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Bureau of Indian Standards


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. Prof. K.V. Thomas took charge as Minister of State in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution with effect from 1st June, 2009 and was re-instated as Minister of State having independent charge of the Department with effect from 19th January 2011.

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.

The Bureau of Indian Standards, the National Standards Body of India became functional as a statutory body under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986 with effect from 1 April 1987 taking over staff, assets and liabilities of Indian Standards Institution established in 1947. BIS took over the responsibility of Indian National Committee of IEC in 1949 from Institution of Engineers. The Bureau is successfully promoting and nurturing the standardization movement in the country. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), formally known as Indian Standards Institute (ISI), represents India in ISO as a founder member, IEC since 1911 and is also responsible for WTO-TBT Enquiry point.

BIS acts as an umbrella organization that oversees the development of Indian Standards (IS). Its management board consists of 25 members representing both Central and State governments, Members of Parliament, Industry Associations, Scientific and Research Institutions, Consumer Organizations, representative of Farmers Interests and Central/State Public Sector enterprises.

The BIS standardization process for the development of Indian Standards (IS) follows the ISO/IEC standards and WTO/TBT guidelines. BIS’s role is to coordinate inputs from various public sector stakeholders to its technical committees which are then commented by the private sector representatives (experts and industry association representatives). Since 1968 BIS has been organizing training programme on standardization for nominees of developing countries every year in the month of October.

BIS does not make technical regulations. However there are technical regulations which make compliance to BIS standards mandatory. Technical regulations are issued by various departments under different ministries of Government of India or by different regulators empowered under different states. BIS is engaged in formulation of Indian Standards for the following sectors:

  • Production & General Engineering

  • Chemicals

  • Civil Engineering

  • Electronics and Information Technology

  • Electrotechnical

  • Food and Agriculture

  • Mechanical Engineering

  • Management and Systems

  • Medical Equipment and Hospital Planning

  • Metallurgical Engineering

  • Petroleum Coal and Related Products

  • Transport Engineering

  • Textile

  • Water Resources

Each of these sectors has a Division Council to oversee and supervise its work. BIS publishes detailed Work Programme for each of the 14 Division Councils as briefed below once in a year on 1 April. Special attention is given to multidisciplinary areas such as energy conservation, environmental protection, rural development and safety. So far over 18,000 standards have been formulated in different technology areas.

  1. Production and General Engineering Division Council (PGEDC):
  2. Standardization in the field of basic and production engineering such as engineering drawings, screw threads, fasteners, transmission devices, weights and measures, engineering metrology, bearings, gears, horology, machine tools, hand tools, cutting tools, pneumatic tools and fluid power system including automation in manufacturing and robotics.

    • Composition of Technical Committee details is available here

    • Program of Work Details are available here

  3. Civil Engineering Division Council (CEDC):
  4. Standardization in field of civil engineering including structural engineering, building materials and components; planning, design, construction and maintenance of civil engineering structures; construction practices; safety in building but excluding those subjects which are specifically related to river valley projects.

    • Composition of Technical Committee details is available here

    • Program of Work Details are available at here

  5. Chemical Division Council (CHDC):
  6. Standardization in the field of chemicals and chemical products including paints and related products, glass and ceramic wares, paper and stationery items, leather and footwear, soaps and detergents, photographic and electroplating materials, lac and lac products, thermal insulation materials, industrial gases, explosives and pyrotechnics, nuclear material, chemical hazards, water quality, environmental protection and industrial safety (to the extent of their aspects relating to activity of the chemical division).

    • Composition of Technical Committee details is available here

    • Program of Work Details are available here

  7. Electrotechnical Division Council (ETDC):
  8. Standardization in the field of electrical power generation, transmission, distribution and utilization equipment; and insulating materials, winding wires, measuring and process control instruments and primary and secondary batteries.

    • Composition of Technical Committee details is available here

    • Program of Work Details are available here

  9. Food and Agricultural Division Council (FADC):
  10. Standardization in the field of food and agriculture including food processing, agricultural inputs, and agricultural machinery.

