28th meeting of GST council held

28th meeting of GST council held
The 28th meeting of GST council was held in New Delhi on 21st July 2018 under the Chairmanship of Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs. Refrigerators, washing machines, Lithium-ion batteries, Vacuum cleaners were reduced from 28% to 18% tax rate. Sanitary Napkins, Coir pith compost, Rakhi were exempted from tax slab from previous 12% tax slab.

H. Rao takes up addl charge as GM of SER

H. Rao takes up addl charge as GM of SER
Harindra Rao, General Manager, Eastern Railway and Chittaranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) has taken over additional charge of General Manager South Eastern Railway. He was previously working as Chief Electrical Engineer in South Eastern Railway. Rao has previously worked in Eastern Railway, South Eastern Railway, Diesel Locomotive Works, East Central Railway and North Central Railway.

WR renames Elphinstone station as Prabhadevi

Western Railway renamed Elphinstone Road Station to Prabhadevi on Mumbai’s suburban section. The station, named after Lord Elphinstone, the Governor of Bombay from 1853 to 1860, is renamed after the local deity ‘Prabhadevi’. Elphinstone is the station where 23 people were killed and over 39 injured in a stampede at the railway station’s foot over bridge on September 29, 2017.

WR renames Elphinstone station as Prabhadevi

Western Railway renamed Elphinstone Road Station to Prabhadevi on Mumbai’s suburban section. The station, named after Lord Elphinstone, the Governor of Bombay from 1853 to 1860, is renamed after the local deity ‘Prabhadevi’. Elphinstone is the station where 23 people were killed and over 39 injured in a stampede at the railway station’s foot over bridge on September 29, 2017.

IR Installs Automatic Train Washing System

An automatic train washing system has been installed by Northern Railways at Hazrat Nizamuddin station in Delhi. This move of govt promotes minimum quantity of water, soap and disinfectants and is eco-friendly. It is said that this would save 1,24,000 litres of water per day and more depots will be constructed in the future.

Awards for Station Beautification competition

The Union Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal distributed awards to winning stations of Station Beautification competition in Rail Bhawan. Balharshah & Chandrapur Railway Stations of Central Railway have been awarded the first position and cash prize of 10 lakh. Total 62 entries were evaluated on the basis of a number of criteria including the depiction of local subjects, culture & themes.

CRPF inks MoU with IRCTC

CRPF signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IRCTC to usher in the easy & fast e-booking of railway tickets system. The e-ticketing will replace the earlier system of railway warrant which was cumbersome and is in line with the e-governance policy of the government. The CRPF is the paramilitary force that was raised in 1939 to handle internal security issues & anti-Naxal missions.

Highest LHS launched in Sambalpur

East Coast Railway launched highest ever 6 (six) Limited Height Subways (LHS) in Sambalpur Division. With this, the Sambalpur Division became the first to eliminate all unmanned Level Crossing Gates in Indian Railways In view of the launching of six LHS, 7 unmanned Level Crossing gates will be totally closed in Bhawanipatna-Lanjigarh Road Section of Kalahandi area of Odisha.

India Infrastructure Expo 2018

Union Minister of Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs, Piyush Goyal inaugurated India Infrastructure Expo 2018 at the NCPA, Mumbai. The 2-day expo is being organised by the Department of Economic Affairs & Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). The expo included details on Smart Cities, Sagarmala, Bharatmala, Ganga Rejuvenation Plan & the River Linking project.

South Central Railway starts Train Captain

Venkatadri Express which started from Kacheguda towards Chittoor became the first train across South Central Railway (SCR) to have a ‘Train Captain’. At least 1 train in each of the 6 divisions of the zone will have the concept of a ‘Train Captain’ who will be in charge of train. The captaincy is being handed over to the senior-most among the travelling ticket examiner (TTE) in the train.

Free meal on Sunday in case of train delay

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has said that free meals will be provided to passengers if trains get delayed by five-six hours because of maintenance works on tracks on a Sunday. “We are also considering free meals to passengers travelling on unreserved tickets,” Goyal added. The Railways will also rework its passenger train timetable to reflect all the planned traffic blocks.

Who became Colombia’s next President?

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Railways to cut 11,000 redundant posts in FY19

The Railway Board has set a target of shedding 11,040 redundant posts in different railway zones in 2018-2019. The posts have been identified to be included in the “pool of surrendered posts”, which have either been vacant for long or rendered redundant due to technological advancement. Last year, the number of such surrendered posts was around 10,000.

Safer train rides for women with Vahini

Women can now look forward to safer journeys, with the Waltair division of ECoR deploying the Subhadra Vahini at the railway station. Vahini is a first-of-its-kind all-female group of 32 railway personnel comprising 16 from the RPF and an equal number from the commercial wing of the division. It has a Facebook page at https://subhadravahiniteamwaltair, while the WhatsApp number is 8978080777

Indian Railways launched ‘Rail MADAD’ App

In a bid to ease the travelling experience of the passengers Ministry of Railways launched Rail MADAD mobile app. Rail MADAD (Mobile Application for Desired Assistance During travel) registers a complaint with minimum inputs from passenger and issues unique ID instantly Rail MADAD also displays various helpline numbers (eg. Security, Child helpline etc) and provides direct calling facility.

