Sep 24, 2016

Foreign firms to develop Train Tech in India: Suresh Prabhu

Managing supply is Indian economy’s biggest challenge: Suresh Prabhu presents AIMA Managing India Awards 2016. Railway Minister also stresses on importance of clean environment for economic progress

Industrialist Sunil Kant Munjal, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, Firdose Vandrevala with Rekha Sethi during the All India Management Association (AIMA)’s Managing India Awards 2016 at Hotel Taj Palace in New Delhi, India
New Delhi: Union Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday said that the government has asked global rail innovators to develop their latest technologies in India.

The Railway Minister spoke at the the All India Management Association’s (AIMA) national management convention.

According to Prabhu, six top technology developers, who had attended a railway meet in New Delhi, have expressed interest in developing their upcoming technologies in India.

The minister said that being a late mover in technology space can benefit the country as it can directly move on to latest technologies, including the hyperloop.

Besides, Prabhu called for an increase in speed of trains and operations.

“The speed of trains needs to be increased,” Prabhu said, adding that there was a need to increase the speed of operations as well.

By the end of this year, he said, the time taken between budgeting and tender will be brought down to six months from two years.

Prabhu said the Indian Railways is going to use new technologies in every area from ticketing to emergency response to make railways smarter and faster.

“This is the Asian century and it could be India’s century if the country can be cleaner, smarter, faster. While the rest of the world is currently faced with the challenge of weak demand, India has a huge unmet demand despite global overcapacity. India needs a strategy to increase supply in innovative ways,” he said.

Prabhu gave the example of India’s initiative to increase supply of energy through the renewable sources as India was short on conventional fuels. He said that India was on its way to become the largest producer of energy from renewable sources.

The uncertainty coming from externalities was a key challenge for Indian companies, Prabhu said. “Nobody seems to know what is happening as what’s happening thousands of miles away can affect any business,” he said. “Even at G20 meetings, the challenge is to understand the uncertainty and manage the future of the national and global economy,” he added.

Asserting that clean environment involves clean energy and clean transportation system, Prabhu said, “A massive cleanliness campaign has been started from September 17 to 25 across the country mobilising railway employees, civil societies and religious organisation.”

Highlighting the growing importance of technology, the Railway Minister said, “Technology is also important. Today so many technological innovations are happening. In Railways, technology is being used for many purposes including booking tickets faster. It is being used for addressing and redressing grievances on real time basis.”

Stressing on the need for faster trains, he said, “Speed is required in decision making process and there is a need to increase train speed for which Railways has taken a series of steps.”

“We have to go beyond 350 kmph speed. We had recently organised a conference on the technology for ultra-high speed in which six major global players had participated. We have started working on this direction though it will take some time for this,” Prabhu said.

Speaking at the event, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said, “There is no running away from hard work to achieve something in life. We need to practice hard to achieve something.”

To a question on the government’s policy for information dissemination at the time of crisis like Kashmir violence, Rathore said, “Flow of information cannot be stopped. It is very important to put out all facts.”

Referring to the importance of emergence of new trends in communication technology, he said, “Communication needs to be improved put across the views. We have started workshops on how to use social media effectively. Lots of effort need to go into it.

Prabhu applauded the award winners and he commended AIMA for honouring champions from diverse domains.

AIMA Managing India Awards are given every year to distinguished business leaders, philanthropists, startups, artists and Indian and foreign multinationals. These awards honour the outstanding individuals and companies that make a substantial contribution to India’s social and economic development and its global prestige.