What is setting of cement?

When water is mixed with cement, the paste formed remains plastic for a certain time. During this period, it is possible to mould it into any desired shape. As the reaction between water and cement continues, the paste loses its plasticity. This early period in the hardening of cement is referred to as Setting of cement. The BIS has specified the Initial Setting time should not be less than 30 minutes and Final Setting time should not exceed 600 minutes.