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23rd August 2023 (9 Topics)

Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) Launched

Context

India’s road and car safety just received mass acceleration as the government launched the much-awaited Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (Bharat NCAP), India’s homegrown vehicle safety rating system.

What is Bharat NCAP?

  • The Bharat NCAP is India’s very own automobile safety performance assessment programme.
  • In this programme, vehicles sold in the domestic market will be tested and graded on several measures.
  • Aim:to enhance road safety by elevating vehicle safety standards for up to 3.5-tonne vehicles in India.
  • With the launch of this programme, India becomes the fifth country in the world – behind the United States, China, Japan and South Korea – to have its dedicated car crash safety program.
  • The Bharat NCAP is aligned with global crash test protocols. Incidentally, until now, India relied on Global NCAP, which performs ‘voluntary’ crash tests of cars to give them a rating out of five.

Global NCAP

  • 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.

How will it work?

  • Applicability: It will be applicable to all passenger vehicles that can seat up to eight people and weigh less than 3.5 tonnes, starting from 1 October.
  • In addition to petrol and diesel vehicles, Bharat NCAP could also offer tests and safety ratings for CNG and hybrid cars.
  • As part of the programme, cars will be crash-tested and given points which in turn would translate into stars. The safest of the lot will get five stars.
  • As of now the Bharat NCAP crash test will be voluntary for now.

A series of tests

  • The car will have to go through a frontal crash test conducted at a speed of 64 kmph, as well as a side and pole-side tests occur at 50 kmph and 29 kmph respectively.
  • The ratings are based upon two main criteria (similar to the Global NCAP):
    • Adult safety for front passengers: To achieve a five-star rating for adult safety, a vehicle will have to gain a minimum of 27 out of 32 possible points.
    • Child safety for rear occupants: a score of 41 out of 49 points secures the highly acclaimed five-star rating.
  • Furthermore, vehicles can earn additional points by incorporating features like ISOFIX anchorages, which play a pivotal role in bolstering child restraint systems.

The need

  • India is one of the leading nations when it comes to road accidents and fatalities on the roads. Official data shows that in 2021, 1.54 lakh people lost their lives and 3.84 were injured in road accidents.
  • The 2020 data was also shocking – 1.31 lakh people lost lives, and 3.49 lakh were injured in road mishaps.

Significance

  • Improved road safety: The Bharat NCAP is aimed at improving road safety by raising the safety standards of motor vehicles.
  • Enhanced focus on customer safety: The programme would increase the demand for safer cars and encourage manufacturers to focus more on customer safety.
  • Export-worthiness of Indian automobiles: Additionally, with the Bharat NCAP, Indian cars are expected to compete better in the global market with high safety standards, increasing the export potential of car manufacturers in India.

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