Bureau of Indian Standards Definitions, Meaning, Functions, Framework

Table of Contents:-

  • Bureau of Indian Standards Act 1986
  • What is bureau of Indian standards?
  • BIS Act Definitions
  • Bureau of Indian Standards Meaning
  • A license under BIS to use ISI Certification Mark
  • Power and Functions of Bureau of Indian Standards
  • Standardization Framework in Bureau of Indian Standards
  • Bureau of Indian Standards Laboratory Functions and Recognition

BIS Act 1986: Quality Standards and Certification in India

The Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986, was enacted by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution of the Government of India. The Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986, commonly known as “BIS,” has specified a Standard Mark called the Bureau of Indian Standards Certification Mark. This Mark is designed and contains details as prescribed to represent a specific Indian Standard. Previously known as “ISI” under the Indian Standard Institution (Certification Mark) Act, 1952, it continues to be a recognized mark (ISI Mark) under the BIS Act.

This Act is based on the concept of a self-quality assurance certification system. The BIS Act allows licensed manufacturers with the necessary production and testing facilities or those willing to avail such facilities from the BIS Laboratory to use the Mark on their products if the commodity adheres to the specified standards. Under the current self-quality assurance certification system, the Bureau has also authorized many other agencies to certify the quality of a product.

What is bureau of Indian standards?

The Bureau of Indian Standards is the National Standards Body of India and is responsible for formulating national standards across various technology areas. These standards are developed through multiple sectional committees, subcommittees, and ad hoc panels. To ensure adequate representation of consumer interests in these technical committees, BIS invites NGOs and consumer activists to submit their details and areas of interest for participation to the Head of the nearest Bureau of Indian Standards – BIS Regional or Branch Office.

The addresses of BIS Offices are available on the BIS website. BIS considers providing appropriate representation in the relevant Technical Committees based on the technical expertise and experience of the interested parties. The Bureau has the authority to constitute ‘Advisory Committees’ in addition to other committees to discharge its various functions, including efficiently 

  1. Certification Advisory Committee
  2. Standards Advisory Committee, 
  3. Laboratory Advisory Committee, and 
  4. Planning and Development Advisory Committee.

BIS Act Definitions

The following essential definitions, as contained in this Act, are provided here to aid in understanding the various activities of the Bureau of Indian Standards:

– “Indian Standards Institution” refers to the institution established under the Resolution of the Government of India in the former Department of Industries and Supplies No. 1 Std. (4)/45, dated the 3rd day of September in 1946. It has been registered under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.

– “Indian Standard” denotes the standard (including any tentative or provisional standard) established and published by the Bureau relating to any article or process indicating the quality and specification of such article or process. This includes any standard recognized by the bureau and any standard established, published, or recognized by the Indian Standards Institution that was in force immediately before the establishment of the Bureau of Indian Standards.

Bureau of Indian Standards Meaning

– “Specification” means a description of an article or process, as far as practicable, by reference to its quality, nature, strength, composition, purity, dimensions, quantity, grade, weight, origin, durability, material, age, mode of manufacture or other characteristics to differentiate it from any other article or process.

– “Standard Mark” is the Bureau of Indian Standards Certification Mark specified by the Bureau to represent a particular Indian Standard. It also includes any Indian Standards Institution Certification Mark established by the Indian Standards Institution.

– “Trademark” refers to a mark used or proposed to be used about goods to indicate a connection in the course of trade between the goods and a person having the right, either as proprietor or as a registered user, to use the mark, with or without any indication of the identity of that person.

Note: An article is considered marked with a ‘Standard Mark’ if it is marked with a Standard Mark, or any covering containing or label attached to such article has been so marked.

A license under BIS to use ISI Certification Mark

The term “Licence” under this Act refers to a license granted to use the Indian Standards Certification Mark in connection with any article or process that complies with the Indian Standard. This definition also encompasses any license granted under the Indian Standards Institution (Certification Marks) Act, 1952, which is in force immediately before the date of the establishment of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

By order, the Bureau can grant, renew, suspend, or cancel a license per the stipulated regulations. The issuance or renewal of the permit under the relevant subsection is contingent upon meeting specified conditions and payment of fees as prescribed in the rules.

Power and Functions of Bureau of Indian Standards

The Bureau may exercise the powers and fulfil its duties by or under this Act. These powers encompass, among other things, the authority to:

1. Perform other functions as prescribed.

2. Levy fees for the renewal or grant of any license.

3. Establish branches, offices, or agencies in India or abroad.

4. Grant, renew, suspend, or cancel a Standard Mark license.

5. Appoint agents for inspection, testing, and other prescribed purposes in India and abroad.

6. Establish, publish, and promote the Indian Standard for any article or process as prescribed.

7. Provide services to manufacturers and consumers under mutually agreed terms and conditions.

8. Undertake research to formulate Indian Standards in the interests of consumers and manufacturers.

9. Establish, maintain, and recognize laboratories for standardisation, quality control, and other prescribed purposes.

10. Recognize institutions in India or abroad engaged in any article or process’s standardization or quality improvement.

