Bharat NCAP

The Bharat NCAP, which stands for Bharat New Car Assessment Program, is a groundbreaking initiative aimed at enhancing passenger car safety standards in India. With a focus on promoting transparency and raising consumer awareness, this program holds immense significance in ensuring the safety of vehicle occupants on Indian roads.

This topic of “Bharat NCAP” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

What is Bharat NCAP?

Bharat NCAP is a safety assessment program specifically designed for passenger vehicles, encompassing cars that can carry up to 8 people and vehicles weighing under 3.5 tonnes. This initiative is a response to the growing need for robust safety measures in the Indian automotive industry.

Highlights of Bharat NCAP

The program introduces a comprehensive crash-test program, employing a point-based scoring system that translates into star ratings. The star ratings offer potential customers a clear reference for purchase decisions based on the safety credentials of the vehicle.

Crash-Test Program and Point System

  • Translating to Stars: The crash-test results are represented through star ratings. The safest cars are awarded 5 stars, indicating the highest level of safety.
  • Voluntary Testing: Manufacturers can voluntarily subject their vehicles to testing as per the Automotive Industry Standard (AIS) 197.

Types of Crash Tests

  • Frontal Crash Test: Conducted at a speed of 64 kmph, this test assesses how well a vehicle’s structure absorbs the impact during a head-on collision.
  • Side Crash Test: Conducted at 50 kmph, this test evaluates the vehicle’s ability to protect occupants during a side collision.
  • Pole-Side Crash Test: This test simulates a side collision with a pole or tree at 29 kmph, assessing the car’s structural integrity and occupant protection.

Scoring System

  • Adult Safety for Front Passengers: The maximum score is 32 points, with a minimum of 27 points required for a 5-star rating.
  • Child Safety at Rear: The maximum score is 49 points, with a minimum of 41 points needed for a 5-star rating.
  • Additional Points: Vehicles are awarded additional points based on factors like restraint systems, including ISOFIX anchorages.

Why Bharat NCAP?

The Bharat NCAP serves various essential purposes, including increased transparency, consumer awareness creation, and helping buyers make informed choices based on the safety credentials of the vehicles they are considering purchasing.

Significance of Bharat NCAP

This initiative aligns India’s vehicle safety standards with global benchmarks. Countries like the US, Europe, Japan, Australia, and Latin America have their own National Car Assessment Programs (NCAPs), emphasizing the importance of such safety assessments worldwide.

Facts about the Current Scenario

  • The existing Indian standard includes a basic conformity crash test conducted at 56 kmph, which lacks star ratings and leaves consumers without safety-based information.
  • Global NCAP has been testing Indian cars since 2014, leading to progress in recent years. Out of 62 crash tests conducted, 20 cars received 0 stars (all five years ago), while 8 cars received 5 stars (all under three years old).
  • Indian test centers in Pune, Manesar, and Indore enable cheaper and easier in-country testing, resulting in more cars being tested and companies leveraging star ratings to improve safety features.

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