Indian Railways Current Affairs - 2019

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Indian Railways set to carry E-commerce consignment

The Indian Railways has started its pilot project of allowing e-commerce consignments in non-peak hours. The project was earlier launched by the Eastern Railways for the first time in India when it allowed the Amazon consignments in its EMU local (suburban services)

Regulations

  • The rate chargeable is that of Luggage Rate that is Rs 5,537 per day.
  • The Railways has permitted the usage of the vendor compartment alone to fulfill the consignment. This therefore will not create disruptions to the existing systems.
  • The Railways have fixed the non-peak hours for the transit. It is between 11.00 hours and 16.00 hours.
  • The agreement was signed by Indian Railways and Amazon Group for a period of three months. Sources say that this is just a trial. Upon success, it will be extended to other e-commerce groups as well.

Significance

This will benefit both the railways and the e-commerce industries. The Railways can earn revenue without additional stress or burden on existing system. It helps e-commerce to reduce its transit time. With new rail routes, gauge up gradation, private trains, new tourism connects the railways recently have undergone massive change over. Inclusion of e-commerce into its transit is yet another major transformation being introduced. The purpose of all the new initiatives is to earn additional revenues to the railways sector.

The transformation and up gradation are essential as Railways fetch around 2 lakh crore (2018-19) revenue to the country.

Indian Railways to run its first Buddhist Circuit train

Indian Railways will run its first Buddhist Circuit train from 20 to 26 October 2019 covering sites related to Gautam Buddha in India and Nepal.

Key Highlights

IRCTC will run train covering destinations such as-

  • Lumbini (where Buddha was born)
  • Bodhgaya (where Buddha gained enlightenment)
  • Sarnath (where Buddha gave his first sermon)
  • Kushinagar (where Buddha attained nirvana)

Why these destination? The significance of these destinations can be seen in Mahaparinirvana sutra, wherein the Lord Buddha tells his followers that they can attain merit and a noble rebirth by going on pilgrimage to these places.

Cost: The package will cost Indians Rs.1,23,900 per couple in AC first class and Rs.1,01,430 per couple for AC II-tier. This includes accommodation, meals, road transport by AC deluxe coaches for Nepal tour, visits to monuments and locations, services of tour manager, guides, entrance fees and travel insurance. But, passengers will have to pay their visa fee for Nepal leg of journey and any other expenditure including laundry and other such services.

Train Accomodation: The train will have 4 first AC coaches with 96 seats, 2 second AC class coaches with 60 seats, two exclusive dining cars with a capacity of 64 guest in each and a pantry car. It will be covered with unique vinyl wrap that will be promoting Incredible India.

The train is also equipped with personal digital lockers, foot massagers, cubicles shower, separate sitting area with single seated sofas. Each coach will be deployed with private security guards.