    • Composition of Technical Committee details is available here

    • Program of Work Details are available at here

  11. Electronics and Information Technology Division Council (LITDC):
  12. Standardization in the field of electronics and telecommunications including Information Technology same as CEN-CENELEC activities in ICT sector.

  13. Mechanical Engineering Division Council (MEDC):
  14. Standardization in the field of mechanical engineering including mining, boilers, pressure vessels, refrigeration and air conditioning, material handling, chemical engineering and other general engineering such as compressors, gas cylinders, oil and gas burners, water well drilling, pump sets educational instruments and equipment.

  15. Management and Systems Division Council (MSDC):
  16. Standardization in the field of basic standards of relevance to all division councils, quality management including quality systems ( also covering manufacturing and service sectors) statistical quality control (SQC), management and productivity, documentation and information systems and publication and graphic technology.

    • Composition of Technical Committee details is available here

    • Program of Work Details are available here

  17. Petroleum, Coal and related Products Division Council (PCDC):
  18. Standardization in the field of petroleum, natural gas, coal and coal related products, alcohols, dye-intermediates, natural and synthetic perfumery materials, cosmetics, fertilizers, plastics, rigid and semi-rigid and flexible plastic containers, rubber, adhesives, toys and sports goods.

    • Composition of Technical Committee details is available here

    • Program of Work Details are available here

  19. Transport Engineering Division Council (TEDC):
  20. Standardization in the field of transport engineering including air, water, road and rail transport; diesel engines for stationery application and ISO freight containers, transport packaging etc.

    • Composition of Technical Committee details is available here

    • Program of Work Details are available here

  21. Textile Division Council (TXDC):
  22. Standardization in the field of textiles covering natural and man-made fibers and their products, geotextiles, dyestuffs, textile auxiliaries and textile machinery.

    • Composition of Technical Committee details is available here

    • Program of Work Details are available here

  23. Water Resources Division Council (WRDC):
  24. Standardization in the field of Water Resources development to include the activities covering utilization of water resources for irrigation, drinking water as well as ground water development. In case of drinking water, the work shall be confined to making the water available to the municipal authorities.

    • Composition of Technical Committee details is available at here

    • Program of Work Details are available here

  25. Medical Equipment and Hospital Planning Division Council (MHDC):

Standardization in the field of medical equipment including all types of surgical instruments, electro-medical equipment, surgical dressings, anesthetic and rehabilitation equipment, artificial limbs, biological stains, veterinary surgery instruments, dentistry, laboratory instruments and equipment and hospital planning.

  • Composition of Technical Committee details is available here

  • Program of Work Details are available at here

The Work Programme, besides giving scope of Division Council and Sectional Committees, contains committee wise position of standards published and draft standards (like preliminary, wide circulation and finalized draft standards) at different stages of preparation.


Regional & International Participation:

As part of its regional co-operation Programmes BIS has established SARSO (South Asian Regional Standards Association) with objectives as; a) Coordination & Cooperation between SAARC countries in standards & Conformity Assessment b) Develop harmonized standards c) Facilitate intra-regional trade d) Promote MRAs on conformity assessment. First meeting of Governing Board of South Asia Regional Standards Organization (SARSO) was held in Dhaka on 14-15 December 2011.

BIS as a founder member of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and continues to take part in international standardization activities. BIS as a member of ISO

  • participates in its policy making bodies like Committee on Developing Country Matters (DEVCO), Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO), Committee on Information (INFCO) and Committee on Consumer Policy (COPOLCO)

  • is also a member for the Council which comprises of 18 members besides the ISO office bearers

BIS has taken a leading role in ISO and its activities from the time of its very creation. It has also taken keen interest and is P-member in its policy making committees like Committee on Conformity Assessment (CASCO), Committee on Consumer Policy (COPOLCO), Development Committee (DEVCO), Committee on Information (INFCO) and Committee on Reference Materials (REMCO). It has occupied important position by virtue of its significant contributions through its technical committees. BIS is a P-member in 51 and O-member in 111 committees and also holds Secretariat in 5 technical committees and 5 subcommittees as briefed below.

