New Delhi, August 1 2014: The Indian government's requirement that manufacturers of electronic goods register their products and add special labels to deter the marketing of substandard or shoddy goods has proved to be a double edged sword -- generally welcomed for its good intentions but criticized for the impracticality of some of the provisions.
In an attempt to play a mediatory role, and help resolve the potential conflict between government and industry, MAIT, the the apex body representing India’s IT hardware, training and R&D services, supported by the Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY) and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) , brought all stakeholders to the same forum yesterday, in a day long programme titled “India Standards: A strong ICT Nation”.
Said , MAIT President, Amar Babu: “Standards are important for matters relating to consumer safety and product quality. Implementation of standards framework and its compliance is extremely essential as it will eventually determine the success of the entire process. MAIT will take forward a proposal on behalf of the ICT industry, basis the feedback received from the programme and share it with the government. The proposal shall encourage the participation of industry players to come forward and share best practices relating to standards from across the globe".
In his remarks, Dr. Ajay Kumar, Joint Secretary, DeitY said “The Compulsory Registration Order, notified by DeitY has ensured registration of products by the manufacturers, both domestic and foreign, thereby curbing inflow of sub-standard goods. Special measures have been initiated to provide financial assistance to MSMEs and reducing compliance effort with simpler and effective labeling, reduced timelines and greater transparency”.
Keshav Desiraju, Secretary, Ministry of Consumer Affairs added “Self registration, as implied by the CRO, is an enormous responsibility in itself. All inclusive growth of the ICT sector depends upon voluntary registration of products and how best we can take this forward. Consumers will be the end beneficiary of the process as standard of products will improve once the registration order is implemented fully”.
The day long programme was divided into four sessions namely, “Role of Standards in the ICT & Electronics Sector – Trends, Opportunities and Issues,”“Compulsory Registration Order - Experience and way forward,”“Market Surveillance, Quality Control and Inspection,”“Anti-Counterfeiting and Consumer Awareness.”
Background: India is expected to consume $ 320 billion worth of ICT products annually by 2020. Government had announced an appropriate policy ecosystem to ensure that consumers get access to safe and good quality technology products. It had notified the Electronics and Information Technology Goods (Requirement for compulsory Registration Order) in 2012. Though the intent of order was well appreciated by all stakeholders, there have been increasing calls for harmonization of requirements under the order with globally accepted best practices.
DeitY promulgates mandatory registration of 15 Electronic Goods: Press Information Bureau release September 8 2012
Inflow of sub-standard electronic products curbed: Government: PTI report in Economic Times, July 31 2014