Post -by Gautam Shah
(This article is 3 rd in the series. 1st >Standards Levels of Relevance, 2nd >Types of Standards)
Emergence of National Standards
Governments during the later part of 20th century found it easier to frame laws that are parallel to Standards. In many small countries, as integral part of the legislation, Standards for only very urgent and acute requirements are prepared. ‘Formulation of Standards’ and Legislation is considered to be the same. And for that reason it was widely perceived that Standards can be enforced only through fines and punishment.
The setting for International Standards
International Standards have no Legislative Support or Enforcement backing of a Government, unless adopted by the national government. International Standards work on Voluntary Corroboration. Such standards flourish on the realization that greater advantages are earned by following it, rather then not being part of it. Success of International Standards depends on the Rational Confirmation and Wider Acceptance.
Specifications have strong indigenous origin, because materials and human skills, both have strong local character and advantage. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) in India, and National Standards agencies in many countries of the world, operate as a Standards Formulating, Licensing, and Enforcing-agency. Whereas some governments like USA, act only as a Facilitating agency, encouraging the trade organizations and technical associations to take the lead in not only developing standards, but for their enforcement.
National standards are very indigenous, designed to serve the national interests. The national protectionist interests are served by restrictive or negative specifications. National standards cover only the exigent needs of the nation, so do not serve the interests of regional economic activities. When materials and human resources are transected across nations, a need for a wider application of specifications makes Nations come together to create a Charter of Regional or International Conduct. A world level Organization was needed to coordinate the standards’ activities of many Nations and Commercial Organizations. International Standards Organization (ISO -1947), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC -1906) in 1906 and the International Federation of the National Standardizing Associations (ISA -1926-1942), are some such International agencies.