In what is great news for the Indian car-buying public, Union Minister for Road Transport & Highways Nitin Gadkari announced the approval of the draft GSR notification to introduce the Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Program).
Initially announced back in 2016, the BNCAP will help consumers make informed choices to opt for safer cars based on their safety ratings. Cars, SUVs, and passenger vehicles with a seating capacity of up to 8 (including the driver) and weighing under 3.5 tonnes will be crash-tested and then awarded star ratings based on their performance. The ratings will be given keeping in mind the existing Indian regulations and road/driving conditions. The program will be rolled out from April 1, 2023.
Currently, the global NCAP crash tests are done in Germany. But from April 1 onwards, the cars manufactured and sold in India will be tested in India itself. This is in line with GoI’s “Make in India” and “Aatmnirbhar” initiatives. The procedure will remain unchanged, and the cars will be awarded ratings from zero to five. Mr. Gadkari announced the approval of the draft via his Twitter account. He maintained that while the star ratings will help customers choose safer cars, they will also help create a bit of friendly competition among automobile manufacturers.
“Star rating of Indian cars based on crash tests is extremely crucial not just for the safety of passengers, but also increase the export-worthiness of Indian automobiles.”Nitin Gadkari via Twitter
The Bharat NCAP will differ significantly from other NCAP formats. While the latter award separate safety ratings for adults and children, the BNCAP will likely get a single combined and collated rating for adult and child protection. Bharat NCAP will also not be limited to passive safety tests and testing internal combustion-engined vehicles but also test and rate CNG and electric vehicles.
This approval by MoRTH holds immense significance for the Indian auto industry as India is one of the world’s least safe roads as far as accidents and subsequent deaths are concerned (as per world accidents records and data by the NCRB). Reports from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) suggest that over 1.2 lakh people lost their lives because of road-related accidents in 2020. India has previously revealed that it is looking to reduce the number of road accidents and deaths by 50 percent by the end-2030.