National standardization activity started in India in 1947 with the establishment of the Indian Standards Institution (ISI) as a society under the Societies Registration Act 1860, to prepare and promote the adoption of national standards. In 1952, the Institution was also given the responsibility of operating a certification marking scheme under an Act of Parliament.
In 1986 the national authorities made a review of the structure and status of ISI and assessed the impact made by it on the national economic development and the technological growth of various sectors of Indian industry. The Government of India felt that a new thrust had to be given to standardization and quality control activities, and that a national strategy had to be evolved for giving appropriate recognition and importance to standards and for integrating them with the growth and development of production and exports in different sectors.
The Government of India therefore decided to create a statutory organization as the national standards body which was named as the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), with adequate autonomy as well as flexibility in its operations to achieve harmonious development of the activities of standardization, certification marking and connected matters. The Bureau of Indian Standards Act was passed by the Parliament in 1986 and BIS came into being on 1 April 1987.