Rail Ticketing Current Affairs - 2020

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MoU between Railways and SBI for door step banking

On January 14, 2020, the South-Central Railways and SBI signed MoU to implement door step banking in 585 railway stations

Highlights

The MoU will enable direct pick up of cash from all the railway stations included in the MoU. Before the agreement, the earnings generated at the railway stations were manually sent to nearest banks that were authorised to collect the deposit on behalf of the Railways. This delayed the remittance of cash because of several factors such as availability of man power, holidays, etc.

Major Benefits of the new system

The door step banking will provide uniform cash remittance mechanism in all the railway stations. It will also provide real time information about the cash that is deposited by different stations. This will enable increased accountability and also will help in better supervision. This method will also avoid unwanted accumulation of cash at railway stations.

Why not DBT?

The Direct Bank Transfer is not a feasible option at the moment. This is because there are still persons in the interior parts of the country using cash to buy their tickets. Apart from interior parts, cash is still used in urban areas to buy tickets as well.

The number of passengers using online to book their tickets have increased since 2011-12. In 2015, around 54% of tickets were booked online as compared to 2012. In 2018 the e-ticket sales have been up by 14%. However, there are still an accountable population using cash to buy their tickets.

IRCTC inks MoU with CSC for delivery of rail tickets

The Common Service Centres (CSCs) Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) for delivery of railway services through CSC centres. This will allow CSCs to work as IRCTC agents for train ticket bookings.

Key Facts

CSCs will now be able to book general tickets. Under the agreement, all 2.9 lakh CSCs spread across the country will be able to book both reserved and unreserved train tickets. All CSCs will be connected with technology for railway ticket booking.

Moreover, Government is planning to empower CSCs to act as banking correspondents and to sell insurance too in the future. It is also pushing private sector participation in providing digital services through these platforms. Thus, these centres apart from providing digital literacy will provide services like Aadhaar payments, pension, banking, and insurance.

Common Service Centres (CSC)

CSC is an initiative of Ministry of Electronics & IT (MeitY). It is strategic cornerstone of Digital India programme. It is pan-India network catering to regional, geographic, linguistic and cultural diversity of country, thus enabling Government’s mandate of a socially, financially and digitally inclusive society.

There are as many as 2.91 lakh CSCs operate in the country today. They are mostly ICT enabled front end service delivery points at village level for delivery of government and private services. These CSCs serve as access points for delivery of essential public utility services, social welfare schemes, financial, healthcare, education and agriculture services, apart from host of B2C services to citizens in rural and remote areas of the country. They also serve as change agents by promoting rural entrepreneurship and building rural capacities and livelihoods.