Bureau of Indian Standards (hereinafter referred to as ‘BIS’) is a statutory body established under the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’). BIS prescribes the standards for covering goods and systems under the standardization regime. Under the Act, BIS has been identified as the ‘National Standards Body of India’ and is regulated under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and Government of India.
Function of BIS –
BIS through its core activities of standardization and conformity assessment, has been benefiting the economy by providing safe and reliable and quality goods; minimizing health hazards to consumers; protecting the environment, promoting exports and imports substitute; controlling proliferation of varieties etc. The standards and certification scheme of BIS apart from benefitting the consumers and industry also support various public policies especially in areas of product safety, consumer protection, food safety, environment protection, building and construction, etc.
Important provisions under Bureau of Indian Standards Act everyone must be aware of –
This Act was compiled to provide for the establishment of a national standards body for the harmonious development of the activities of standardisation, conformity assessment and quality assurance of goods, articles, processes, systems and services and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
This Act is divided into V chapters with more than 40 Sections covering all the important provisions for development in major sectors.
Chapter I of the Act –
Gives us an introduction on the application of the Act and Sec. 2 of the Act gives definitions which helps us in understanding the basics such as:-
- Assaying and hallmarking centre means a testing and marking centre recognised by the Bureau to determine the purity of precious metal articles and to apply hallmark on the precious metal articles in a manner as may be determined by regulations;
- Bureau means the Bureau of Indian Standards established under section 3;
- Certification officer means a certification officer appointed under sub-section (1) of section 27;
- Certified body means a holder of certificate of conformity or licence under sub-section (2) of section 13 in relation to any goods, article, process, system or service which conforms to a standard;
- Certified jeweller means a jeweller who has been granted a certificate by the Bureau to get manufactured for sale or to sell any precious metal article after getting the same hallmarked in a manner as may be determined by regulations;
- Conformity assessment means demonstration that requirements as may be specified relating to an article, process, system, service, person or body are fulfilled;
- Conformity assessment scheme means a scheme relating to such goods, article, process, system or service as may be notified by the Bureau under section 12;
- consumer means a person as defined in the Consumer Protection Act, 1986;
- covering includes any stop per, cask, bottle, vessel, box, crate, cover, capsule, case, frame, wrapper, bag, sack, pouch or other container
Chapter II of the Act –
With this chapter of the Act, we get to know about Establishment of Bureau and Constitution of Governing Council, Under Sec. 3 – 9 of the Act, various major appointments such as Advisory Committees of Bureau and the appointment of Director General.
- Sec. 7 of the Act states that –
(1) The Central Government shall appoint a Director General of the Bureau.
(2) The terms and conditions of service of the Director General of the Bureau shall be such as may be prescribed.
(3) Subject to the general superintendence and control of the Governing Council, the Director General of the Bureau shall be the Chief Executive Authority of the Bureau.
(4) The Director General of the Bureau shall exercise and discharge such of the powers and duties of the Bureau as may be specified by regulations.
(5) The Director General may, by general or special order in writing, delegate to any officer of the Bureau subject to such conditions, if any, as may be specified in the order, such of his powers and functions as are assigned to him under the regulations or are delegated to him by the Governing Council, as he may deem necessary
- Sec. 9 of the Act states –
The provisions about Powers and functions of Bureau where it has been mentioned that –
The powers and duties as may be assigned to the Bureau under this Act shall be exercised and performed by the Governing Council and, in particular, such powers may include the power to—
(a) establish branches, offices or agencies in India or outside;
(b) recognise, on reciprocal basis or otherwise, with the prior approval of the Central Government, the mark of any international body or institution, on such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon by the Bureau in relation to any goods, article, process, system or service at par with the Standard Mark for such goods, article, process, system or service;
(c) seek recognition of the Bureau and of the Indian Standards outside India on such terms and conditions as may be mutually agreed upon by the Bureau with any corresponding institution or organisation in any country or with any international organisation;
(d) enter into and search places, premises or vehicles, and inspect and seize goods or articles and documents to enforce the provisions of this Act;
Chapter III of the Act –
Could be considered as the sole of this Act which talks about the workings style as to be per Indian Standards.
- Under Sec. 10 , the provision says that –
The Bureau may—
(a) establish, publish, review and promote the Indian Standard, in relation to any goods, article, process, system or service in such manner as may be prescribed;
(b) adopt as Indian Standard, any standard, established by any other Institution in India or elsewhere, in relation to any goods, article, process, system or service in such manner as may be prescribed;
(c) recognise or accredit any institution in India or outside which is engaged in standardisation;
(d) undertake, support and promote such research as may be necessary for formulation of Indian Standards.
- Sec. 11 says declares –
The provision for prohibition to publish without authorisation of the Bureau where it has been mentioned that –
No individual shall, without the authorisation of the Bureau, in any manner or form, publish, reproduce or record any Indian Standard or part thereof, or any other publication of the Bureau.
- Sec. 14 and Sec. 18 of the Act-
Play a major role in functioning where Sec. 14 gives the provision for Certification of Standard Mark of jewellers and sellers of certain specified goods or articles and Sec. 18 gives the obligations for license holder which says that The licence holder shall, at all times, remain responsible for conformance of the goods, articles, processes, systems or services carrying the Standard Mark. It shall be the responsibility of the distributor or the seller, as the case may be, to ensure that goods, articles, processes, systems or services carrying the Standard Mark are purchased from certified body or licence holder.
Chapter IV of the Act –
- Section 20 of the Act –
Provides the powers for finance, audit and accounts management of Bureau of Indian Standards where it talks about the funds of the BIS where the provision says that There shall be constituted a fund to be called the Bureau of Indian Standards fund and there shall be credited there to—
(a) any grants and loans made to the Bureau by the Central Government;
(b) all fees and charges received by the Bureau under this Act;
(c) all fines received by the Bureau;
(d) all sums received by the Bureau from such other sources as may be decided upon by the Central Government.
(2) The fund shall be applied for meeting—
(a) the salary, allowances and other remuneration of the members, Director General, officers and other employees of the Bureau;
(b) expenses of the Bureau in the discharge of its functions under the Act; and
(c) expenses on objects and for purposes authorised by this Act
- Sec. 24 – of the Act gives the provisions for Auditing the fund –
The Act and it’s regulations say that The Bureau shall maintain proper accounts and other relevant records and prepare an annual statement of accounts, in such form as may be prescribed by the Central Government in consultation with the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India.
(2) The accounts of the Bureau shall be audited by the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India at such intervals as may be specified by him and any expenditure incurred in connection with such audit shall be payable by the Bureau to the Comptroller and AuditorGeneral of India.
Under the Miscellaneous Chapter, i.e. Chapter V the provisions for power of Central Government to issue directions saying that Without prejudice to the foregoing provisions of this Act, the Bureau shall, in the exercise of its powers or the performance of its functions under this Act, be bound by such directions on questions of policy as the Central Government may give in writing to it from time to time.
Provided that the Bureau shall, as far as practicable, be given an opportunity to express its views before any direction is given under this sub-section.
One of the major functions of the Bureau is the formulation, recognition and promotion of the Indian Standards. As on 1 January 2019, over 20,000 Standards have been formulated by BIS, are in force. These cover important segments of economy, which help the industry in upgrading the quality of their products and services.
And as the quote says , ” With great powers comes great responsibilities” BIS has been empowered with many responsibilities which is hard to imply in public domain and yet to be taken care of.
This Article is authored by Kashyap Tripathi, Pursuing B.B.A.LL.B from D.Y.Patil University