  • ISO/TC 34/SC7: Spices and Condiments, ISO/TC 50: Lac, ISO/TC 56: Mica, ISO/TC 113: Measurement of Liquid Flow an Open Channel, ISO/TC 113/SC 1: Velocity Area Methods, ISO/TC 113/SC 6: Sediment Transport, ISO/TC 120: Leather, ISO/TC 120/SC 1: Raw Hides and Skin Including pickled Felts, ISO/TC 120/SC 2: Tanned Leather, ISO/TC 149: Cycles

BIS is also actively involved in the activities of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), started taking part in IEC from 1911 and has participation status in 34 Technical Committees. Director General BIS has been elected as a member of Council Board for IEC which advises Council on various policy decisions.

BIS also participate and follow India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) Dialogue Forum.



Ministry of Commerce, the nodal ministry for WTO matters, has designated Bureau of Indian Standards as the WTO-TBT Enquiry Point for India which is responsible to answer all reasonable inquiries from other members and interested parties as well as providing the relevant documents concerning standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures whether impending or adopted, as well as on participation in bilateral or plurilateral standard-related agreements, regional standardizing bodies and conformity assessment systems.

There are 42 TBT notifications have been issued by BIS until today.

For more information:


Product Certifications:

The Product Certification Scheme of BIS aims at providing Third Party Guarantee of quality, safety and reliability of products to the ultimate customer. Presence of ISI certification mark known as Standard Mark on a product is an assurance of conformity to the specifications. The conformity is ensured by regular surveillance of the licensee’s performance by surprise inspections and testing of samples, drawn both from the market and factory.

The Bureau of Indian Standards has several certification schemes and one may see “hallmark” logo for gold and “ISI” and/or “BIS Standard Mark” logos on non-gold products. It has till date granted more than 30,000 licenses to manufacturers covering practically every industrial discipline from Agriculture to Textiles to Electronics. The Bureau’s predecessor, the Indian Standards Institution began operating the product certification Scheme in 1955. Presently more than 19000 licenses are in operation covering about 1000 products.

The BIS product certification scheme is essentially voluntary in nature, and is largely based on ISO Guide 28. A large number of operational elements of the BIS product certification scheme correspond with the requirements of ISO Guide 65.

BIS is also operating a product certification scheme for foreign manufacturers. In this scheme, a license is granted to the manufacturer to apply the “BIS Standard Mark” on a single product that conforms to an Indian Standard. Separate licenses are required for each product and/or Indian Standard. The scheme operates on SDoC basis. The BIS license is granted to the factory address at which the manufacturing and final product testing is performed.

The foreign manufacturer has to set up a liaison/branch office with the permission of Reserve Bank of India or nominate an Authorized Representative located in India to meet all liabilities with respect to BIS Act, Rules and Regulations for purpose of the BIS license. This requirement does not apply, if there is a MoU with the respective Foreign Government for implementation of BIS Act, Rules, and Regulations including the punitive provisions.

Although, the scheme of licensing itself is voluntary in nature, the Government of India, on considerations of public health and safety, security, infrastructure requirements and mass consumption has enforced mandatory certification on various products through Orders issued from time to time under various Acts. While BIS continues to grant licenses on application, the enforcement of compulsory certification is done by the notified authorities.

Under separate arrangements with statutory agencies, some products have been placed under special certification schemes of lot or batch inspection carried out by BIS inspecting officers. A majority of gas cylinders, regulators and valves are certified through such schemes. Under agreement with UNICEF, Deep well hand-pumps, a critical potable water supply source for rural areas is also certified under a lot inspection scheme. For all other products, the manufacturer is permitted to self-certify the products after ascertaining its conformity to the Standard licensed for. Through its surveillance operations, the Bureau maintains a close vigil on the quality of certified goods.

Overseas applicants and Indian Importers are also granted license for use of ISI mark under separately designed schemes “BIS Foreign Manufacturers Scheme and Indian Importers Scheme”.


Memorandum of understanding (MoUs)

BIS is also having memorandum of understanding in the field of standardization, certification and quality assurance on metrology with the following countries

  • Germany, Russian Federation, China, Turkey, Mauritius, Israel, Cuba