“Athma Nirbar”, “Make in India”, “Vocal for Local” and “Local to Global” are prodigious initiatives especially in the current environment for a potentially robust future of manufacturing electronic products in India. Many experts and commentators have discussed and portrayed the possibilities of an innovative India. These novel initiatives shifted the focus onto homegrown products. This has brought a new challenge to the burgeoning manufacturing industry – global competition.
Common question that always arises in times as this is – “What is the Government doing about it?” And the answer is “Government Regulations and Product Compliance”. The regulations introduced by the Government of India will definitely help the country take a giant leap towards achieving and establishing these prodigious initiatives.
Traditionally, in India, the importance of government regulations and product compliance have been looked upon as unavoidable law enforcement. The lack of awareness towards these regulations and adhering to it has always been a challenge historically. In India, government regulations have been introduced recently for Telecommunication products. However, they are still lacking for electronic products especially consumer goods. Today India is progressing and adopting to a holistic regime of regulations.
For attracting global investments in India, being global competitive, and ensuring manufacturing growth sustainable, it is required to have product regulations & compliance with performance and technical standards are strategically important. The primary objective is ensuring national security in the contemporary environment, followed by a sustained and ever-improving product quality is an important expectation for any investor and consumer. The periphery of successful manufacturing is innovative and reliable design houses, steady component supply and amongst many other aspects, an important requirement will be high quality state of the art test facilities. Pre-compliance labs during development cycles and Conformance Test Labs that are accredited to local and global standards.
The availability of quality test facilities in India also demands good technical skills and proficiency. Knowledge and skills can be cultivated when opportunity is created and regulations are mandatory.
The Government of India has started providing positive stimulus to the electronic manufacturing sector with prominent schemes like Production Linked Incentive (PLI), Scheme for Promotion of Manufacturing of Components and Semiconductors (SPECS), accessibility of manufacturing facilities with required infrastructure and Modified Electronics Manufacturing Clusters (EMC 2.0), is attractive to investors.
In support of Government’s initiatives, a sincere effort to help local manufacturing C-PRAV has organised a Premier Product Design Training workshop in October this year. With support from various stakeholders like MEITY, DoT, TEC, IESA (India Electronics & Semiconductor Association), IEEE EMC Society, and SEMCEI (Society of Electromagnetic Compatibility Engineers, India) the workshop will be inaugurated on 15th Oct at 2PM and the training sessions is scheduled from 19th to 24th Oct 2020.Full details @ www.C-PRAV-Academy.com
Manufacturing and import of quality reliable products go hand in hand with product regulations. In-country regulations play an important role to help the ecosystem inevitably grow and learn processes to develop once the legislations are implemented.
India has great potential in gaining investor confidence and establishing FDIs. While being on par with Global competitiveness is most essential another vital aspect is to have continual sustained quality.
To list a few Benefits of Regulations:
- National security is the key especially for Telecom products
- Reliable quality products for local consumers and for export
- Jobs and Skills development opportunities and employment growth
- Adding product and test standards to curriculums in Polytechnics and Universities. Job skills at root levels
- Growth of Quality Test labs in India and concurrently the skills and expertise.
- Proliferation of unsafe, unreliable, non-compliant, products endangers national security
- Dumping of non-compliant products to India from other countries
As on date, there are various mandatory regulations in India for various products. Here is a snapshot of a few regulators.
Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY)
MEITY and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) took the first big leap in 2012 to introduce the Compulsory Registration Scheme (CRS) for the Safety of electrical products. Since then progressively in 4 phases, a total of 61 products have been introduced. This has not only successfully controlled the quality of products brought into India but also improved the production of highly reliable and safe products by Indian manufacturers. The online Registration processes introduced by BIS is on par with many international approvals’ schemes and regimes.
The mandatory Testing and Registration of Electronic products list can be accessed from the portal: https://www.crsbis.in/BIS/whatisCRS.do. Other relevant websites are www.MEITY.gov.in and www.BIS.gov.in
Department Of Telecom’s (DoT) WPC wing
The Wireless Planning & Coordination (WPC) Wing of the Ministry of Communication & Information Technology, created in 1952, is the national radio regulatory nodal agency of the Government of India and is responsible for planning, regulating, and managing the limited resources of Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum and associated satellite orbits, including geostationary satellite orbit as well as licensing of wireless stations in the country under the Indian Telegraph Act 1885 (ITA 1885) and the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act 1933 (IWTA 1933), as a statutory requirement. It caters the needs of all wireless users in the country, government or private, security or non-security. WPC also manages a Standing advisory committee on radio frequency allocation (SACFA). WPC as a Regulator provides Licensing of Radio equipment and Equipment Type Approval for Radio devices operating in De-licensed bands.
All Radios operating in De-licensed bands like WiFi, Bluetooth, RFIDs, NFCs, Wireless chargers, SRDs require mandatory Equipment Type Approvals before they are imported and sold to the public.
