The Centre would soon be announcing the launch of a National Automotive Board (NAB) for regulation and certification of the automotive sector. Interacting with the media in Pune on Monday, Minister for Heavy Industries Anant Geete said that this board would start functioning within three months.
Geete said that although agencies like the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) are involved in the process of certification and setting up norms for the auto industry, the participation of private sector in governing bodies of such institutions have raised eyebrows.
“Once formed, NAB would take over administration of these bodies,” Geete said. All the seven established and upcoming institutions run by the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRIP) would also come under the purview of the Board, the minister added.
While the Board would be headed by the minster at present, the government has advertised for the post of its chairman. Geete also said that the Board would see the participation of the private sector too. “Other than administration, the Board would also help in streamlining the process of certification as well as setting up norms for the industry,” he said.
The government has allowed additional funds worth Rs 3,800 crore for completion of all the centres of NATRIP. Pune, Ahmednagar, Manesar, Chennai, Indore and Silchar are the cities where NATRIP centres are located. Geete said that these centres would provide certification, testing and homologation services of international standards.
On Monday, Geete also inaugurated the new facility of ARAI at Chakan. This facility houses the homologation and technical facility of the centre. Also, various crash tests and laboratories for power training, fabrics, etc. would operate out of this facility. Rs 370 crore has been invested in the facility. ARAI would be given 100 acres at Takwe for setting up test tracks.
Speaking about the national automobile mission, Geete said that taking in view environmental concerns, electric and hybrid vehicles need to be promoted. “Electric two-wheelers have gained popularity and in the last six months, almost 30,000 vehicles have hit the roads. However, we need to popularise the usage of electric and hybrid commercial and buses too,” he said.