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Strengthening India's Quality Ecosystem

  • Published
    30th Jan, 2024
Context

The Government of India, led by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), is undertaking a mission to establish a robust quality ecosystem. With a focus on safety-compliant products, the introduction of Quality Control Orders (QCOs) is a strategic move to elevate India's position in global manufacturing while ensuring consumer safety.

Background
  • India's pursuit of a quality-centric ecosystem aligns with the vision for "Made in India" products to be globally recognized for their excellence.
  • The DPIIT's efforts involve the rapid implementation of QCOs, specifically targeting critical products affecting consumer safety, including Electrical Accessories, Laboratory Glassware, Hinges, Copper Products, and Door Fittings.

Mission for Quality:

Vision:

"Made in India" product should instill global confidence in its unmatched quality.

This aspiration is integral to the overarching goal of achieving excellence in all facets, from products and services to institutions and decision-making processes.

Technological Shift and Consumer Awareness:

  • In an era of advancing technology, consumers are increasingly vigilant about safety standards, performance parameters, and product durability.
  • A balance between product quality, pricing, and innovation is crucial, prompting consumers to scrutinize product quality reviews before making purchases.

Implementing Quality Control Orders (QCOs):

Policy Focus on Safety:

  • To reinforce strong quality standards and enhance consumer product safety, DPIIT places unprecedented policy emphasis on the implementation of QCOs.
  • This aligns with the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), allowing countries to take essential quality control measures.

Benefits of QCOs:

  • The implementation of QCOs is a strategic move with multifaceted advantages, including acquiring a larger share of the global manufacturing market, preventing sub-standard product circulation, attracting investments, and averting potential accidents.
  • QCOs facilitate early detection of product defects, benefiting both manufacturers and consumers by rationalizing costs.

Role of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS):

  • BIS, as the National Standard Body of India, plays a pivotal role in standardization, marking, and quality certification.
  • While BIS standards are voluntary, QCOs notified by the Central Government are mandatory, emphasizing safety standards and conformity assessments.

Recent Developments and Focus Areas:

More Than 60 New QCOs:

  • DPIIT's efforts have resulted in the issuance of over 60 new QCOs covering approximately 300 product standards.
  • These QCOs not only ensure reliable products for consumers but also elevate manufacturing quality standards, enhancing the brand value of "Made in India"

Recent QCOs:

  • Recent QCOs have been introduced for critical products like 'Steel Wires/ Strands, Nylon Wire Ropes and Wire Mesh,' 'Hinges,' 'Safes, Safe Deposits Locker Cabinets and Key locks,' 'Laboratory Glassware,' and 'Electrical Accessories.'
  • These products, prevalent in households, demand well-defined standards for consumer safety.

Implementation Process of QCOs:

Comprehensive Approach:

The implementation of QCOs involves DPIIT's engagement with stakeholders, consultations with BIS, industry feedback, legal vetting, WTO comments solicitation, and final approval from relevant Central Government authorities. Special considerations for Micro and Small Industries are envisaged to facilitate smooth implementation.

BIS Enforcement:

BIS enforces QCOs through the Grant of License and/or Certificate of Conformity. Post-QCO notification, the manufacturing, storing, and sale of non-BIS certified products are prohibited, with violations attracting penalties under the BIS Act.

Industry-Government Partnership:

Stakeholder Consultations:

  • DPIIT fosters a strong industry-government partnership by conducting regular consultations with industry members, sectoral associations, and stakeholders.
  • This ensures that issued QCOs align with industry needs, leading to smoother implementation.

Awareness Initiatives:

Post-QCO notification, DPIIT undertakes initiatives to raise awareness about the newly implemented QCOs, fostering a sense of ownership and adherence to standards across industries nationwide.

Future Prospects and Prime Minister's Vision:

'Zero Effect, Zero Defect' and 'Vocal for Local':

  • As India aims for 'Zero Defect' aligned with global standards and 'Zero Effect' emphasizing environmental sustainability, QCOs play a pivotal role.
  • With the "Vocal for Local" initiative resonating, QCOs contribute to the development of world-class products, supporting an 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat.'

Balancing Global Standards:

  • Striking a balance between 'Zero Defect' and 'Zero Effect,' QCOs are instrumental in enhancing the credibility and value of Indian products globally.
  • Adherence to safety standards is central to building consumer trust and promoting homegrown brands.
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