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Govt to roll out mandatory quality standards for drones

The government is developing mandatory standards for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, towards creation of a ‘robust quality ecosystem’ for such items in the country.

Standards for drones that are used extensively in the agriculture space — for soil analysis, irrigation, crop mapping and pest management — have already been formulated.

Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal told reporters that quality control orders on drones for the agriculture sector will help boost crop yields, thereby benefiting farmers.
Standards for other categories of drones are also under development, BIS director general Pramod Kumar Tiwari said.

The Bureau of India Standards (BIS) has already formulated standards and tests for emerging sectors, such as electric vehicles (EV) and charging infrastructure.
Standards for battery-swapping systems are also in the offing. And, standards on general guidance and safety requirements of battery-swapping systems have already been rolled out.

Six standards have already been published. These were formulated for EVs, lithium-ion traction battery packs and systems, electric traction motor, measurement of range, energy consumption and net power in EVs, Tiwari said.
“Standards on specific requirements for electric powertrain and rechargeable electrical energy storage systems (REESS) of L, M & N category vehicles are under construction,” an official statement said.

The standards authority is also working on norms for electric rickshaw E-Kart and approval of hybrid EVs.

“There is no resistance from the industry on electric vehicle standards except on battery swapping. On this, industry has raised concerns as the sector is still evolving. Consultations are being held with the stakeholders and it may take some time. Let’s first come out with safety standards for electric vehicles and then for battery swapping,” Tiwari said.

Quality control orders
Based on the discussion between concerned ministries and government departments, more products have been identified for notifying them under quality control orders (QCOs) and mandating compulsory certification of BIS, government officials said.

The upcoming QCOs are at various stages of processing and some of the draft QCOs have been hosted on WTO as well by the concerned ministries and departments. As many as 115 QCOs, covering 493 products have been notified for compulsory certification. Till May 2014, only 14 QCOs, covering 106 products, were notified.

Goyal also said that the government is introducing new quality control orders, which will help in increasing the income of people. They will provide a boost to exports and ‘inculcate the spirit of quality’.

“QCOs will be equally applicable to Indian as well as foreign manufacturers and Indian consumers are assured of the quality of such products manufactured in India as well as imported to the country,” Goyal told reporters.

Through the issuance of QCOs, the notified products will conform to the requirements of the relevant Indian standard. The manufacturers of these products have to compulsorily obtain certification from BIS.

Once a QCO is implemented, individuals will not be allowed to manufacture, import, distribute, sell, hire, lease or store such products without a standard mark from the BIS. Business Standard

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