Indian Railways Current Affairs - 2019

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India’s first-ever broad gauge air-conditioned AC EMU suburban train flagged off in Mumbai

India’s first-ever broad gauge air-conditioned AC EMU suburban train was flagged off from Borivali station on western railway in Mumbai, Maharashtra. The AC train departed from Andheri Station and reached Churchgate.

The services of AC local train will replace existing 12 Non AC services. Out of 12 services of AC Local train 8 will run fast and will only halt at major stations.

Features of India’s first AC local

The first of its kind air-conditioned suburban local train local was brought to Mumbai from Integral Coach Factory, Chennai in April 2016. Since then it has undergone 65 trial runs at Kurla and Virar car-sheds. It will run on weekdays and on weekends i.e. on Saturday and Sunday it will be not operated for maintenance purpose.

Capacity: It has room for total of 5,964 people, with seating capacity for 1,028 and standing space for 4,936.

Reserved seats and coaches: The 1st and 12th coaches from Churchgate end are earmarked as ladies coaches. As many as seven seats in second and eleventh coach from Churchgate end are reserved for senior citizens. 10 seats in 4th and 7th coaches from Churchgate end are reserved for physically disabled passengers.

Security Features: Its coaches have automatic doors, a first in the suburban system. RPF constables will be present in each coach to ensure proper security.

Moreover, each coach is provided with passenger alarm indication lights on both sides, which are integrated with alarm chain pulling system. It also has ‘Emergency Talk Back’ facility in passenger areas (four in each coach) to communicate with motorman during any emergency.

Information system: It is also equipped with GPS-based passenger information system with audio-visual indication of stations for guard-driver and passenger communication. It also has facility of announcement from motorman and guard cab to passenger area.

India’s First National Rail and Transportation University to come at Vadodara

The Union Cabinet has approved proposal of Ministry of Railways to set up first ever National Rail and Transport University (NRTU) in Vadodara to skill its human resources and build capability.

The University will be set up as Deemed to Be University under de novo category as per UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2016. The first academic program is expected to be launched in July 2018.

Key Facts

The Ministry of Railways will set up a not-for-profit Company under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 as Managing Company of proposed university. The company will provide financial and infrastructural support to the university and appoint Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor of the university.

Board of Management of the company will comprise of professionals and academics. It will be independent of Managing Company with full autonomy to perform its academic and administrative responsibilities.

The funding of the new University will entirely come from Ministry of Railways.  It will set up on existing land and infrastructure at National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR) at Vadodara, Gujarat. In its full enrolment, it is expected to have 3000 full time students.

Significance

This university will create a resource pool of skilled manpower and leverage state-of-the-art technology to provide better safety, speed and service in Indian Railways. It will support ‘Startup India’ and ‘Skill India’ by channeling technology and delivering knowhow, and foster entrepreneurship, generating large scale employment opportunities.

This will help for transformation of railway and transportation sector and enable faster movement of people and goods. The university plans to use latest pedagogy and technology applications to improve on-the-job performance and productivity. It will have ‘Centres of Excellence’ showcasing high-end, niche technology like High Speed Train.

Need

Indian Railways has embarked ambitious projects such as High Speed Trains (popularly known as bullet train) between Mumbai and Ahmedabad. It will include massive infrastructure modernisation, Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs), highest focus on safety etc. For this, Indian Railways will require high level of proficiency and skills which will be provided by the University.