The Centre is working on bringing 643 products under the ambit of mandatory quality control orders to ensure compliance with quality standards. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is also in the process of finalising and developing standards for emerging sectors such as drones (unmanned aerial vehicles), electric vehicles & charging infrastructure including battery swapping.

Speaking to mediapersons on Wednesday, Minister for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs & Food and Public Distribution Piyush Goyal said as part of government’s focus to develop a robust quality ecosystem in the country, a total of 115 Quality Control Orders (QCOs) covering 493 products have been notified by various Ministries.

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Till May 2014, only 14 QCOs covering 106 products had been notified for compulsory BIS certification and implementation of Indian Standards. However, after May 2014, further 101 QCOs covering 387 products have been notified by various Ministries. So far, 643 products are under consideration by 14 Ministries or departments to be brought under the ambit of the QCOs, officials said.

‘Robust quality ecosystem’

Stressing that quality is an important pillar to make India self-reliant, Goyal added that a robust quality ecosystem will increase exports, bring economies of scale, create more jobs, boost GDP and make India competitive.

Responding to a query on resistance by some players on implementation of mandatory quality norms in the footwear sector, Goyal said that QCOs are implemented after adequate industry consultations. He added the government issued these orders for the footwear sector in October 2020 and more than two years have been given to players to become compliant with the norms.

“Twice we have given extensions for implementation of these orders. We have given industry time of two and half years to become compliant for QCOs which comes into effect from July 1. Now where is the question of still not being able to comply...there is some vested interest. Indian consumers deserve good quality footwear and should not suffer,” he added.

He pointed out that similar concerns were raised during the implementation of QCOs for toys, but after its implementation imports of substandard toys have dropped and there has been a significant increase in exports in this space.

Meanwhile, in the electric vehicle (EV) space, BIS has published six standards that focus on safety parameters. It is in the process of developing three additional standards for EV and charging infrastructure. Standards of battery swapping are also under development as interoperability has been an area of concern for players, officials added.

BIS officials said standards for drones used for agricultural purposes have already been published, which are used for soil analysis, irrigation, crop mapping and pest management. Now, standards are being developed for drones for general requirements among others