Difference Between ISI and BIS

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between ISI and BIS

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Everyone would want to look like a million bucks at least once in their life. Okay maybe not everyone, most people. To don the perfectly tailored dress or suit, walking down the carpet with the shiniest shoes, high-end accessories glittering on your wrists and neck – all glamour and panache, waving at flashing cameras as the paparazzi try and fail at getting that one bad picture of you. That is a fairly common fantasy, wouldn’t you say? Come on, fess. Surely, you have given a few fake acceptance speeches in front of the mirror or the privacy of your bathroom or pictured a bevvy of celebrities applauding you for whatever fancy accomplishment you have dreamed of.

Whatever your fantasies have consisted of, to look like a million bucks, one has to be million bucks’ material. While that sounds like an ordeal, it is not that big a problem. You just have to have the highest quality of everything. The best fabrics, the clearest crystals, the fastest wheels etc. It doesn’t matter how bright you shine; the quality is what catches the eye. At least in the eye of critics – the ones that pass the verdict and claim their word to be the law. Not that their word is law, it is just that most people accept it as such. A basic standard that needs to be passed to be qualified as elite or ‘a million bucks’.


In India, there are two such standards provided that verify and certify if a product is valuable and passes muster for use by the common populace. The ISI standards offer assurance of the highest quality of the products manufactured in India. The BIS is an organization that offers this ISI certification.

Differences Between ISI and BIS in a Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison ISI BIS
What it stands for ISI stands for the Indian Standards Institution. BIS stands for the Bureau of Indian Standards.
Definition It is the assurance of quality granted by the government of India. It is the organization in India that provides the ISI mark of assurance.
Purpose The purpose of ISI is to provide certification for Indian products as well as protect the local manufacturers. The purpose of BIS is to manage the processes that are required to certify a product with the ISI standard.
Time of origin ISI was established on 6th January 1947. BIS originated on 26th November 1986.
Goal The goal of ISI is to ensure the high quality of the product. The goal of BIS is to ensure the high quality of the company along with the product.
Presently The ISI was overtaken by the BIS in 1986. The BIS provides the ISI certification for industrial products.
Changes in the legislation The ISI was overtaken by BIS in 1986. The BIS saw a repeal in the year 2016.

What is ISI?

The ISI stands for the Indian Standards Institution. It was established on the 6th of January 1947 to provide protection to the consumers and also to operate the certification marls scheme. At the time, India was the only ‘developing’ country. At a meeting in October 1946, before the formation of the ISI, 25 countries including India decided to create an international organization for the standardization of industrial practices and products. To facilitate international cooperation and collective standardization, the International Organization for Standardization was created.

This was made legal on 21st March 1952, with the Parliament putting forward the Indian Standards Institution Act. However, with changing economy, a stronger organization was developed – the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to provide the standardization for industrial products. Nevertheless, the ISI mark still means that a product has a high-quality certification.

The ISI is the quality of assurance provided by the government of India. The ISI mark is often seen on Indian products. The ISI mark indicates that the product has the certificate of assurance and satisfies all the guidelines of manufacture mandated by the government of India.

There are many advantages of the ISI mark:

  1. The product bearing the ISI mark has been through thorough evaluation and proper investigation to assure high quality and standards.
  2. If one is dissatisfied with the product bearing the ISI mark, it can be returned to the manufacturer. The product is then replaced by the manufacturer.
  3. Also, if one is dissatisfied with the product bearing the ISI mark, they can charge the manufacturer.

What is BIS?

Post the formation of the ISI, there was a gap in the creation of standards. To also deal with the growing economy and ensure a harmonious development of activities for standardization, the Bureau of Indian Standards or the BIS Act was put forth on 23rd December 1986.

The BIS overtook all activities of the ISI. They started formulating guidelines and regulations for standardization, certifying products, granting trademarks to products and also granting patents. There was a flaw in this Act though. The BIS Act of 1986 focused only on producers and not on the materials. For instance, if a seller wished to sell gold, they would have to be certified as well. The precious metals lacked appropriate certifications and provisions. For this purpose, the Act was repealed and in 2016, the BIS Act of 2016 came into effect.

As per the BIS Act of 2016, the consumers receive compensation if the product fails to meet the standards. It also offers the companies a level of flexibility whereby they can conform to self-declared standards. If these standards are violated, they receive punishment in the form of fines or imprisonment.

