In this age of rapid technological change, growing competition and expanding trade, measurement standards and techniques have been recognised as fundamental elements. Indeed, a sound legal metrology system is an essential cog in the economic well-being of any country.
The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Consumer Protection, Mr Ashit Gungah, made this statement this morning at the launch of an Open day of the Legal Metrology Services (LMS) in Bell Village. This three-day activity is organised in the context of the World Metrology Day 2018.
Speaking on the importance of metrology, Mr Gungah recalled that accessing knowledge often involves a number and that the measurement which produces this number is not possible without units, standards and measurement instruments. Legal metrology is not only an individual discipline of the physical sciences but it is also the base of our daily activities, he said.
The Minister pointed out that metrology and its various activities take place in most aspects of our daily commercial, economic, industrial, and environmental and health life, through the use of various measuring instruments and tools adding that taking crucial decisions in our daily lives is based on the measurement results presented by these tools and devices.
According to Mr Gungah calibration is crucial wherever measurements are important as it enables users and businesses to have confidence in the results that they monitor, record and subsequently control. He underpinned the need to adapt to changes while recalling that regulations have been changed since the last three years in Mauritius as regards importation of second-hand vehicles and electrical appliances, and organisation of fairs.
For her part, the director of the LMS, Mrs T. Bagha, recalled the history of the LMS which was initially created in 1985 under the aegis of the Ministry of Trade and Shipping and became fully operational in July 1990 under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (Commerce Division).
The LMS plays a vital role in consumer protection since it is responsible for the calibration as well as maintenance of measurement standards which are traceable to international standards, the control of weighing and measuring equipment used in trade to ensure that the instruments are accurate and used correctly and meet the requirements of the Legal Metrology Act. It is also responsible for the control of goods to ensure that they are properly labelled and contain the quantity declared on the packages as per the Legal Metrology Act.
Referring to the theme chosen this year which is 'Constant evolution of the International System of Units', Mrs Bagha announced that the international system of units (SI) will soon be revised. The revised definitions of the kilogram, ampere, kelvin and mole are expected to come into force on 20 May 2019.
World Metrology Day 2018
The theme for World Metrology Day 2018 is Constant evolution of the International System of Units. This theme was chosen because the General Conference on Weights and Measures is expected in November 2018 to agree one of the largest changes to the SI since its inception. The proposed changes are based on the results of research into new measurement methods that have used quantum phenomena as the basis for standards that are fundamental. The SI will be based on a set of definitions each linked to the laws of physics and have the advantage of being able to embrace further improvements in measurement science and technology to meet the needs of future users for many years to come.
The science of measurement plays a central role in scientific discovery and innovation, industrial manufacturing and international trade, in improving the quality of life and in protecting the global environment.
World Metrology Day is an annual celebration of the signature of the Metre Convention on 20 May 1875 by representatives of 17 nations. The Convention sets the framework for global collaboration in the science of measurement and in its industrial, commercial and societal applications. The original aim of the Metre Convention - the world-wide uniformity of measurement -still remains as important today as it was in 1875.