In news– The Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways has recently approved notification to introduce Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Program).
What is Bharat NCAP program ?
- Under this program automobiles in India shall be accorded Star Ratings (from 1 to 5 stars) based upon their performance in Crash Tests.
- It will serve as a consumer-centric platform allowing customers to opt for safer cars based upon their star-ratings, while promoting a healthy competition among Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in India to manufacture safer vehicles.
- Testing protocol of Bharat NCAP shall be aligned with Global Crash Test Protocols factoring in the existing Indian regulations, allowing OEMs to get their vehicles tested at India’s own in-house testing facilities.
- It will be the new car safety assessment programme for cars that are produced and sold in India and will come into effect from April 1, 2023.
- It is applicable on Type Approved motor vehicles of category M1 [motor vehicles used for the carriage of passengers, comprising not more than eight seats, in addition to driver’s seat] with gross vehicle weight less than 3.5 Tonnes, manufactured or imported in the country, in accordance with the Automotive Industry Standard (AIS)-197.
- The rating will provide consumers an indication of the level of protection offered to occupants by evaluating the vehicle in the areas of
- Adult Occupant Protection (AOP).
- Child Occupant Protection (COP) and
- Safety Assist Technologies (SAT).
- The vehicle shall be assigned a star rating from one to five stars, based on scoring against various tests undertaken as per AIS 197.
- It is important to note that the government aims to reduce 50 per cent road accident deaths by 2024.
- The US was the first country to start a programme that provided information on car safety with regard to crashes to customers in 1978.
- Since then, a number of similar programmes were started across regions such as Euro NCAP, Australasian NCAP, Japan NCAP, ASEAN NCAP and China NCAP, which were based on the American model.
- In 2011, a UK-based charity Towards Zero Foundation formed the Global NCAP to enhance cooperation among the various NCAPs and promote vehicle crash-testing and reporting in emerging markets.