What are standards

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Standards and their advantages

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What are standards

  1. 1. Mankind has achieved so much in the past few centuries and the rate of development continues to grow today. In the last century alone, through innovations, heaps of imagination and hard work, some of the world’s most important inventions were able to see the light of day. These inventions such as the telephone, continue to be reshaped and presented to us in different ways. The development we see today would not have been possible, without the people involved, following a code or set of guidelines or principles to help them to monitor their progress. These principles and guidelines are what we call standards. Standards allow us to compare our work with that of another, judge the impact of different events and someone’s actions and inventions, allow us to be competitive in a world where uniqueness is a rarity and most importantly standards breed efficiency by helping us attain better results and reducing the wastage of our knowledge and abilities. Standards allow people who are working towards the same goals to compare and contrast their progress with each other and therefore allow them to produce better results. When Apple Inc. unveiled the first iphone to the public in 2007, the concept of a phone that could multitask, i.e. a smartphone, was largely just that, a concept, for cellphone users and even mobile developers across the world. The Iphone, although, was not the first smartphone, it was the first of its kind to be made available across the globe. It wasn’t long before other companies, who were essentially working on the same ideas and concepts, presented their own versions of the Iphone. Nokia brought the Nokia 5800, Samsung the Galaxy S and Sony Ericsson the Xperia X 2. Iphone became the standard for smartphone developers who compared and contrasted their work with that of Apple Inc.’s and strived to build a better smartphone both in terms of price and quality. Apple Inc. itself has learned from its competitors in improving the design of the Iphone e.g. HTC’s economical and innovative use of materials such as aluminum in the construction of its smartphones has served as an inspiration for Apple to bring down the manufacturing cost of the Iphone which, in its 5th generation, remains the most expensive smartphone on the market. Standards allow us to judge the impact of different events on the world around us. The biggest natural disaster of its kind, the 2004 tsunami, led to the deaths of
  2. 2. 230,000 people and destroyed whole communities in South East Asia. It has been termed as one of the worst natural disasters in modern history and has become the benchmark to which every other similar incident is compared e.g. the tsunami off the coast of Japan in 2011 caused less deaths and destruction over a relatively small area and therefore pales in terms of impact to the 2004 tsunami. The 2004 tsunami has been used as the yard stick for the development of safety measures against tsunamis and has allowed countries to focus their efforts to provide better and economical protection for their people against natural disasters. In universities and schools today, every student strives to be outstanding in his or her fields of study. The universities and schools compare the academic capabilities of the students against standards that have been set up by them in conjunction with other universities and schools and Education Ministries. If no standards existed, the talent and abilities of the students would be wasted as the students wouldn’t have any idea of how they are supposed to perform academically and what is required of them. For instance, the Pakistan Engineering Council requires a civil engineering undergraduate to complete 139 credit hours worth of courses in order to be registered as a world class civil engineer. If a civil engineering student A passed courses that amounted to more than the 139 required credit hours, A would have essentially wasted his or her time and energy to be given the same status as another student B who completed his Undergraduate studies with no less than 139 credit hours. Also it is more likely that the quality of A’s work as an engineer would be lower than that of B’s, since A divided his or her attention between more courses than B. The gist of this example is that standards reduce wastage and can allow you to produce better results with a greater focus on quality than quantity. Standards provide efficiency to every type of system. It’s hard to imagine a world without standards. A world without standards is one where people have nothing to aim for, where people have no way of differentiating their work in a particular field with that of the others in the same field and the spirit of competition is non- existent. A world without standards is a world where there is no line between extraordinary and ordinary and there is no way to determine the rate of development, let alone a way of identifying development.

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