Pune: The Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Anant Geete inaugurated on Monday the Homologation and Technology Centre of the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) at auto industry hub Chakan, 40 km from here.
The inauguration of the facility was part of the year long Golden Jubilee celebrations of ARAI, which Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis kick started on Sunday.
The centre has been established under the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP) of the Government of India which aims at creating global competencies in automotive sector in India.
The centre, set up with an investment of Rs 370 Cr, will offer homologation services to automobile manufacturers for Indian and global export markets. It has all the latest equipment to offer the services. The centre also comprises a passive safety laboratory, powertrain laboratory, fatigue and materials laboratory and automotive electronics laboratory.
Powertrain laboratory is for testing of vehicles, engines and powertrains and other accessories for their performance with respect to power, efficiency, and exhaust emissions, while fatigue and materials laboratory is for prediction structural failures and evaluation of vehicles’ structural components, systems and sub-systems and chassis /full vehicle subjected to real life dynamic loading conditions.
The facilities in passive safety laboratory are for providing homologation support for upcoming crash regulations and the ensuing Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Programme- a safety star rating system for India. The automotive electronics testing laboratory being established at the centre will consist of state-of-the-art testing infrastructure for testing electric and hybrid electric vehicles.
Geete said, “The country has been attracting investments in its automobiles sector thanks to the engineering and manufacturing capabilities available here.” “The government will extend all the necessary help to the automotive sector which is at the forefront of the Make In India initiative announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi”, he said.
Geete said, “The seven specialised testing facilities being developed under NATRiP across India will be complete in the next two years according to the revised time line for them and the government will have invested close to Rs 3800 crore in the facilities accommodating the project cost overrun.
These facilities are coming up in Pune, Manesar in Haryana, Chennai, Indore, Ahmednagar in Maharashtra and Silchar in Assam.
“As all these facilities hold the brief of assisting the government in the formation of regulatory norms in the areas of safety, emission and fuels the government intends to unify them under an umbrella body Automotive Regulatory Board”, Geete said. “The Board will come into existence soon after all the seven facilities are complete and it will work under the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises”, Geete added.
Rashmi Urdhwareshe, Director, ARAI, said “the institute will retain its identity even after such a Board comes into existence and will continue its research and development as well as testing services”. “ARAI’s role in advising the government in the formation of regulatory norms for the automotives sector will move to the board, Urdhwareshe said”. She earlier familiarised the gathering with the journey of ARAI over the 50 years of its existence and it research and testing capabilities.
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