11. Coordinate activities of manufacturers, associations, or consumers involved in standardization, quality improvement, or quality control.

12. Recognize any standard established by other institutions in India or elsewhere about any article or process as an Indian Standard in the manner prescribed.

13. Seek recognition of the Bureau and Indian Standards outside India through mutual agreements with corresponding institutions or organizations in any country.

14. Inspect any article or process at prescribed times and places, whether in India or brought into India from outside, to ensure compliance with the Indian Standard.

15. Conduct inspections and take necessary samples of any material or substance to ascertain compliance with the Indian Standard where the Standard Mark is used.

16. Specify a Standard Mark known as the ‘Bureau of Indian Standards Certification Mark,’ designed and detailed as prescribed to represent a particular Indian Standard.

Standardization Framework in Bureau of Indian Standards

The establishment, Formulation, and Management of BIS is given below:

(1) Establishment

a) The Bureau is empowered to establish Indian Standards for any article or process. It may amend, revise, or cancel these standards as necessary through a consultative process involving consumers, manufacturers, technologists, scientists, and officials via duly constituted committees.

[Provided, any Indian Standard established by the “Indian Standards Institution” before the BIS Act, Rules, and Regulations came into force is deemed established under the new provisions.]

b) All standards, revisions, amendments, and cancellations are officially established through notification in the Official Gazette.

(2) Technical Committees

a) To formulate Indian Standards for articles or processes, technical committees of experts are constituted, including experts from Division Councils, Sectional Committees, Subcommittees, and Panels.

b) Sectional Committees, Division Councils, and Subcommittees are reconstituted every three years, with the tenure of Panels determined by the respective Sectional Committee.

(3) Division Councils

a) The Bureau establishes Division Councils in defined industry and technology areas to formulate standards. These councils include Bureau officers and representatives from various interests, such as consumers, regulatory bodies, government agencies, industry, scientists, technologists, and testing organizations. They may include consultants, with a Bureau officer as the Member Secretary.

b) Major functions of Division Councils include advising on subject areas for standard formulation, setting up Sectional Committees, approving proposals, advising on research and development, studying international standards organizations, advising on standard implementation, and performing other tasks referred by the Bureau/Standards Advisory Committee.

(4) Sectional Committees, Subcommittees, and Panels

a) Sectional Committees, appointed by Divisional Councils or the Bureau, include officers and representatives from various interests and may co-opt experts for standardization work.

b) Sectional Committees can appoint panels and subcommittees; these committees may co-opt professionals for assistance.

(5) Procedure for Establishment of Indian Standards

a) Various entities can submit proposals for establishing, revising, amending, or cancelling standards, and the formulation of standards is initiated when the Division Council deems it necessary.

b) Draft standards are circulated for review, and the finalized draft is submitted to the Division Council for adoption.

(6) Status of Indian Standards

a) Establishing Indian Standards ensures a consensus among interested parties. These standards are voluntary and binding when stipulated in contracts, referred to in legislation, or made mandatory by government orders.

(7) Publication

Indian Standards and their revisions and amendments are published and made available for sale in various formats determined by the Bureau.

Bureau of Indian Standards Laboratory Functions and Recognition

(1) Functions of Laboratories established and maintained by the Bureau

  1. Conduct testing of samples related to the use of the Standard Mark.
  2. Undertake Research and Development investigations or testing to gather data for the evolution and modification of Indian Standards and quality assessment studies.
  3. Provide support services to industries for quality improvement, subject to terms and conditions set by the Bureau.
  4. Perform any other functions necessary to fulfil the objectives of the Bureau.

(2) Lab Recognition and Registration: BIS Guidelines and WTO Designation

(a) The Bureau may recognize laboratories in India or any other country for testing samples related to using the Standard Mark and other essential functions. If a recognized laboratory fails to meet the conditions set during recognition, it may be de-recognized by the Bureau. The Bureau specifies guidelines for the recognition and de-recognition of laboratories.

(b) Registration of Recognized Laboratories – The Bureau maintains a register of laboratories recognized for testing samples of articles or processes by the relevant Indian Standards.

“The Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, as the nodal ministry for World Trade Organisation (WTO) matters, has designated the ‘Bureau of Indian Standards’ as the WTO TBT (Technical Barriers to Trade) Enquiry Point for India.”


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