- Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
- Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.
- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.
What to study?
- Static Part: What are Quadricycles, how are they regulated in India?
- Dynamic and current: How do they affect the present market, environmental concerns, benefits for the people.
Context: The ministry of road transport and highways has approved the sale of quadricycles for personal use.
Quadricycle – a vehicle of the size of a 3-wheeler but with 4 tyres and fully covered like a car. It has an engine like that of a 3-wheeler.
Ministry of Road Transport & Highways notified the insertion of ‘Quadricycle’ as a ‘non transport’ vehicle under the Motor Vehicles Act 1988.
Quadricycles were only allowed for transport usage under the Act, but now has been made usable for non-transport also (Personal use).
Intention behind this move:
The main aim is to give another mobility option, especially to the middle class who want to upgrade from two-wheelers. Besides, a person cannot carry family members in a three-wheeler, therefore, quadricycles are being allowed in the private category. The move will help them to upgrade to four-wheelers and move around with family.
It is cheap and safe mode of transport for last mile connectivity.
Quadricycles will not be allowed for transporting cargo or luggage.
Impact on the auto- industry:
Quadricycles will pose a serious challenge to entry level cars. With the centre giving a go-ahead on the sale of quadricycles for personal use, top auto makers will have to revamp their strategy on entry-level cars, given quadricycles are expected to be far cheaper.
Facts for Prelims:
Bajaj Auto Ltd’s Qute is the first locally produced quadricycle.
Analysis- what is left out?
While the government is trying to improve the safety standards of vehicles for Indian roads, quadricycles may not even meet the basic safety norms. Quadricycles should have been restricted only for commercial purposes since they don’t meet the emission and safety norms of passenger cars. The regulators have been lenient and have diluted the norms for vehicles in this segment.
Earlier this year, the Indian Government had approved of the Quadricycle as a vehicle category. Similar to all other vehicles sold in India even the Quadricycle vehicles will have to undergo a rigorous crash test and will have to meet the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Program (BNVSAP) safety norms and also the BS-VI emission norms.
The government has also approved full electric or hybrid models of Quadricycle vehicles but even those models cannot skip the stringent crash test norms.
Sources: Livemint and PIB.