Standard relates to quality of product in use in our daily life. They cover not only house-hold goods, but the various products that we need for living in this world: food, shelter cloth, trans-port, communication-almost all facets of our life. As per ISO, standard
is a technical specification or other document available to the public drawn up with the cooperation and consensus or general approval of all interests affected by it, on the basis of consolidated results of technology, science and experience aimed at the promotion of optimum community benefits and approved by a body recognized on the national, regional or international level.
Standards are essential for quality control and certification. Some contain more information one could expect. They not only provide specifications of products but help in a large spectrum of activities ranging from international trade to testing components of various daily use machines and equipments. In fact few even serve as superb text books.
However, compliance with standard does not of itself confer immunity from legal obligations to manufactures and producers of various items of use by consumers. Standards are arrived at voluntarily but when included into legal requirements they become mandatory. They have been claimed to be part of the system of directive and regulation for health and safety requirements.
For example, the ream or tyre of a cycle are at same dimensions. Hence it is possible to use tyres of different manufacturers. Even a battery cells are produced (for example) by various companies. The battery manufactured by any company can be adjusted to any
camera or watch operated on battery cells. Papers are of standard sizes as well. For example A4 size paper is generally used for typing theses and dissertations submitted to universities.
Standards are laid down by international bodies, by regional bodies and by national system. Two major international bodies are the International Organization for Standadrisation (ISO), Geneva, Switzerland and the International Electro-Technical Commission (IEC). ISO is the specialised international agency of about 87 countries representing more than 95% of the world's industrial production. Established in 1947, its primary objective is to replace the often divergent national standards with an ISO standard. ISONET, the ISO information network is a world wide network of National Standards Information Centres.
The International Electro-Technical Commission was set up in 1906. It plays vital role in breaking down technical barriers to trade round the world. Each nation has its own standardising agency, for example ANSI, DIN, ASTM etc. standard formulation and certification marking have been a long standing activities in India. The Indian Standards Institution was established in 1947 as a registered body. It gained statutory power under the Indian Standard Institution (certification marks) Act 1952. It started functioning as Bureau of Indian Standards (New Delhi) abbreviated as BIS, from April 1987. The Bureau consists of members representing the government, industries, technical institutions, consumer bodies, and the members of the Parliament.