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Gadkari launches Bharat NCAP, India's first crash testing programme

Source: PTI
August 22, 2023 19:28 IST
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Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday launched the country's first crash testing programme Bharat NCAP aimed at improving road safety standards of motor vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes.

Car crash

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/

Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (Bharat NCAP) is India's own crash testing programme and is cheaper than tests conducted abroad, Gadkari said, adding that the star ratings will help buyers understand the quality of the product and make an informed purchase decision.

Bharat NCAP will be implemented from October 1, 2023.

"Bharat NCAP is India's own crash testing programme.


"This is a very important programme....the cost of testing from abroad is Rs 2.5 crore and in India (under) Bharat NCAP it comes to Rs 60 lakh. So there can be a good market...," the road transport and highways minister said.

Under the programme, car manufacturers can voluntarily offer their vehicles tested as per the Automotive Industry Standard (AIS) 197, and based on the performance of the car in the tests, the vehicle will be awarded star ratings on a scale of 0-5, for adult occupants (AOP) and child occupants (COP).

The market today is not cost but quality-centric.

They are cautious about the quality, about the model about the design.

The companies who are making good models using good technology their share is going to increase in the market and those who don't want to change or upgrade they are already facing the consequences, the minister said adding requests have been received from multiple companies to test more than 30 models under the Bharat NCAP mechanism.

There is competition with the quality and safety standards and the government aims to make the Indian automobile industry of Rs 15 lakh crore (in size) from Rs 12.50 lakh crore, Gadkari said.

From seventh position earlier, India has surpassed Japan to become the third largest automobile market after China and the US, he added.

The automobile industry is one of the largest employers and biggest tax-paying sector to the government.

This industry is giving maximum GST to the state and central government.

Untill now, the industry created over 4 crore jobs and its overall GDP contribution is 6.5 per cent, Gadkari said.

Speaking further, he said that there is not much difference between Bharat NCAP and global crash standards and the mechanism has been prepared in a systematic way keeping all stakeholders' views into account.

It is expected that the demand for safer cars will increase, encouraging car manufacturers to comply with customer needs.

With high safety standards, Indian cars will be able to compete better in the global market, increasing the export potential of car manufacturers in India.

The programme is expected to develop a safety-sensitive car market in India.

Gadkari also highlighted the issue of fatalities due to road accidents in India.

"We are facing important challenges. One is road accidents and the other is air pollution ... Every year we have 5 lakh accidents and 1.5 lakh deaths.

"Every day 1,100 accidents and 400 deaths.

"Every hour 47 accidents and 18 deaths. 70 per cent of the deaths are in the age group of 18 to 34 years and a loss of GDP is 3.14 per cent," the minister said.

Meanwhile, the automobile industry hailed India's crash testing programme, saying it will further elevate vehicle safety standards and as an authentic and objective rating system it will help customers make informed purchase decisions.

Car market leader Maruti Suzuki India said it will offer at least three models for testing under the programme in the first lot itself, while others such as Hyundai Motor India, Mahindra & Mahindra and Renault also fully supported the programme.

"Any car that is launched in India follows the mandatory safety standards set by the government and is therefore safe. For consumers seeking extra safety or manufacturers offering extra safety features the Bharat NCAP (BNCAP) system is an authentic and objective rating system to empower the customer to make an informed choice," Maruti Suzuki India executive officer, corporate affairs, Rahul Bharti said in a statement.

Hyundai Motor India Ltd managing director & CEO Unsoo Kim said this effort will raise safety standards, empower consumers with vital information, and make Indian roads safer for all.

Renault India Operations country CEO & managing director Venkatram Mamillapalle said the government's initiative arrives at a crucial juncture for India, as the need to curtail fatalities on the roads has never been more pressing.

"With road safety taking precedence, the Bharat NCAP is a pivotal tool to assess and enhance the safety standards of vehicles on our roads," he said, adding, Renault India wholeheartedly supports this initiative and looks forward to contributing its expertise towards reducing accidents and ensuring safer journeys for all.

Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) president Vinod Aggarwal said the BNCAP initiative "will go a long way in educating customers in making informed purchase decisions, which would now be very strongly influenced by the safety parameters of the vehicle".

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