Indian Railways Renews MoU with IITs For Undertaking Joint R&D On Tracks, High-Speed Rail

Indian Railways Renews MoU with IITs For Undertaking Joint R&D On Tracks, High-Speed RailTrial run of freight train on the Western Dedicated Corridor. (Facebook)
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  • Indian Railways renews MoU with IITs to foster cutting-edge research for development of rail network technology.

The objective of the MoU for Indian Railways is to intensify outreach to academia and industry to leverage the domain knowledge and expertise for undertaking core and fundamental research for the development of new technologies and applications for use on the Indian Railways network.

Indian Railways has renewed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee along with IIT Kanpur and IIT Madras to foster cutting-edge collaborative research.

The objective of the MoU for Indian Railways is to intensify outreach to academia and industry to leverage the domain knowledge and expertise for undertaking core and fundamental research for the development of new technologies and applications for use on the Indian Railways network.

The MoU will facilitate research in the core area of track, bridges and structures, civil infrastructure of high-speed rail, health monitoring, track management system, remote monitoring of railway assets, among others through the Centre for Railway Research (CRR) sanctioned by the Ministry of Railways for undertaking core and fundamental research.

“The Indian Railways has witnessed a paradigm shift in organisational structure with segregation of management and research and development cadres. Research and development is our priority and it can be successful only if it is fully integrated with the on-ground situation,” said Vinod Kumar Yadav, chairman and chief executive officer, Railway Board, on the MoU renewal occasion.

Yadav said: "we look forward to a long-lasting partnership to foster cutting-edge research that will herald a transformation of Indian Railways. Going forward, we also plan to restructure RDSO on lines of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).”

“The role of IITs will be crucial in resolving key technical concerns of Indian Railways. Ensuring the efficiency of rolling stock through minimum heat dissipation, minimum dust accumulation and minimum vibration as well as technological advancements such as remote condition monitoring in operations management are among our key challenges. I am confident that this MoU will go a long way in fulfilling aspirations of Indian Railways,” said Rajesh Tiwari, officer on special duty (safety).

The MoU envisages a multi-disciplinary approach for conducting the research through engagement with industry (startups, SME, MSME, etc) with the focus on time-bound delivery at the technology readiness levels of prototyping. Ministry of Railways and Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO) will provide necessary technical inputs along with system requirements based on the intended applications including the field data available with railways.

“We value our partnership with Indian Railways and have provided a dedicated space for the Centre for Railway Research (CRR) to implement railway related research activities. IIT Roorkee’s expertise can also be leveraged for masters level academic programmes for senior railway officials which will facilitate the objectives of this MoU,” said Prof Ajit K Chaturvedi, director, IIT Roorkee.

The MoU mandates the setting up of the apex steering committee consisting of senior officials, faculty members and experts of both institutions to be chaired by director genral, RDSO and co-chaired by director, IIT Roorkee.

The MoU mandates periodic monitoring by both institutions to review the progress made in R&D projects. It empowers the Centre for Railway Research to facilitate manpower training and explore the possibility of offering degree, postgraduate and PhD programmes in research areas related to the railways through the sponsored research avenue of IIT Roorkee.

It will also involve CRR, IIT Roorkee research projects and design and offer appropriate courses and electives related to the railway technology through mutual discussions.

Indian Railways is one of the largest railway systems in the world transporting 8.397 billion passengers and over 1,000 million tonnes of freight annually. It is witnessing a major technological transformation involving modernisation and upgradation of its assets including track infrastructure, bridges, rolling stock and signalling infrastructure.

The national transporter is also working on the development and induction of new technologies in the field of condition monitoring, predictive maintenance systems, data analytics, and much more. Speed upgradation projects on core routes of the network are also being taken up in mission-mode by the ministry.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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