India earns 'authorizing nation' status for IT product testing

Asian giant obtains status under "Common Criteria - Recognition Arrangement" scheme which will remove bottlenecks that currently prevent the submission of products for testing in India, says industry group Nasscom.

India has obtained "authorizing nation" status under the Common Criteria scheme for IT products testing, becoming the 17th nation to earn the recognition. 

Authorizing nation status will remove the bottleneck which currently prevents submitting of products for testing in India, Nasscom says.

Announced this week at the International Common Criteria Conference in Orlando, U.S.A., the recognition will boost India's position in the global assurance regime. In a statement released Thursday, local industry group Nasscom said labs in the country will now gain global recognition. In addition, products tested will be accepted by countries participating in the "Common Criteria - Recognition Arrangement" (CCRA) scheme. These members include Australia, Germany , Japan, Malaysia, and the United States. 

Nasscom also noted the CCRA nod would ensure investments and efforts made in India by global companies in product-testing certification will be recognized by other countries. "Authorizing nation status will remove the bottleneck which, as of now, prevents submitting of products for testing in India," it said. 

Common criteria offers assurance that the implementation and evaluation of an ICT product has been conducted in rigorous, standards-based, and repeatable manner.

India's CCRA recognition also will allow the country to create a national certification scheme as recommended under the Joint Working Group (JWG) of NSA, which recommends the establishment of private-owned testing labs and highlights the need to provide incentives for the private sector to open test labs.

A certification body will be an important step in this direction, allowing the accreditation of testing labs, Nasscom said. India's Standardization Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) office can now assume the role of a certification body and allow private-owned testing labs to work under the certification scheme for ICT products. 

Operated by the India's Department of Electronics and IT, the STQC offers the infrastructure--recognized and accredited by global accreditation bodies--and skills for evaluating, testing, and certification of ICT products. "With India's reputation of providing cost-effective and quality services to the globe, this is likely to make it a hub for testing and certification for the global requirements," Nasscom said.

It urges the private sector to tap this new opportunity to set up testing labs, including in the area of cybersecurity , that can work in conjunction with the government-controlled certification body.