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Gov. approved test centers being launched in India – An overview

What is GATC?

As mentioned in the Premilinary of “The legal Metrology (Government Approved Test Centers) 2013” – a Government Approved Test Centre means a person who has been approved by the Central Government to undertake verification of weight or measure specified under The Legal Metrology (Government Approved Test Centre) Rules, 2013. These test centers can verify the weights, measures and their corresponding equipment specified in the first schedule, which includes, Non-automatic weighing instrument of Accuracy Class-IIII/ Class-III (up to 150kg), Load cell, Weights of all categories. According to the rules, Any person desirous of obtaining recognition under these rules for carrying out verification of weights or measures specified in these rules shall make an application to the Director, Legal Metrology in the form specified in the Second Schedule. The application shall be made only by the Principal officer of the said laboratory. As per the rules, All the Regional Reference Standard Laboratories working under the administrative control of the Department of Consumer Affairs function as deemed Government Approved Test Centre on the date of publication of the rules in the Official Gazette and the provisions of these rules shall apply to such Regional Reference Standard Laboratory as if they were Government Approved Test Centre.

Why is GATC Required?

India is growing exponentially, and so is the number of weight and measurement equipment. Under the current law, the verification, stamping, calibration and certification of any equipment has to be done by the Legal Metrological Officer of the district. Currently, the ratio of the number of equipment to the number of LMOs is rising steadily. This rise is causing a delay in the procedures and constricting the industry to reach its full potential.

What will be the role of GATCs in the processes of legal metrology?

Upon implementation, the GATCs will play a crucial role in reducing the burden on the LMOs, making the procedures more efficient, and will also provide a platform for micro-enterprises to grow. Efficient procedures will encourage the industry stakeholders to get their certifications on time which will result in the increment of the overall standard of our industry. GATC will act as a private counterpart of the legal metrology office with a Principal Officer responsible for the operations of the laboratory; The fee payable to the test center for verification or re-verification of weights or measures will be the same as specified in the Legal Metrology (Enforcement) Rules of that State where Government Approved Test Centre is situated. The Centre upon carrying out the metrological evaluation of weight or measure and on being satisfied that the same conforms to the specification laid down under the Act and rules made thereunder shall stamp the same and also issue a certificate of verification. Every Government Approved Test Centre shall keep and retain records for five calendar years of evaluation of weight or measure carried out by them. The Principal Officer responsible for the test center shall be liable to the Government for any loss, damage, Legal claims.

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