Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Awards Presented

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    New Delhi: The Minister of State for Agriculture, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Prof. K.V. Thomas gave away Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Awards for the year 2009 here today.
    The Best of All Award was given to Tata Motors Limited, Lucknow. The other category award winners include Glaxosmithkline Consumer Healthcare Limited, Sonepat, Haryana (Large Scale Manufacturing Industry); Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, Banglaore (Large Scale Service Industry); Elin Appliances Private Limited, Solan, Himachal Pradesh (Small Scale Manufacturing Industry); and Quality Evaluation and Systems Team Private Limited, Bangalore (Small Scale Service Industry).
    In addition to these awards, Prof. Thomas also thirteen organizations with commendation certificates under various categories.
    The award, given annually, was instituted by the Bureau of Indian Standards in the year 1991 with a view to encouraging Indian Manufacturing and Service Organizations to strive for excellence and giving special recognition to those, who are considered to be the leaders of quality movement in India.
    Here is the text of the Minister’s speech delivered on the occasion:
    “It gives me great pleasure to be with you today on the occasion of presentation of Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Awards 2009. This National Quality Award was instituted more than 18 years ago by the Bureau of Indian Standards with an objective of promoting overall quality of Indian products and services. It has been designed in line with international quality awards, like ‘Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award of USA’, ‘Deming prize of Japan’ and ‘European Quality Award’. With the passage of time this award has been getting its due recognition.
    In this era of liberalization and globalization, quality of products and services is one of the key factors for the success of any organization. In today’s competitive market, on account of changing requirements of the consumer and his becoming more demanding, it is imperative that an organization not only maintains quality, but also, continually strives to improve it.
    When I speak of Quality, I do not mean only the quality of products or services. In fact, I mean quality in totality in all aspects. If an organization has to continuously improve its market share, then, in addition to profitability, it has also to take into consideration the benefits it provides to all its stakeholders, namely, customers, employees, suppliers and society at large.
    Total Quality Management (TQM), being an important approach for improving the competitiveness of Indian Industry, is the approach applied in the assessment of this Award. For TQM to succeed, an organization needs to integrate its philosophies and practices in its day to day approach of running the business. Quality not only includes tangible aspects, but also intangible aspects, such as social responsibility of an organization towards environment, and its stakeholders, etc. I am told that BIS is taking various initiatives towards this endeavour. BIS has published Indian standards on other important social issues like social accountability and fraud & corruption control, and has also taken initiative for development of standard on Good Governance Practices.
    During the past few years, India has witnessed a tremendous change in the socio-economic and technological environment, which has benefited the common man in his day to day activities. From a seemingly moderate economy a decade ago, today India occupies a prominent position in the global arena. India has made tremendous strides in the IT and telecom sectors, which are recognized not only nationally but worldwide. Our IT professionals are the most sought after in the entire world today and as a result of this, even the developed nations have started outsourcing their business activities in India, thereby resulting in emergence of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) etc. as major service sectors. People are very quality conscious and it is the duty of our industrial leaders to ensure that the customers are totally satisfied. I have been informed that Bureau of Indian standards has taken initiatives in developing an international standard related to IT enabled business process outsourcing.
    Besides the above, our country is also seeing a steady growth in the service sector, which is already exceeding 50 % of the GDP. The Indian consumers are looking forward to services of international class in sectors such as health, banking, finance, insurance, tourism, hospitality, transportation and education. The Government of India is one of the biggest service providers. With a view to improving service quality, at the initiative of Government of India, BIS has prepared Indian Standard on ‘Quality Management Systems – Requirements for Service Quality by Public Service Organizations’. I have been informed that various Central Government offices under Department of Posts, Central Board of Excise & Custom, Central Board of Direct Taxes, and Department of Electrical Inspectorate, Thiruvantpuram are certified under this scheme. Government Offices in various States are taking steps to implement this Indian standard.
    In order to further protect the interest of consumers, BIS has been operating product certification scheme and has granted more than 23,000 licences. This scheme is voluntary in nature. However, in public interest, Central Government has notified 77 products for mandatory compliance with Indian standards under licence from BIS. BIS has taken various initiatives to not only reduce the time taken for grant of licence but also has an effective mechanism to check misuse of the ISI mark through raids carried out by its Enforcement Department.
    I am happy to note that some of the earlier awardees of the Rajiv Gandhi National Quality Awards have also won international quality awards. This demonstrates that the principles on which these awards are given and also the evaluation mechanism are based on sound principles and we can look forward to these awards being considered at par with the best in the world.
    I take this opportunity to congratulate all the award winners and recipients of commendation certificates. I am sure that they will continue to follow the concept of sustainable and continuous improvement of the quality of goods and services and strive to be the role models for other Indian industries in future as well.
    Last but not the least, I would like to thank all those who participated in this award process. Though all of them could not make it to the final round of winners, I am sure they will continue their pursuit towards excellence and will emerge as winners during coming years.”