Bharat Stage Norms

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 13th, 2023

Bharat Stage norms are the automotive emission norms which the manufacturers in the automotive sector have to comply in order to sell their vehicles in India. These norms are applicable to all vehicles i.e. two-wheelers, three-wheelers, four-wheelers and also construction equipment vehicles.

Bharat Stage Norms: About; Background; Differences between BS-VI and BS-IV; Challenges; Way Forward


  • These are the norms instituted by the government to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles
  • To bring the standards into force, the Central pollution control board (CPCB) sets timelines and standards which have to be followed by automakers
  • BS norms are based on European emission standards, which, for example, are referred to similarly as Euro 4 and Euro 6.


  • India introduced emission norms in 1991, and by 1996 most vehicle manufacturers had to do technology upgrades such as the catalytic converters to cut exhaust emissions.
  • In 2014, Saumitra Chaudhary committee gave its recommendations on Auto fuel vision policy 2025 which had recommended the implementation of BS-IV norms in (2017), BS-V norms in (2019), and BS-VI norms in (2024)
  • In 2016, the Central Government announced that the country would skip the Bs-V norms altogether and adopt BS-VI norms by 2020.
  • Currently, BS-IV norms have been enforced in India since April 2017.
  • After this, the supreme court of India ordered barring of sale of Bharat Stage IV vehicles from April 2020.

Difference between the BS-VI in comparison with BS-IV

  • Selective Catalytic Reduction Technology– It reduces oxides of nitrogen by injecting an aqueous urea solution into the system. Hence, NOx from diesel cars can be reduced by nearly 70%.
  • In the petrol cars, they can be narrowed down by 25%.
  • Sulphur Content– While the BS-IV fuels contain 50 parts per million (ppm) sulphur, the BS-VI grade fuel only has ten ppm sulphur content.
  • Particulate Matter– in diesel cars will be reduced by 80%.
  • Mandatory on-board diagnostics (OBD)– It informs the vehicle owner or the repair technician about how efficient the systems in the vehicles are.
  • RDE (Real Driving Emission) will be introduced that will measure the emission in real-world conditions and not just under test conditions.


  • Huge Cost for automakers: Moving to BS-VI skipping BS-V will require significant technological upgrades for which auto companies may have to invest heavily. Automakers were supposed to make their models BS-IV compliant by April 1, 2017. Some automobile makers have met the targets and updated their products, but a lot of vehicles left to be sold into the market.
  • Timeframe: Normally, it takes four years to upgrade, and here the companies have to skip the BS V altogether and upgrade directly to BS-VI.
  • Smaller bonnet cars of India may not be able to keep Diesel Particulate Filter in them, which was supposed to be a part of the BS-V upgrade.
  • Impact on buyers: This can have the effect of making cars and other vehicles more expensive.
  • Directly applying the Euro norms is problematic because the driving conditions in India are different from Europe.
  • Further, improving the emission will not alone solve the problem of vehicular pollution as the number of vehicles is disproportionately high in Indian cities.

Way forward

  • A successful transition to BS-VI norms will be a landmark event for the country, and it must be taken in a mission mode approach by all the stakeholders.
  • Governments should incentivize the automobile manufacturers and partner the oil companies to manage this transition.

Facts related to Bharat stage 6

The capital of India, Delhi in April 2018 became the first city in the country to move from BS-IV grade petrol and diesel to BS-VI fuels.

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