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ANSI Convenes First U.S.–India SCCP Workshop in New Delhi

Letter of Support from Congressional U.S. –India Caucus Underscores Endorsement from Public Sector

New York, Nov 10, 2009

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI), in cooperation with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), convened the first in a series of workshops to be held under the U.S.–India Standards and Conformance Cooperation Program (SCCP). The workshop, held at the Hotel Le Meridien in New Delhi on November 4, 2009, focused on improving codes and standards for fire safety in tall buildings.

Co-sponsored by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the event marks the first sector-specific workshop carried out under the U.S. –India SCCP. The SCCP is a cooperative initiative launched in March 2009 to improve market access and increase trade between the United States and India by boosting cooperation on standards and conformance issues. [see related news item]

In his opening remarks, Secretary Rajiv Agarwal of the Indian Ministry of Consumer Affairs stressed the need for fire safety standards that meet the needs of India’s growing cities, and the common experiences of the U.S. and India in protecting human safety. Additional opening remarks were provided by Alindra Chandra, additional director general of BIS; Blair Hall, minister-counselor for economics, environment, science, and technology at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi; Om Prakash, fire advisor at the Ministry of Home Affairs; Pritam Banerjee, head of trade and international policy at CII; and Dr. Sarita Nagpal, deputy director general of CII.

Approximately 30 representatives of U.S. and Indian organizations participated in discussions throughout the day on topics such as fire safety principles and the role of safety standards in the U.S. and India, lessons learned from tall building fires, and recommendations for the development of a fire safety infrastructure.

Speakers from the Delhi Fire Services provided an overview of India’s practical experiences in preventing and fighting tall building fires, including case studies of incidents where failure to comply with relevant codes or standards resulted in disastrous fires. UL also provided an introduction to their research and development activities in the area of fire safety.

A discussion of the relevant codes and standards in place in the U.S. and India included presentations from Honeywell Fire Systems, on behalf of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and BIS.

Finally, a panel discussion was moderated by Gus Schaefer, senior vice president and safety officer at UL, and included speakers from the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and BIS. Specific topics of the discussion included potential training to help fire officials and the construction industry understand the requirements of effective codes and standards for tall buildings.

In addition to the workshop discussions, ANSI was pleased to read aloud a letter of support for the U.S. –India SCCP from Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA), co-chair of the Congressional U.S. –India Caucus, to the workshop participants. The full letter can be viewed here. [see related news item]

For more information, visit www.StandardsPortal.org/us-indiasccp. Questions can be directed to Leslie McDermott, ANSI program administrator for regional and bilateral affairs (lmcdermott@ansi.org; 202-331-3626).

L-R: Mr. Om Prakash, Fire Advisor, Ministry of Home Affairs; Dr. Sarita Nagpal, Deputy Director General, CII; Secretary Rajiv Agarwal, Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs; Mr. Alindra Chandra, Additional Director General, BIS; Mr. Blair Hall, Minister-Counselor for Economics, Environment, Science & Technology, U.S. Embassy New Delhi

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