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6 automotive testing, R&D centres coming up across country

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 12, 2016

India is on the verge of creating six top automotive testing, validation and research & development centres across the country with an investment of Rs 3,720 crore, according to Sanjay Bandopadhyaya, Chief Executive Officer of NATRiP.

These centres are at different stages of completions. They are being established at Manesar, Indore in Madhya Pradesh, Chakan in Pune, Ahmednagar, Chennai and Silchar in Assam.

The National Automotive Testing and R&D Infrastructure Project (NATRiP), is a joint initiative between the Centre, state governments and the Indian automotive industry. It aims at creating core global competencies in the automotive sector and facilitating seamless integration of the auto sector with the world.

The NATRiP also signed an understanding with Japanese companies recently to further improve core competencies. It is ready to extend help in creating infrastructure that would facilitate introduction of new fuels such as hydrogen and in promoting electric vehicles, Bandopadhyaya said in his address at the fifth International Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Conference here.

Plans are afoot to set up more testing labs and certification facilities. For this he invited equity participation from the automotive industry, while NATRiP (which is under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas) would provide land.

Earlier, inaugurating the three-day conference which began on Sunday, V. K. Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog said: "Work on moving into a hydrogen fuel-based economy are in the early days. Though projects have been taken up at several places, there was a need for acceleration".

He cited the mega, long-term initiatives of the US and the progress made by Japan in a planned and strategic manner as pointers to the importance of hydrogen an energy carrier, which would now emerge as a frontline source for transportation and meeting energy needs.

The President of the Hydrogen Association of India, R.N. Malhotra, felt that hydrogen was key to India's efforts to have clean and affordable energy and the big plans that Prime Minister Narendra Modi enunciated on renewable energy.

Though hydrogen is available in abundance, the challenge of breaking it from water and hydrocarbons, producing, storing and ensuring its safe use remain big. Since 2010, the association has taken up measures to give a push to research projects and commercial moves.

Published on December 12, 2016
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