NITI Aayog, GNFC ink SoI for research on Blockchain Technology for fertilizer subsidy management

NITI Aayog has signed Statement of Intent (SOI) with Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited (GNFC) to work together for implementing Proof-of-Concept (PoC) application for fertilizer subsidy management using Blockchain Technology.

Key Facts

Under this collaboration, NITI Aayog and GNFC will jointly develop PoC application, under take research, develop blockchain solutions, exchange learnings, organise forums, and disseminate learnings across their networks. PoC’s learnings, insights and outcomes will enable NITI Aayog to suggest policy recommendations and actions in strengthening subsidy mechanism, making it more transparent and immune to leakages.


Fertilizer units manufacture approximately 31 Million MT of fertilizers across country. Government annually disburses approximately Rs. 70,000 crore of subsidy to manufacturing units. The subsidy disbursal takes two to three months’ time. Moreover, there are multiple entities involved in verification process, which makes transaction process very cumbersome which has potential to be automated to give significant efficiency gains. With implementation of blockchain Technology, it is expected that distribution will become effective and efficient, and subsidy transfer could be automated and made real time.


Blockchain platform have inherent characteristics of distributed computing and ledger for keeping of transactions i.e. authenticity, confidentiality, non-repudiation, data integrity and data availability. Implementation of this platform for fertilizer subsidy management will ensure that there is no dependence on intermediary agencies to prove validity of transactions and resulting subsidy claims. The blockchain based process will also use smart contracts which will enable quick and accurate reconciliation of transactions between multiple parties with minimal human intervention. It will also ensure transparency in the process as transactions cannot be altered and audit trails of transactions are available.

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Integral Coach Factory launches first stainless steel bodied MEMU

The Integral Coach Factory (ICF) for first time has rolled out three phase energy efficient eight car Mainline Electric Multiple Unit (MEMU) train set built with stainless steel bodies in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. MEMU is suburban train system that caters to needs of medium distance inter-city passengers.

Key Facts

Rake formation: The stainless steel MEMU consists of eight coaches — two driving motor coaches (DMC) at both ends with seating capacity of 55 passengers and standing capacity of 171 passengers (total 226 passengers) in each coach and six trailer coaches (TC) with seating capacity of 84 passengers and standing capacity of 241 (total 325 passengers) in each coach. Thus, total carrying capacity of this stainless steel MEMU rake is 2402 passengers.

Key Features: The MEMU is manufactured with stainless steel coach body and has aerodynamically shaped stainless steel front end nose for reduced air resistance, thereby saving in energy. It runs on self-propelled 25 kv AC Overhead Traction, supported by Regenerative braking system. It saves energy consumption up to 35% as compared to conventional EMU and MEMU trains. Its maximum speed is 110kmph

It has additional features like CCTV installed in each coaches for enhanced passenger safety. In addition, it has GPS based Passenger Information System (PIS) and Passenger Address System (PAS) in its all coaches. Even its loco pilot cabin also has been provided with CCTV cameras. Moreover, its every coach has been provided with modular toilets.

Integral Coach Factory (ICF)

ICF is manufacturer of rail coaches located in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It was established in 1952. It is owned and operated by Indian Railways. It primarily manufactures rolling stock for Indian Railways and also exports railway coaches to other countries including Thailand, Myanmar, Taiwan, Zambia, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Nigeria, Mozambique, Bangladesh, Angola and Sri Lanka. It employs about 11,095 people and manufactures about 2000 coaches per year.

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