Successful 8th Annual Meeting of the Indo-German Working Group on QI


The 8th Annual Meeting of the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure took place on 16 February 2022 with more than 150 participants. During the virtual event, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and the Indian Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (MoCAF&PD) signed the Work Plan 2022. It sets new goals for cooperation in the field of quality infrastructure (QI). The Work Plan includes new topics such as circular economy and smart farming.

Director General Dr Daniela Brönstrup (BMWK) and Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh (MoCAF&PD) sign the Work Plan 2022. © GIZ-GPQI

The stakeholders of the working group came together for their Annual Meeting for the eighth time. More than 150 representatives from the involved ministries and subordinate authorities, QI institutions, industry associations and companies in Germany and India participated. With the adoption and signing of the Work Plan 2022, the official cooperation on the agreed topics is set to begin.


Highlighting the trustful bilateral cooperation

Dr Daniela Brönstrup, Director General for Digital and Innovation Policy (BMWK), and Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh (MoCAF&PD) chaired the Annual Meeting. They highlighted the importance of the working group for both countries in their opening remarks. Dr Brönstrup emphasised that the close and trustful collaboration on QI does not only offer great opportunities for strengthening the economic relations but also supports the digital and green transformation. Secretary Singh underlined the relevance of the cooperation - especially considering current initiatives of the Indian government such as Make in India and One Nation, One Standard.


Secretary Rohit Kumar Singh and Additional Secretary Nidhi Khare with the publication “United in Quality and Safety”. © GIZ-GPQI

Technical exchange for strong international cooperation

The relevance of international cooperation on QI was emphasised multiple times during the meeting. Dr Thomas Zielke (BMWK) presented his candidacy for the position as Director Standardisation at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). He addressed the opportunities that his candidacy offers for the Indo-German cooperation at international level. Thereafter, Gerhild Roth (BMWK) presented the publication "United in Quality and Safety" that was launched in October 2021. The Indo-German Working Group contributed to the publication. It provides an overview of the QI landscape in Germany and the European Union. Therefore, it serves as an important source of information for policymakers and industry representatives. It complements a publication on Indian QI that was previously published in 2018.


A live poll during the event showed that a majority of the participants considers international harmonisation of standards and international cooperation as the key challenges in the field of QI in the upcoming years.


Sustainability and digitalisation: Opportunities for QI cooperation

During the Annual Meeting, opportunities for a modern and efficient QI were discussed. Dr Ulrich Harmes-Liedtke (Mesopartner) presented the "Global Quality Infrastructure Index" that he co-developed. He also highlighted the correlation between QI, sustainability and digitalisation.


The importance of QI for sustainable development and digitalisation was discussed in a panel discussion between German and Indian QI experts. The central question was: How can QI and the Indo-German cooperation on QI support the industry in its digital and sustainable transformation? The experts agreed that the influence of both megatrends on QI systems is growing. They said that in order to ensure an effective and safe application of new technologies, close cooperation on a bilateral as well as international level in all areas of QI is necessary.


The Work Plan 2022: Cooperation on established and new topics

During the meeting, Dr Brönstrup (BMWK) and Secretary Singh (MoCAF&PD) solemnly signed the Work Plan 2022 that contains 13 cooperation topics. It provides for both a deepening of cooperation in existing areas and the inclusion of new topics. For example, the development of a strategic dialogue on technical regulation is planned for the coming year. Moreover, the topic of Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) has been added to explore the mutual recognition of test results and certificates. In addition to established sectoral topics such as medical devices, energy, mobility and machine safety, smart agriculture and circular economy are now also topics of cooperation. Hydrogen and QI Digital have been anchored in the Work Plan as exploratory topics.


Selected stakeholders presented their proposals for certain topics of the Work Plan in short input presentations. Sanjay Pant (Bureau of Indian Standards - BIS), for example, suggested to implement joint activities on digitalisation in standards development, Industrie 4.0 and circular economy. Sonia Prashar from the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce highlighted that the cooperation on the international harmonisation of QI is important for Indo-German trade.


Dr Brönstrup and Secretary Singh emphasised that the Annual Meeting marks the start of the active implementation of the agreed topics and activities. They reiterated the importance of an active involvement of all stakeholders in this process. At the same time, they expressed their appreciation for the engagement of the stakeholders that supported the implementation of the last Work Plan. The joint activities resulted in numerous achievements for both countries.


A press release issued by MoCAF&PD on the event was well received in the Indian press. Several media reported on the successful strengthening of the cooperation within the Indo-German Working Group on Quality Infrastructure.

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