Aug 12, 2016

Ready to Eat Food in Indian Railways

Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has started sale of Ready-to-Eat food packets at some of the Railway stations on trial basis. During the trial period the MRP has been kept at ₹ 40/- per packet for all items. Details of stations where Ready-to-eat packets are being sold during trial period are Appended. 
IRCTC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Defence Food Research Laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) for Transfer of Technology of Retort Pouch Processed Foods so that ready-to-eat food can be warmed and eaten straight out of the packet. The terms and conditions enshrined in the MoU between DRDO and IRCTC, inter-alia, include: (i) DRDO shall transfer the complete details of the technical know-how and testing method for quality assurance to IRCTC with requisite data on the functioning of the Retort Pouch Processed Food. (ii) DRDO grants a non-exclusive license to utilize the Technology by IRCTC for manufacture in India for a period of 10 years. (iii) The title and ownership of the Technology including new variants, copyrights and intellectual property will rest exclusively with DRDO. (iv) DRDO shall depute experts/personnel free of cost for Technology Transfer Period not exceeding 10 mandays beyond which the service will be chargeable. (v) IRCTC shall pay to DRDO an upfront Technology Transfer Fee at the time of signing of Licensing Agreement for Transfer of Technology along with the service tax in this regard. (vi) IRCTC shall pay Annual Royalty @ 2% on net sales to Indian Market and 6% on net sales for Export Market. 

Steps taken to improve the quality of food in Railways inter-alia include: (i) Phased introduction of station based e-catering at all A1 and A category stations for widening the range of options available to passengers for ordering food of their choice. (ii) Introduction of precooked food (‘ready to eat’ meals). (iii) Operation of centralized Catering Service Monitoring Cell (CSMC) (toll free number 1800-111-321) for prompt redressal of passenger grievances relating to the catering activities and real time assistance to travelling public. (iv) Imposition of penalties in case of deficiencies detected in services. (v) Operation of All India Helpline (No.138) for rail-users to lodge complaints/suggestions regarding food and catering services (vi) A Twitter handle with the address @IRCATERING has also been made operational to cater to the complaints/suggestions with regard to catering services (vii) Technology Transfer Agreement has been signed with Defence Food Research Laboratory (DFRL), Mysore in order to provide safe, nutritious and hygienic ready-to-eat food to Rail passengers

This Press Release is based on the information given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Rajen Gohain in a written reply to a question in Lok Sabha

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