A. Recently, the Minister of Railways has launched Indian Railway Innovation Policy- “StartUps for Railways”.
Q. What are the Key Highlights of the Policy?
Grant up to Rs. 1.5 Crore to innovators on equal sharing basis with provision of milestone-wise payment.
The complete process from floating of problem statement to development of prototype is online with defined time line to make it transparent and objective.
Trials of prototypes will be done in Railways.
Enhanced funding will be provided to scale up deployment on successful performance of prototypes.
Selection of Innovator/s will be done by a transparent and fair system which will be dealt through an online portal inaugurated today by the Minister of Railways.
Developed Intellectual property rights (IPR) will remain with innovators only.
De-centralization of complete product development process at divisional level to avoid delays.
Eleven problem statements such as rail fracture, headway reduction, etc., have been taken up for this program’s phase 1 out of the more than 100 problem statements received from various divisions, field offices or zones of Indian Railways.
This policy will bring scale and efficiency in the field of operation, maintenance and infrastructure creation through participation of a very large and untapped startup ecosystem.
It also aims to leverage innovative technologies developed by Indian Startups/MSMEs/Innovators/Entrepreneurs to improve operational efficiency and Safety of Indian Railways.
It will Promote “Innovation Culture‟ in the country for co-creation and co-innovation in the Railway sector.
Q. What are the Key Facts about Indian Railways?
The Indian Railways network is one of the longest in the world.
It facilitates the movement of both freight and passengers and contributes to the growth of the economy.
The Indian Railway was introduced in 1853, when a line was constructed from Bombay to Thane covering a distance of 34 km.
Indian Railways is the largest government undertaking in the country.
The length of the Indian Railways network was 67,956 km (Railway yearbook 2019-20).
In India, the railway system has been divided into 16 zones.
Indian Railways is the proud owner of four UNESCOaccorded World Heritage Sites namely Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (1999), Nilgiri Mountain Railway (2005), Kalka Shimla Railway (2008) and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai (2004).
There are two more in waiting or in the tentative list namely Matheran Light Railway and Kangra Valley Railway.