The Erstwhile Indian Standards Institution (now Bureau of Indian Standards) was established in the year 1947 with the objective of harmonious development of standardization activity in India. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) was established under the BIS Act, 1986 for the harmonious development of the activities of standardization, marking and quality certification of goods and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. A new Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 2016 which was notified on 22nd March 2016, has been brought into force with effect from 12 October 2017 that reinforces the activities of BIS in respect to standardization and certification of goods, articles, processes, systems and services.
Formulation of Indian Standards is one of the core activities of BIS. The activity is done through 14 Division Councils representing diverse areas of economy and technology, as follows:
Indian Standards are formulated through specialist technical committees (functioning under the Division Councils) namely, Sectional Committees which may be supported by other technical committees like subcommittees and panels set up to deal with specific group of subjects. The committee structure is designed such as to bring together all those with substantial interest in a particular field, so that standards are developed keeping in view the balance of interests among the relevant stakeholders like manufacturers, users, technologists and regulators and after taking into account all significant view points through a process of wide consultation. Decisions in BIS technical committees are reached through consensus. As a policy, the standards formulation activity of BIS has been harmonized as far as possible with the relevant standards as laid down by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)/International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). BIS, being a signatory to the ‘Code of Good Practice for the preparation, adoption and application of standards (Article 4 of WTO-TBT Agreement, Annex 3)’ has also accordingly aligned its standards formulation procedure. BIS also formulates special publications including handbooks.
There are more than 19500 standards formulated by BIS so far through about 1000 technical committees involving more than 15000 experts. These standards are subject to periodic review resulting in their reaffirmation, amendment, revision or withdrawal as may be required.