IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

International Committee for Weights and Measures

23rd November, 2022 Science and Technology

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  • Venu Gopal Achanta, Director, CSIR-National Physical Laboratory (CSIR-NPL), New Delhi, has been elected as a member of the prestigious International Committee for Weights and Measures (CIPM).



  • General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) is the highest intergovernmental international organization created as diplomatic treaty called Meter Convention signed on 20th May 1875 in Paris.
  • CGPM is responsible for the development and implementation of International Systems of Units, universally abbreviated as SI, its wide dissemination; make necessary modifications from time to time for the advancement of science and technology.
  • At present, CGPM is represented by 64 member countries and meets every 4th year at International Bureau of Weight and Measure (BIPM), France.
  • This year CGPM has adopted 7 important resolutions including new SI prefixes ronna (10²⁷), quetta (10³⁰), ronto (10-²⁷) and quecto (10-³⁰). With this nomenclature, the mass of the electron (1 quectogram) and weight of earth (1 ronnagram) can be expressed easily in SI units. The CGPM also plans to resolve the issue of leap second.


  • CIPM is a supreme international committee that functions under the authority of CGPM.
  • The CIPM advises and recommends the amendments, changes, alterations to the SI to the CGPM for formal adoption.
  • It can also pass resolutions and recommendations about the basic units of measurement, if needed, at its own authority. The primary objective of the CIPM, comprised of 18 members from 18 member states (nations), is to promote international harmonization of SI, meets annually, and deliberate reports sent by its 18 Consultative Committees (CCs), among other matters brought to its notice as per mandate. Each member of the CIPM takes responsibility for the Chairmanship of one CC.


The case of India

  • The Government of India enacted the “Standards of Weights and Measures Act” for the first time in 1956 to ensure that every citizen has access to uniform standards of weights and measures that are traceable to the SI units. During the year 1957, India became member of the CGPM.