoting S&T activities in the country.
The Standardization Technical Committee(s) are chaired by the senior officials from the concerned Departments of Union Ministry, with participation from academia, concerned trade association representatives and select relevant private sector experts. The recommendations of such Committees form the basis for further discussions by BIS Technical Committee. Further, the BIS TC (Standardization Technical Committee(s) output is then provided for public consultation, where support by industry representatives is taken into consideration for further potential updates of the standard.
The whole standards and regulation regime, unlike European Standardizations, is thus an interdepartmental, inter-ministerial, administration controlled process although formally all adhere to ISO, IEC standards and WTO-TBT agreements and guidelines.
Industry associations play a vital role in influencing in India. These associations provide, on request of its members, the needed support mechanisms to the Indian ministries.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution are a Union / Central government ministry of India, playing a pivotal role in the standardization. The Ministry is headed by a minister of Cabinet rank.
The Ministry of Consumer Affairs of India, Food and Public Distribution are divided into two parts:
- Department of Food and Public Distribution
- Department of Consumer Affairs;
The Department of Consumer affairs administers the policies for Consumer Cooperatives, Monitoring Prices, availability of essential commodities, Consumer Movement in the country and Controlling of statutory bodies like Bureau of Indian Standards(BIS) and Weights and Measures.