Department Of Telecom’s (DoT) and Telecommunication Engineering centre (TEC)
DoT and TEC recently implemented the scheme Mandatory Testing and Certification of Telecommunication Equipment (MTCTE). The scheme that was initially only used for Government bodies through tendering has now become a mandate for consumer Telecom products like Telephones, PABXs, PON equipment, Feedback devices, Routers, Switches, Mobile phones, IP Gateways, etc. The first two phases of basic products are out covering about 14 products and preparedness for covering another 39 product categories in the coming phases. The MTCTE requires testing of products to Electrical Safety, Human RF Exposure safety, ElectroMagnetic Compatibility (EMC), Radio, Interface & Technical parameters including IPV4/IPV6, Others like Panic button, Emergency Dialling, IMEI etc.
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH) and Automotive Industry Standards Committee (AISC)
MoRTH and AISC have been the pioneers in Automotive regulations in the country. The regulations cover most of the automotive products ensuring safe and high-quality products in the Automotive Industry. The biggest one introduction of the AIS-140 standard. This ensures every commercial and public transport vehicle has a tracking mechanism and emergency/panic buttons. The AIS-140 standard ensured tremendous improvement in safety and emergency services to the citizens taking public transport for their daily commute or long-distance travel.
Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE)
The Government of India in its initiatives for a better world has brought in regulations like BEE, which contributed significantly.
Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) was formed under the Ministry of Power in the Government of India. In 2010, the government has made it mandatory for certain items to have ratings and labels on its products which specify the performance of the product and help the customers in making the right choices before buying such products. The rating given by the BEE indicates a company’s compliance level in BEE. A company or a product having a higher star rating indicates the efficiency of the company/product in comparison to the competition.
Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO)
When we hear about this organization by name, for most of us the thought of petrol, diesel, and dynamites cross our minds. Have a peek in and we realize it is much more that touches our lives every day. This organization is one of the oldest regulatory authority (completed 100 years in September 1998) with an autonomous status.
It was earlier called the Department of Explosives. This Organisation comes under, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Government of India.
India being a member of IECEx, has contributed and adopted the standards to meet the Petroleum and Explosive Safety.
The Department of Weights and Measures (a.k.a. Naaptol department) is now called the Department of Legal Metrology to be aligned with the international organization of Legal Metrology (India being a member country). The central regulatory body is the Department of Consumer affairs and it has representation in every state and union territory in the country.
The main objectives of the department are
- Maintenance of accuracy in all weights Measures used in Trade, Commerce Industry
- Protection of Consumer Interest
- To ensure correct quantities for the prices paid
- To ensure correct weighing of farm-produced in a sale transaction
https://consumeraffairs.nic.in (for individual state websites are listed in the website)
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) Certifications
Another Green initiative from the Government of India has introduced EPR certifications managed and regulated by CPCB. E-Waste (Management & Handling) Rules, 2011 had come into force since May 1, 2012. Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) who is the regulator made E-Waste mandatory from October 1, 2016. This rule applies to every producer, consumer or bulk consumer, collection center, dismantler, and recycler of e-waste involved in the manufacture, sale, purchase, and processing of electrical and electronic equipment or components specified in the schedule – I of these Rules.
Two categories of end of the life electrical and electronic equipment namely
- IT and Telecommunication Equipment and
- Consumer Electricals and Electronics such as TVs, Washing Machines, Refrigerators Air Conditioners and Fluorescent and other lamps containing mercury covered under these Rules.
Most of these Regulations have been mandatory and operative in many countries across the globe for decades. India is gently catching up with the international norms. Countries like Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Korea, and Brazil had such regulations for many years. It was evident from an unique event brought to and hosted in India in July 2018 at The Leela Ambience Gurgaon, for 2 days on the topics of Standards, Regulations, Testing, and Certifications (www.SRTCindia.in) where many international experts presented the Regulatory Regimes of their respective countries, USA-FCC, Canada-ISED, Europe-CE-RED, Chine-CCC-SRRC, Taiwan-BSMI, Korea, Australia-RCM, Japan-VCCI.
In any case, substantial investment is on the horizon, driven by the fast pace of technological changes and the necessity of innovative devices that help in connecting our world.
While the implementation of such regulations is a stipulation for an economy like India, Government must also ensure there are adequate programs and forums to create awareness and enlightening not just the manufacturers or importers but also the consumers.
With the limited space given, we could only touch upon the tip of the iceberg. There is lot more to regulations than an article like this can present. We are happy to receive your comments, suggestions and questions on any of these matters discussed in this article. The well-versed subject matter experts can certainly respond to you and if required present it at the right forums.
With the growing technologies, gadgets populating our homes and world around us are not only increasing inevitable electronic pollution but also making all of us vulnerable to our data and insecurities. The regulations may not be the final answer but will definitely be one of the stepping-stone.
The author is a professional working for C-PRAV Certifications – A highly experienced team in the Industry of Standards Regulations Testing and Certifications (SRTC)