Once in a while it is enjoyable and quite interesting to explore the different dimensions of the automotive/transportation sector. Today, I had the honor of representing The Automotive India at a interesting seminar on Public Transport and Clean Technology organized by Volvo in New Delhi at The Leela as a part of their Nobel Week in association with the Govt. Of India dignitaries and in the august presence of His Excellency Mr. Harald Sandberg, Ambassador Of Sweden to India
The representatives from Volvo Included, Mr. VRV Sriprasad, Managing Director, Volvo Buses in India and Mr. Akash Passey, Sr. Vice-President – Business Region International, Volvo Bus Corporation and Chairman of the Board of Volvo Buses in India and Mr. Edward Jobson, Environmental Director, Volvo Bus Corporation.
Among the Indian Govt. Dignitaries included, Mr. Ambuj Sharma, Additional Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Government of India, Mr. Rajeev Lochan, Director Road Safety, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Mr. Abhay Damle (IRS) Joint Secretary (Transport) Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.
The seminar was quite an interesting one with various facets of Indian and International Transportation scenario were discussed. Also, the need to have better public transportation with effective use of Hybrid technology was discussed at length. Interesting insights were provided by the esteemed panelists who were present there. The panelists included:
. Mr. Rajeev Lochan, Director Road Safety, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
· Mr. Rajender Kumar Kataria, MD, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation
· Mr. Sunil Chaturvedi, CEO, Automotive Skill Development Corporation
· Mr. R. Chandrasekaran, Secretary General of General Insurance Council
· Mr. Piyush Tiwari, Founder and CEO, Save Life Foundation
· Ms. Anumita Roy Chowdhary, Director, Centre for Science and Environment
· Mr. Madhav Pai, Director, World Resources Institute (WRI), India
· Mr. VG Ramakrishnan, Managing Director - South Asia, Frost & Sullivan
· Mr. Edward Jobson, Environmental Director, Volvo Bus Corporation
· Mr. Ambuj Sharma, Additional Secretary, Department of Heavy Industry, Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises, Government of India
. Ms. Sonila
The Agenda and Topics of Discussion at the Seminar today were:
Topic: Safety – Driven by Regulations or Market Demand
Close to 1.5 lakh lives were lost to road accidents during last year.
Efforts are being made by policy makers, authorities, industry and other relevant stakeholders to bring in the right solutions. Be it better safety features in vehicles, or better road building technologies, the emphasis has never been greater. Especially for safety features in vehicles, there is always a scenario, which stretches from setting the norms, to implementation by industry and finally to adoption by the end users. However, despite implementation, levels of adoption have a huge gap.
Since the development and deployment of safety features involve huge costs, there always the question: Shouldn’t safety features be determined by the market, i.e., end users? But the flip side is that since end user adoption is not at high levels, should this be not a case for regulations to push for the safety features in vehicles. The objective is that through norms, and in even legal enforcement, end user adoption can be achieved. Against this backdrop we would like to explore the following themes:
· Building awareness and mobilising public opinion towards proactive adoption of safety measures
· While framing legislation, what is that we can we learn from developed countries to frame legislation that is simultaneously effective and acceptable to end users?
· Understanding complex social and market dynamics that hinder the rapid adoption of safety measures
· Proactive best practices adopted by stakeholders to further road and vehicle safety.
· Role of training as architecture for the promotion of safety.
· How can the insurance sector incentivise and accelerate the adoption of safety.
Topic: Road to Electro-mobility - Mission to Stop Emissions
Vehicular emissions have been contributors to rising air pollution – a phenomenon in cities globally. In India, the air quality levels have deteriorated to alarming levels prompting response from policy makers. One such initiative is to promote clean fuel technologies such as hybrid and electric, through the FAME India Scheme.
The emphasis is on providing the right solutions to address both immediate needs and future demands. Some initiatives are seen on the ground – introduction of hybrid and electric technologies in passenger vehicles. However, public transport, through hybrid & electric buses, can be more meaningful for our cities.
The fact that public transport buses can take off more personal vehicles from the roads is an established fact. The resultant environmental benefits are also well established. However, the public transport being the preferred choice is a scenario that has not been achieved. In this situation, clean technology solutions will have a crucial role to play. While the environment concerns are there to be realized, passenger comfort will touch levels hitherto not experienced. Important questions in this context were
· How to make the implementation of electro-mobility in India successful?
· How can we achieve the scenario of no emissions?
· What role can public transport play in this?
· What steps are required from an urban planning point of view?
· How can we plan this better to make?
· What other measures can be of help?
> More funding?
> Greater incentives for the industry?
> Greater benefits for our cities and the society?
* Videos to come tomorrow.