India’s Homegrown Vehicle Safety Rating System ‘Bharat NCAP’ To Be Rolled Out From 1 April 2023

India is set to introduce its first homegrown vehicle safety rating system based on crash tests from next year.

The upcoming Bharat new car assessment programme (NCAP) will be rolled out from 1 April next year, according to a Road Transport Ministry release.

“The BNCAP is applicable on Type Approved motor vehicles of category M1 (motor vehicles used for the carriage of passengers, comprising 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 Road Transport Ministry said on Saturday (25 June).

Bharat NCAP rating will provide consumers an indication of the level of protection offered to occupants by evaluating the vehicle in the areas of (a) Adult Occupant Protection (AOP) (b) Child Occupant Protection (COP) and (c) Safety Assist Technologies (SAT), the ministry said.

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 added.

According to the ministry, the programme introduces the concept of safety rating of passenger cars and empowers consumers to take informed decisions.

It will promote export worthiness of the cars produced by OEMs in the country and increase the domestic customer’s confidence in these vehicles, the ministry said.

Additionally, the programme will encourage manufacturers to provide advanced safety technologies to earn higher ratings, it added.

Earlier on Friday (24 June), in a series of tweets, Union Road Transport Gadkari said the Bharat New Car Assessment Programme (Bharat NCAP) 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.

‘I have now approved the draft GSR notification to introduce Bharat NCAP (New Car Assessment Program), wherein automobiles in India shall be accorded Star Ratings based upon their performance in crash tests,’ he said.

The Road Transport and Highways minister stressed that Star Ratings of Indian cars based on 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 India’s own in-house testing facilities, Gadkari said.