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Rail Budget 2015: the tech side

Rail Budget 2015

The railway minister Suresh Prabhu has announced the rail budget for the year 2015. This year the budget focuses on modernisation of trains, new investments and greater transparency in the Indian railway system. The two new programs started by the Union government the ‘Digital India’ campaign and the ‘Make In India’ campaign remained the highlights of this year’s budget. The budget also illustrates the extensive use of IT systems in the growth of everything ranging from innovation center to the development of new apps for the convenience of passengers and the deployment of WiFi on the rail premises.

The technology initiative incorporated in the railway budget is speculated to bring in more efficiency and transparency in the system. Along with this, it is also seen as an opportunity for the IT companies in the country.

Talking about the new aspects covered in the budget, Ashok Chandak, Chairman, IESA, “We believe the steps outlined in the Rail Budgetwill motivate to the electronics industry and bring cheers to the travellers through technologyintegration. The budget will also boost entrepreneurship in the electronics with the ministry focusing on new-age technologies through the Council to ensure enhanced passenger safety and security, customer service and trade management.”

This year’s budget is also expected to increase many public and private partnerships and fasten the process of growth and efficiency in the sector. Chandak further added, “We also foresee this railway budget to motivate “Design-led electronics manufacturing” in India, with innovations and technology leading the growth of Indian Railways.”

The various technology initiative incorporated in the rail budget of 2015 are:

  1. Open Wi-Fi would be made available at 400railwaystations
  2. Mobile charging facility would be made available in all trains and stations.
  3. Digitized mapping of Rail land will be initiated to tackle counter encroachment
  4. Introduce atechnologyportal to invite innovative technological solutions.
  5. Set up an innovation council for the purpose ofbusinessre-engineering to boost innovation, technology development and manufacturing.
  6. Newsystemfor issuing unreserved tickets, and making them simpler through smart phones and debit cards
  7. SMS alert service would be introduced for passengers on train arrival and departure.
  8. Railwayhelpline number 138 to become operational 24×7. Toll free number 182 will be created for security-related complaints
  9. To ensure safety andsecurity, CCTVs to be installed in select trains and suburban trains
  10. E-catering will be launched for select meals from an array of choices. Passengers can order food through IRCTC websites at the time of booking tickets.

The intent to embrace IT in a big way towards improving enterprise resource planning and safety in railways is positive initiative. The rail minister did not initiate any new projects under the Indian railways instead he stated, that this year the main focus will be to complete the on-going projects well. The various technological advancements introduced in the rail budget 2015 will take the India railways to another level and will turn out to be a win-win situation for all.

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Heena Gupta

A reader at heart, this girl loves to express through writing. Her ears perk up as soon as she senses any tech molecule in the air. With the ability to use and navigate typical technologies she becomes a complete tech enthusiast. This post graduate in Mass Communication lives in the world of gadgets. Fiction, history and cartoons keep her busy in the free time. Her urge to grow mixed with excellent writing skills forces us to have her as a part of our workforce.

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