Vehicle number plates in India have come a long way from being sourced from the unorganised sector to state-of-the-art, Govt. approved manufacturers. Autocar Professional spoke with Shimnit India, a company that specialises in HSRP to find out more.
It was almost two decades ago that the system of High Security Registration Plates (HSRP) was introduced for all vehicles by the Government of India (GoI) to help transform personal safety and national security. And yet little is known about it. So Autocar Professional decided to interview the second-generation dynamic entrepreneurs – Rushang Shah, Promoter & Director and Dhruv Patel, Director – who both lead Shimnit Indiathe company that truly spearheaded the HSRP revolution in our country.
Excerpts from the interview:
When and why was the HSRP system introduced and mandated in our country by way of legislation?
Rushang Shah: The HSRP system was first introduced by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), GOI vide Notification dated 22nd August 2001.
The order is called the ‘Motor Vehicles (New High Security Registration Plates) Order, 2001’. It came into force on 28th September 2001 for new vehicles and all old vehicles plying on the road had two years time from the date of publication of the official gazette to adopt the new HSRP regime. Subsequently, as per the notifications dated 4th and 6th December 2018 respectively, the 16th amendment to the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 was introduced whereby the vehicle manufacturers were to ensure that all new vehicles were sold fitted with HSRP.
The new notification rules came into force for new vehicles from 1st April 2019. The HSRP system was introduced to bring about a change in the license plate regime to obtain standardization of number plates. The idea was to create a national database of vehicles plying on the road and to exercise complete control over issuance of license plates to vehicle owners in the interest of checking crimes for personal safety and national security.
It is pertinent to mention that this was envisaged as the base technology on which future technologies could be mounted like the CCTV Enforcement System, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) System, etc.
Give us a brief introduction about Shimnit India.
Dhruv Patel: Shimnit India is an Indian Corporate headquartered at Mumbai, Maharashtra. Shimnit was incorporated in the year 2001 post the amendment to Rule 50 of the CMVR 1989. We manufacture High-Security Registration Plates according to the guidelines set by MoRTH, GoI.
Shimnit has gathered volumes of experience since its inception and the rich experience has established us as an undisputed leader in the HSRP business in India. Shimnit has to its credit, technically qualified and exceptionally experienced personnel who ensure superiority of products and associated services. We have equipped ourselves with the best practices in manufacturing, quality control, testing and delivery deadlines.
With a robust network of high class and certified suppliers, we can deliver optimum quality products. We have been awarded the Type Approval Certificate (TAC) and the Conformity of Production (COP) Certificates by Central Road Research Institute.
We have also been awarded the ISO Certifications for - Occupational Health and Safety Management System, Quality Management System and Environmental Management System. Our aim is to ensure that our products and services adhere strictly to the Government rules and guidelines and international standards. We continually aim to innovate and include more products and services to meet the growing demands of the Transport sector. Service is at the heart of what we do.
So today, other than HSRP, Shimnit offers a complete 360 degree services for automotive OEMs and dealers that include Model Endorsement, Vehicle Registration, Trade Certification and FAME II Submissions.
What are the Security Features of an HSRP?
Rushang Shah: As per law, a High Security Registration Plate has to conform to the AIS 159 norms. The security features of a certified HSRP comprise: Aluminium plate of 1 mm thickness, reflective sheet of an imperishable nature, country ID ‘IND’ in blue color, hot stamped chromium based ‘Chakra’ hologram, unique alpha-numeric ID laser marked with minimum 10 digits, hot stamping film with INDIA inscription and a self destructible third license plate sticker for the wind shield. The registration plates fitted in the front and rear of the vehicle are to be fastened with self-destructible/non-reusable snap locks that render an anti-theft property to the HSRP.
What happens if the HSRP is damaged? Will a new HSRP be issued against damaged / lost HSRP?
Dhruv Patel: As per Government guidelines, in case of a damaged HSRP a record of customer complaint along with the photograph of the damaged HSRP cut into 2 portions, as proof that it is non-usable, is to be maintained by the HSRP vendor for supplying the replacement plate. In case of theft, a copy of FIR is to be shared by the vehicle owner for replacement to be provided by the HSRP vendor.
Can High Security Registration Plates be ordered from the factory directly by customers?
