National automotive board on the anvil

“NAB is likely to be set up in December. It will act as facilitator between the government and the industry, promote research and development activities and have a larger role in developing skills for the growing automobile sector,” a Department of Heavy Industry official told PTI.

Besides, it would act as a think-tank for the government, especially for the growth of hybrid and electric vehicles in the country, he added.

The board will have members from the Department of Heavy Industry, Planning Commission and from various ministries, including road transport and highways, science and technology, environment and forests. Besides, there would be scientists and industry representatives on the board. The board will be the successor of the National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRIP), which is a project implementation body. NATRIP was set up for upgradation of three existing automotive testing and R&D centres — the Vehicle Research and Development Establishment (VRDE) at Ahmednagar, Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) at Pune and International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT) at Manesar. In addition, NATRIP’s mandate was to set up four greenfield centres at Chennai, Indore, Silchar and Rae Bareilly for automotive testing, homologation and R&D. At present, the turnover of Indian automobile industry is US$75 billion, while its exports are worth US$11 billion.

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