Indian Railways Current Affairs
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On 15 December 2018, Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal has dedicated India’s first railway university to the Nation in Vadodara. The Railway University will be first of its kind institution in the nation and the third in the world after Russia and China.
- It is named as the National Rail and Transportation Institution (NRTI).
- It will be a deemed university which will offer professional courses in technology and management of transportation networks.
- The chairman of Railways Board Sh. Ashok Lohani has been named the Vice Chancellor of the University
- It will host visiting faculty from renowned institutions like XLRI School of Management and Indian Business School, Hyderabad and others.
The National Rail and Transportation Institution (NRTI) started its operation on September 5 earlier this year. The first batch of the university has already been shortlisted and consists of 103 students – 62 for BSc in Transportation Technology and 41 in BBA in Transportation Management. Both the courses are the flagship three-year programmes offered by the university.
The first batch of students has been awarded 50 per cent scholarship in the yearly course fee of Rs 75,000. The actual annual fee of NRTI for one year is Rs 91,000, including all other charges.
There are plans to start Master Degree programmes from the academic session 2019-20 in Transportation and Systems Design, Transport Systems Engineering, Transport Policy and Economics, and others.
The Railways Ministry has sanctioned Rs 421 crore for the NRTI and its curriculum development for the next five years. A greenfield campus is also under development for the university. Indian Railways has identified a 110-acre plot of land for the NRTI campus at Pipaliya village in Waghodiya Taluka, District Vadodara
India’s first indigenously designed locomotive-less (engine less) train known as Train 18, breached the 180 kmph speed limit during test run in Kota-Sawai Madhopur section. When this train is made operational, it will become the country’s fastest train. It is touted as next generation Shatabdi Express and will connect metros with other important cities.
Train 18 was rolled out in October 2018 at Chennai’s Integral Coach Factory (ICF). Earlier in November 2018, Research Designs and Standards Organisation (RDSO) had announced its trial run successfully. During this trail on tracks in Moradabad division of Northern Railway, this train had ran up to 115 km per hour. The trials proved that train has defined track geometry parameters, curved alignments of specific radius and station yard zones. Major trials of this train are now over with just some more remaining. Once Train 18 becomes operational, it will commence its commercial operations from January 2019.
It is capable of touching 200 kmph provided the rest of Indian Railways’ system such as tracks and signals permit. It will replacing current 30-year-old Shatabdi Express – a day train. Thus it is touted as next generation Shatabdi Express. It will be first long-distance train without separate locomotive (engine).
It has been indigenously developed by Chennai-based Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in just short time span of 18 months. It took investment of nearly Rs 100 crore to build this prototype and subsequent bulk production will bring down the cost. Thus, it will be cheaper compared to imported engine less train.
With 16 coaches, it will has same passenger carrying capacity as that of Shatabdi Express. It has aerodynamically designed driver cabins at both ends for quicker turn-around at destinations. It sports advanced regenerative braking system which saves power.
It is fully air-conditioned and offers better passenger comfort and safety, as all equipment are fixed under carriage, so that more space is available on board. It has soft lighting, automatic doors, footsteps and GPS-based Passenger Information System (PIS).
It also has onboard Wi-Fi and infotainment, and modular toilets with bio-vacuum systems. Footstep in coach’s doorway in this train slides outward when train stops at station, enabling passengers to board or deboard safely with comfort.