Dhruv Patel: No, a blank HSRP cannot be sold to anyone. An HSRP is issued only through the Govt. approved mode of ordering. In case of a new vehicle, a set of HSRPs is issued on getting the order from the OEM or dealer. In case of an old vehicle conversion through the State Transport Department, the set of HSRPs is issued at the request of the vehicle owner. It is either supplied at the OEM or the dealer point.
Is it true that an HSRP has a secure ID code which is registered in a government vehicle database and helps prevent tampering, cloning, and other forms of fraud? How can HSRP help gather crucial information about vehicles like engine number, chassis number or ownership details?
Rushang Shah: Yes, each HSRP has a unique ID number which is laser marked on it. The laser mark comprises 2 alphabets (allotted by a Testing Agency) followed by minimum 10 numerals. No two HSRPs, irrespective of size, colour or manufacturer, can have the same identification number and this ensures that there is no cloning, theft or mis-use of the registration number of a vehicle.
Complete vehicle details like engine and chassis numbers and owner details like name of the owner and vehicle registration number are tagged with this unique ID number at the time of its issuance by us.
So, post affixation of HSRP on the vehicle, the unique ID numbers of both the HSRPs are also posted on the VAHAN portal. Thus, customer and vehicle related information can be gathered either from VAHAN portal or from our HSRP database using the unique ID number of the plates.
A recent statement given by Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Mr. Nitin Gadkari, indicated that the HSRP system will again be revolutionized, using GPS and other 'state of the art' technology. How are you as an HSRP company geared in terms of technology applications?
Dhruv Patel: With the current specifications, our HSRP is very much readable through the OCR application being used by the Transport department to issue traffic challans etc. The registration number on the HSRP of a moving car can be read and data can be gathered from VAHAN databases on real time basis.
And as a market leader, we are continually innovating to meet the needs of our clients. Our IT department forms the backbone of Shimnit integrated services that we offer automotive OEMs and dealers.
Any change in the technical specifications of HSRP such as embedding microchips, connecting with GPS, etc is under the sole discretion of MoRTH, GoI. As a company dedicated to security and safety of vehicles and their owners, we will ensure prompt and stringent alignment to Government guidelines and processes.
Who are your major clients currently?
Dhruv Patel: For new HSRP fitment, all automobile OEMs for vehicles manufactured on or after 1st April 2019 while for retro fitment of HSRP, all automobile OEMs as well as State Transport Departments for vehicles manufactured on or prior to 31st March 2019 are potential clients for us.
We supply HSRP to more than 75 OEMs today and the number keeps growing on a weekly basis thanks to the impetus being given to the EV sector by the Government. Some of the major OEMs in our client list include Hero Motocorp, Honda Two Wheelers, Honda Cars, TVS Motors, Royal Enfield, Suzuki Motorcycles, Maruti Suzuki, Morris Garages, Ashok Leyland, SWITCH Mobility, OLA, Tork Motors, Hop Electric and Okaya EV.
What are the key attributes that lend a competitive edge to Shimnit India Pvt. Ltd. as a sought-after High Security Partner to Automotive OEMs?
Rushang Shah: Shimnit has leveraged its strength in innovation, technology, manufacturing and logistics to set up a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Kala Amb, Himachal Pradesh. The plant has a capacity to produce 27 million blanks per annum. The HSRP blanks are produced in a fully automatic, sensor-controlled production sequence with minimal human intervention. We have an in-house testing facility for product and process validation and a fully integrated IT network for real time data management and tracking.
Our raw material is procured from the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers ensuring a superior quality and compliant product. We have a network across 26 States with 100+ embossing stations catering to approximately 1,900+ dealers. Almost 75% HSRPs are hand delivered within 24 hours of receiving the order, with 100% hand delivery on the same day for orders received before 4:00 pm in Metro cities.
As part of our 360° services for the automotive OEMs, we offer continual customisation to meet individual OEM requirements while adhering to rules and regulations. Our latest offering is the FAME II Submissions Service for which we have developed a highly customised software to cater to the dynamic needs of the EV OEMs.
How would you like brand Shimnit to be seen in future given the fast-changing technology for vehicle security in India?
Rushang Shah: We would like brand Shimnit to be seen as ever evolving and ahead of the curve with advanced technologies being developed and introduced by us in the vehicle, road and passenger safety and security ecosystem.
This interview was first published in Autocar Professional's January 15, 2023 issue.
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