The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has approved the GSR Notification to introduce Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Program), wherein automobiles in India shall be accorded Star Ratings based on their performance in Crash Tests.
This move is expected to make vehicles manufactured and sold in India much safer. At present, there is no mandate for crash test rating in the country.
In a series of tweets on social media, Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways, said that the upcoming Bharat-NCAP will serve as a consumer-centric platform allowing customers to opt for safer cars based on their star ratings while promoting a healthy competition among OEMs in India to manufacture safer vehicles.
He believes that the Star Rating of Indian cars based on the crash tests is extremely crucial not only to ensure structural and passenger safety in cars but to also increase the export-worthiness of Indian automobiles.
The 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 in-house testing facilities in the country.
If the draft comes into effect, while on one hand, it will make cars sold in India safer, it will also add to additional costs in terms of vehicle redesign and upgrades to the end consumer. In fact, if hypothetically, the star rating is mandated for all vehicles sold in the country, a majority of the top 10 passenger cars sold in India, will fail to meet a decent rating in their current avatar.