The BIS is authorized to provide the certification to the products. Any manufacturer that feels that their product can achieve the ISI standard, can approach the BIS for certification. The ISI mark can be achieved in the following two ways:

  1. Applying to the BIS office – A manufacturer can approach the nearest BIS office and submit an application for the certification. A BIS officer is then appointed and visits the factory. This officer evaluates the working of the factory, the capability of the manufacturer and the standard of the goods. Product samples are tested at the factory as well as outside the factory. If the product passes all the tests, the BIS officer grants the manufacturer the license and the product receives the ISI mark.
  2. The manufacturer performs all the tests at the Bureau’s labs and submits all the test reports to the BIS. Required documents are also verified by an independent party and submitted. The BIS then checks the authenticity of these reports and within a month, if the product passes all the tests, grants the license to the manufacturer.

While most products can achieve certification voluntarily, certain products affect the environment, public health and other consumers. Such products require a mandatory check from the BIS. There are sixteen broad categories like textiles, electronics, food etc. that have standardization. Amongst these sixteen categories, there are over nineteen thousand standards formulated. This goes on to show that the products are seldom of the substandard quality. For example – there are standards for the silver foil used in sweets and even the windshield wipers of four-wheelers.

There is a certification board – the Certification Advisory Committee – that consists of people from various categories like consumers, manufacturers, government agencies etc. that provide advice and formulate the guidelines for the products. To make certain that the consumers’ interests are put first, the committee encourages visits from NGOs to participate in the decision-making process.

To ascertain the consistency of the quality, BIS performs surprise checks at the factories and also performs tests on the products both from the factory as well as the market. Thus, it can be assumed that any product bearing the mark of ISI has passed rigorous examinations and has been certified as having a high quality.

Main Differences Between ISI and BIS In Points

Following are the main differences between ISI and BIS:

  1. The ISI stands for the Indian Standards Institute, while BIS stands for the Bureau of Indian Standards.
  2. The ISI was established on 6th January 1947 and the BIS originated on 26th November 1986.
  3. The ISI Act was passed in 1952 and was overtaken by the BIS in 1986. The BIS was initially established in 1986 and was repealed in 2016.
  4. Since the ISI was overtaken by the BIS, the BIS now performs all the functions that were performed by the ISI and also grant the ISI mark for the products.
  5. The ISI is a certification of high quality granted to a product, while BIS is the organization that grants the certification of ISI to a product.
  6. The ISI has the purpose of providing certification to products and protecting the economy of the local manufacturers. The BIS, on the other hand, has the purpose of managing processes that provide the ISI certification.
  7. The ISI assures the customer that the product is of the highest quality, whereas the BIS works on proving the quality of the company as well as the product.
  8. The BIS has a group of people – the Certification Advisory Committee – that provides certification for the product. The ISI does not have an advisory board.


Thus, it can be seen that both these marks assure the consumer of the quality of the product. Bearing the ISI mark, the product is said to be of a good standard and quality. The ISI stands for the Indian Standards Institution and was brought into effect after the independence of India. It was put forth to enable harmonious cooperation on an international level between companies. It is an assurance provided by the government of India that the product is durable and good for use. Following the economic growth, to strengthen the laws for both the consumers and the sellers, the BIS Act was put forth.

In 1986, the BIS Act was established to bolster international cooperation and economic expansion. BIS stands for the Bureau of Indian Standards and it offers the ISI mark for industrial products after they have undergone extensive tests. For most products, obtaining the ISI is voluntary but for products that could have an impact on public health or the environment, the BIS regulations are mandatory. To obtain an ISI mark for their product, the manufacturer must visit the nearest BIS office and apply. A BIS officer then visits the factory and tests the samples. If the standards of manufacture meet all guidelines and pass all tests, the license is offered to the manufacturer. Alternately, a manufacturer can get all the required documents verified by an independent agency and subject the documents to the inspection of the BIS. Once the product bears the mark of ISI, it certifies that the product is of the highest quality. If a person finds that the product is not up to the standards, they can request the manufacturer to replace the product. They could also complain to the authorities and charge the manufacturer if the ISI standards are not met.

Therefore, standards of quality need to be met to ensure the proper functioning of the product and the highest level of satisfaction of the customer. Just like in your dreams, the picture isn’t quite perfect till every accessory matches every other accessory. The colour should be right, the texture should be right and ultimately, the look should be crisp and fetching. It should bear the qualities that attract the onlookers and stun the audience. Any outfit would achieve this goal only if it has the quality. In all fairness though, it is much easier for us to achieve this be it in dreams or reality because all we need to perfect the look is a winning smile. It is harder for the business products and manufacturers. To accomplish the ISI standards, they need more than just a smile. They need to cross hurdles of intense investigations to prove their worth. Ergo, dreams are the best and most times, a smile goes a long way.



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"Difference Between ISI and BIS." Diffzy.com, 2024. Sun. 19 May. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-isi-and-bis-503>.

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