Indian Standards Institution (ISI) was established on 6 January 1947 as a Registered Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. Being the National Standards Body of India, the organization had a clear mandate of preparing and promoting Standards for adoption by Indian Industry.
Subsequently, for improving the Quality of Products and to provide the advantages of Standardization to common consumers, the Indian Standards Institution started operating the Certification Marks Scheme under the Indian Standards Institution (Certification Marks) Act, 1952. The Scheme was formally launched in 1955 and is popularly known as the ‘ISI Marking Scheme’.
In order to confer a statutory status to Indian Standards Institution, a bill was introduced in the Parliament which led to the enactment of the Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986. Thus, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) came into existence on 1 April 1987, taking over the functions of erstwhile ISI, with broadened scope and vested with more powers.
Later on in 2016, with the notification of the BIS Act 2016, the Rules and the Regulations framed thereunder, BIS has been authorized to undertake Conformity Assessment of Goods, Article, Services, Systems and Processes as per the relevant Schemes given in the BIS (Conformity Assessment) Regulations, 2018. The Conformity Assessment Schemes are based on the principles laid down in IS/ISO/IEC 17067.
BIS Conformity Assessment Schemes are operated through a network of 41 Branch Offices across the country and
5 Regional Offices overseeing the work of the Branch Offices. Under Scheme I, Licence to use the Standard Mark
(ISI Mark) on a product is granted to a manufacturer after assessing the Manufacturing and Testing Capabilities of the manufacturer as well as ensuring conformity of the product to the requirements of the relevant Indian Standard(s) through testing. During operation of Licence, surveillance visits of the licensees’ premises, testing of products drawn from factory and open market etc. are carried out by BIS to maintain a close vigil of the operation of the licence as well as the Quality of BIS certified goods
Although the Scheme is voluntary in nature, the Government of India on various considerations like public interest, protection of human, animal or plant health, safety of the environment, prevention of unfair trade practices, national security etc. has notified various products for compulsory compliance to Indian Standards through Quality Control Orders (QCOs)
In order to ensure enhanced consumer safety and compliance to statutory provisions, some of the products like Gas Cylinders, Regulators and Valves have been brought under the purview of Lot Inspection which requires each Lot or Batch of the product to be inspected by BIS before release of the product.
The presence of BIS Standard Mark on a product is an assurance of conformity of the product to the requirements of Indian Standard Specifications. The Conformity Assessment Schemes of BIS provides confidence to consumers about Quality, Safety and Reliability of products and ensures Consumer Protection.