India’s national accreditation system ranks 5th globally
New Delhi: India’s national accreditation system under the Quality Council of India (QCI) is ranked 5th in the world in the recent Global Quality Infrastructure Index (GQII) 2021.
The 2021 rankings are based on data till the end of December 2021, collected and analyzed through 2022. It is an initiative on metrology, standardisation, accreditation and related services, supported by Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Germany.
The GQII rankings are published and presented post-facto for each year based on the data collected till the end of that year. It ranks the 184 economies in the world on the basis of quality infrastructure (QI) which is the technical backbone for international trade, with metrology, standardization, accreditation and conformity assessment services providing reliability and trust between trading partners. India’s overall QI system ranking continues to be in the top 10 at the 10th position, with the standardization system at the 9th and the metrology system at the 21st position in the world.
In India, the National Physical Laboratory under the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (NPL-CSIR) is the national metrology institute, the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is the national standards body and the constituent national accreditation boards under the Quality Council of India support are the custodians of the national accreditation system.
The GQII measures the relative development of countries’ QI. A formula calculates a score for each country based on its position in the sub-rankings for metrology, standards and accreditation. Geographically, the top 25 QI systems are mainly located in Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific, with some exceptions, such as India (10th), Brazil (13th), Australia (14th), Turkey (16th), Mexico (18th) and South Africa (20th).
Accreditation helps establish the competence and credibility of conformity assessment bodies (CABs) which perform testing, certification, inspection, etc. The National Accreditation System as per international standards in India is established by the Quality Council of India (QCI), a body established in 1997 jointly by the Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, and the Indian industry. It is operated through the constituent Boards of QCI, primarily the National Accreditation Board for Certification Bodies (NABCB), which provides accreditation to the certification, inspection, and validation/verification bodies, and the National Accreditation Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories (NABL), which provides accreditation to the testing, calibration and medical laboratories.
Both, NABCB and NABL are signatories to the Multilateral Recognition Arrangements of the international bodies, the International Accreditation Forum (IAF), and the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation (ILAC), which provides international equivalence and acceptance to reports and certificates issued under their accreditation. The government, regulators, industry and conformity assessment bodies increasingly rely on the NABCB and NABL for conformity assessment in India.
The rise in India’s ranking is attributed to the steady growth of conformity assessment bodies (CABs) under the national accreditation system. These are testing & medical labs, product certification bodies, and management systems certification bodies.
Stressing the importance of Quality Infrastructure and the role of QCI, Dr Ravi P. Singh, Secretary General, QCI, today stated, “India is on the path of self-reliance and we are no longer governed by other countries to innovate and improve. Our systems are being emulated by other countries now. The significance of our National Accreditation System in improving the quality of products and services cannot be over-emphasised and this recognition will help us create a more independent ecosystem for regulators and government to use for conformity of any standard. Both our boards NABL and NABCB have worked well, and they need to be supported more”.
– global bihari bureau