Press ReleaseNATRAX, under MHI organizes a conference for Automotive Test Agencies to create...

NATRAX, under MHI organizes a conference for Automotive Test Agencies to create Global Footprint for Viksit Bharat

Pithampur –27th April 2024

National Automotive Test Tracks (NATRAX), under NAB (Ministry of Heavy Industries, GOI) organised first of its kind Conference on “Global Presence of Indian Test Agencies – Way Forward” on Saturday, 27th April 2024, NATRAX, Pithampur, near Indore, MP. The Automotive Leadership Conference brought varied stakeholders together on a single platform with an aim to discuss and deliberate on the way forward to transform Indian Automotive Test Agencies as Global Hub for Testing, Certification and Co-Development. The Conference was held in association with SIAM, ACMA and ATMA with The Policy Times Chamber of Commerce as the Organizing Partner and ET Auto as the media partner.

The Conference was graced by Dr. Hanif Qureshi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Heavy Industries, Shri Sudhendu Jyoti Sinha, Senior Advisor, Niti Aayog, Senior Leadership from all three Important Automotive bodies – SIAM, ACMA and ATMA, Directors of 6 Test Agencies under three different ministries (ARAI, ICAT, GARC, CIRT, IRMRI and NATRAX), Senior Leaders from Industries, Academia, and Technology Companies.

With over 150+ delegates, there was an intense deliberation on how Indian Test Agencies can evolve as global players using the mantra of intense collaboration across the complete value chain. The speakers from VECV, Hero MotoCorp, ATS, TUV, JK Tyres, ZF, Apollo Tyres, Bosch, Ansys, Greaves Electric Mobility along with Senior Delegates from SIAM, ACMA and ATMA and Premium institutes like IIT Indore and Hyderabad all said in unison that collaboration is not a choice but a need for India to realize its dream to become fully developed by 2047.

The Chief Guest of the conference, Dr. Hanif Qureshi, highlighted how major policies led by Ministry of Heavy Industries are shaping up Electrification and Localization in Indian Automotive Ecosystem, but more importantly all of that is happening in close consultation with multiple stake holders. He added that India is on its way to emerge as prime Global hub of automotive. The export driven strength of tyre industry is also encouraging, especially for developed economies of US and European Union. Dr. Qureshi added that Test Agencies should also focus on R&D and Co-development in partnership with industry and academia. He stressed on the development of ADAS and virtual testing competencies in test agencies. He appreciated the commendable work done by all the major test agencies like ARAI, ICAT, and GARC, and congratulated NATRAX for putting up remarkable growth in last one year. He further stressed that the conference theme to increase the global footprint of Indian Auto test agencies and strengthen them as global players marks a pivotal moment in the automotive landscape.

The guest of Honor, Shri Sudhendu Jyoti Sinha, Advisor, Infrastructure Connectivity & Electric Mobility, NITI Aayog, stressed that the time is ripe for test agencies to aspire to become global players, with supportive government policies, collaborative mindset, technology readiness, talent availability, startup ecosystem and maturity of academia. He further stated that every target should be kept higher to the extent that it has an air of unbelievability than only frontiers will be pushed further and India can emerge as real leader in the automotive R&D and technology space.

Dr. Manish Jaiswal, Director Natrax stressed on the need of Industries through SIAM, ACMA and ATMA to come together and create co-working and R&D spaces in test agencies like NATRAX, which can become hub for R&D and Co-development. He highlighted NATRAX has started its path of transformation and is ready to join hands with other test agencies, industries, and academia to push for consortium type framework, which will allow test agencies to emerge as global players and serve the larger needs of Indian Industries, and realize the dream of Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat.

Shri Rajnesh Singh, Director (Auto), Ministry of Heavy Industries (MHI), Government of India, assured the industry leaders that government is sensitive towards their concerns and is ready for support, wherever needed. However, he added the impetus is on Industry to work with Test Agencies and Academia in true collaborative mode.

Mr. Vinod Aggarwal, President-SIAM & MD & CEO, VECV Ltd, profusely thanked MHI and test agencies for their stellar contribution in the growth of Automotive Industry through world class testing and certification infrastructure. He added that with unprecedented growth of Automotive Industry across various vehicle segments, there is a continuous need to calibrate the capacity of test agencies so that localization and R&D is promoted and SIAM is willing to work with MHI to expand test agencies global footprint.

Mr. Guruprasad Mudlapur, Executive Committee Member, ACMA & MD, Bosch India stressed the need of test Agencies global accreditation, which will allow component industry to get their certification and homologation needs addressed locally for the export market. This will allow time and cost savings and quick product releases. He highlighted the upcoming strategic collaboration of Bosch with NATRAX, which will allow Bosch to shift their testing in India.

Mr. Ravin T Kurian, Chairman, Indian Tyre Technical Advisory Committee (ITTAC, ATMA) talked about the need of Indian Tyre testing infrastructure upgrade as Tyre Industries in India collectively carry out significant testing overseas which results in cost and time escalation. He also stressed on the need of adapting regulations for India specific conditions which can be worked in partnership with Test Agencies.

The Conference also saw inauguration of unique Cut and Chip Test Track (7 degrees Gradient) for Tyre Testing by Dr. Hanif Qureshi at NATRAX, which was created in collaboration with Apollo Tyres. This track is a small step in the direction of Aatma-Nirbhar Bharat, where tyre companies can do local testing to take care of export market, where stringent criteria’s must be met for Environment protection and to meet EV requirements.

There was also High-Level MoU Exchange in presence of Dr. Hanif Qureshi (AS, MHI) between NATRAX and IRMRI, NATRAX and TÜV Rheinland, and NATRAX and SAEINDIA. A similar partnership between NATRAX and IIT Indore is in the pipeline. All this shows NATRAX commitment to work with wider-stakeholders to bring a Paradigm Shift in the Automotive Ecosystem.

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