India Launches Bharat NCAP, Driving Historic Day for Road Safety
In a momentous day for road safety, India has launched its own crash testing safety program called Bharat NCAP. The program was inaugurated by the Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, who announced that requests to crash test 30 models have already been received. This initiative marks a significant step forward for the country, as it aims to improve road safety standards and raise awareness among consumers.
During the launch event, the Minister expressed his appreciation for the cooperation of the Indian automobile industry in making Bharat NCAP a reality. He highlighted the cost-effectiveness of the program, stating that crash testing done abroad costs Rs 2.5 crore, whereas under Bharat NCAP, it is only Rs 60 lakhs. By adhering to global standards, India’s market is expected to expand, benefiting both consumers and the automotive industry.
The Minister also acknowledged the growing demand for vehicles with higher star ratings, emphasizing that people are becoming more cautious about safety and pollution. He noted that consumers are now willing to explore alternative fuels, further highlighting the need for improved vehicle safety standards.
In terms of road safety challenges, the Minister pointed out that India faces two significant issues—road accidents and air pollution—for which the Ministry shares responsibility. Alarmingly, India witnesses 5 lakh accidents and 1.5 lakh deaths annually. The statistics are even more distressing, with 1,100 accidents and 400 deaths occurring each day, and 47 accidents and 18 deaths happening every hour. It is particularly concerning that 70 percent of these fatalities involve individuals aged between 18 and 34 years old, resulting in a loss of GDP amounting to 3.14 percent.
The Minister underscored the importance of saving lives and emphasized that road safety should be prioritized. He noted that while the automotive industry bears some responsibility, road engineering is also a major concern. Improvements in both areas are crucial. Additionally, the Minister highlighted the changing dynamics of the automotive market, with consumers shifting their focus from cost to quality. This shift aligns with the objective of Bharat NCAP to raise awareness and help consumers make informed decisions through star ratings.
India’s progress in the automobile industry has been commendable. Under the Minister’s leadership, the industry has climbed to the third position globally, surpassing Japan. The goal is to further develop the Indian automobile sector to surpass Rs 15 lakh crore and become a manufacturing hub that contributes to the country’s ambitious target of becoming a $5 trillion economy.
To support this vision, Indian brands are already exporting 50 percent of their two-wheeler production, and technological advancements are being made, including the exploration of various fuels. India has a competitive edge in terms of cost and aspires to match the quality standards of established players like the United States and China. The Minister expressed confidence that Indian vehicles will become the preferred choice worldwide due to their reasonable cost and high quality.
In conclusion, the launch of Bharat NCAP is a significant milestone for India’s road safety efforts. By embracing crash testing and star ratings, the country aims to enhance consumer awareness, improve vehicle safety standards, and reduce road accidents and fatalities. The Minister’s commitment to making India a global automotive leader demonstrates the government’s dedication to fostering growth, ensuring safety, and boosting the economy. With these ambitious goals and initiatives, India is on its way to creating a safer and thriving automobile industry.