The government came out with a product and services standardisation strategy, which includes promoting brand India, developing quality norms for services sector and ease compliance burden for small and medium enterprises. It is expected that all elements of the strategy would be undertaken and completed over a five-year period (2018-23).
“The rapid growth of the Indian economy, its size and emerging relevance in global trade, makes it essential to establish a robust quality ecosystem in India with a harmonised, dynamic and mature standards framework,” according to the strategy paper.
The strategy would focus on four areas — standards development, conformity assessment and accreditation, technical regulations, and awareness and education.
It intends to develop a comprehensive ecosystem for standards and quality development besides using standards for providing a level-playing field to domestic industry and enhancing the competitiveness of Indian goods and services in domestic and global markets.
Releasing the strategy, commerce minister Suresh Prabhu said at a CII function that standards of goods and services would help promote exports and boost domestic economy. The implementation of the strategy would be monitored by a high-level committee with quarterly reviews.
As part of standards development, it has set eight goals including the convergence of all standards development activities in India, harmonising standards with international norms, and development of services sector standards. “The topic of standardisation in services is relatively new and is also weakly addressed in trade law…with services accounting for a major share in the Indian and global economy, there is an urgent need to develop standards in services,” it said.
It has also proposed to set up a national task force with the mandate to identify the service quality gaps in the 12 champion sectors, including IT and communication.
Further, it said that to expand the outreach of the products for a global audience, the ‘brand India’ label would need to be significantly large in scale, and operated on professional lines.