Railways launch ‘Menu On Rails’ App

The Ministry of Railways launched a new app called ‘Menu On Rails’ through which passengers can see meals on offer onboard trains. The ‘Menu on Rails’ is developed by IRCTC for creating awareness about the food items served to passengers on their rail journey. At present, for mail and express trains, food items are covered in four categories namely beverages, breakfast, meals and a-la-carte.

Humsafar Jodhpur Bandra Express flagged off

Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal flagged off Humsafar Jodhpur Bandra Express at Bhagat Ki Kothi Railway Station in Rajasthan’s Jodhpur. Adequate arrangements have been made in the trains, including mobile charging points, CCTV and Bio Toilets. Railway projects worth over Rs 13,000 crore has been undertaken in Rajasthan. Humsafar Express are completely 3-tier AC sleeper trains.

Deccan Queen completes 88 years of service

3 : India’s first superfast train, Deccan Queen express from Mumbai to Pune has completed 88 years on June 1, 2018. Also known as ‘Queen of Deccan’ the train started on June 1, 1930. This was the first deluxe train introduced on the railway to serve 2 important cities of the region.

Railways Organizes Workshop ‘Mission Raftar’

Ministry of Railways conducted a one day workshop “Mission Raftaar” aimed at raising the average speed of freight trains and coaching trains in New Delhi. Issues such as punctuality, rolling stock, removing bottlenecks in terms of traffic, elimination of unmanned level crossings were discussed at the workshop. Mission Raftaar’ aims at doubling the average speed of freight trains.

UP-Mumbai freight corridor open from August

The first phase of India’s longest freight corridor connecting Uttar Pradesh and Mumbai is set to be inaugurated on August 15, 2018. This was disclosed by the chairman of the Railway Board Ashwani Lohani, who inspected the 190km-long Ateli-Phulera section of the dedicated railway freight corridor between Dadri in UP and Mumbai. It is part of the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor.

Railways to use AI to control air circulation

For the first time, the Railways will use artificial intelligence to control air circulation, to issue emergency alerts and also for supervision and maintenance work in a 10.28-km-long tunnel in Imphal. It will alert the passenger in case of fire and help us in quick evacuation in case of an issue. This system will also be used in the Hyderabad, Mumbai and Ahmedabad metros.

Train connecting NE to the west coast began

The Northeast Frontier Railway has started operating one lease Parcel Cargo Express Train (PCET) on fortnightly basis, connecting Northeastern part of the country to the West Coast. The route of this Parcel Cargo Express Train is – New Guwahati in Assam to Kalyan in Maharashtra. The PCET has been started in line with the Government’s priority to provide connectivity to the Northeast region.

Railways to install ‘panic button’

16 : With a view to strengthen security of women passengers in trains, North Eastern Railway plans to deploy women police personnel on trains during night hours as well as install ‘panic buttons’ in coaches. Currently, women passengers have to depend on either on helpline numbers. Among the other measures proposed to ensure women safety are having a different colour on the women coaches.

Railways to pay compensation if person dies

The Supreme Court held that the Indian Railways must pay compensation in case of death or injury while boarding or deboarding trains. It added that in case of an accident or untoward incident, the Railways must pay compensation whether or not there has been a wrongful act, neglect or fault on the part of the administration. The railways cannot plead negligence on the part of the victims.

Govt to come out with Producers’ Price Index

The government will come out with a Producers’ Price Index next month for 10 services, including telecom & railways on an experimental basis. The move will help track inflation in these services, which will also include ports, insurance, banking, transportation & air travel. 2 major indices are used currently for tracking price movement – Wholesale Price Index & Consumer Price Index.

Google to set up 25,000 Wi-Fi hotspots in AP

Google India has partnered with Andhra Pradesh State FiberNet Limited to set up Wi-Fi stations in all the Gram Panchayats of the state. It will install 25,000 Wi-Fi hotspots by December 2018. In 2016, Google had installed public Wi-Fi networks at 100 railway stations and is now working to expand the project to as many as 400 stations by 2018 end.

Railway link between Kathmandu and Raxaul

India will build a strategic railway link between Raxaul in Bihar and Kathmandu in Nepal to facilitate people-to-people contact and bulk movement of goods.The 2 Prime Ministers agreed to construct the new electrified rail line, which will be financed by India. The 3 other railway projects in the pipeline are New Jalpaiguri-Kakarbhitta, Nautanwa-Bhairahawa and Nepalgunj Road-Nepalgunj.

India’s first electric locomotive

Prime Minister flagged off the country’s first high-powered electric locomotive assembled in Madhepura in Bihar.This first locomotive is part of a joint venture of the railways with Alstom, signed in 2015 and the first major FDI project in the rail sector. India will join countries like Russia, China, Germany and Sweden that have 12,000 horsepower & above capacity electric locomotives.

Govt approves guarantee for IRFC Bonds

Ministry of Finance has approved Government guarantee of Rs. 5,000 crore in the current financial year for Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) bonds to be subscribed by Life Insurance Corporation, LIC. The guarantee fee for the aforesaid amount has also been waived by Ministry of Finance. The decision will ease the flow of borrowed funds for Ministry of Railways to undertake projects.

Prabhu given charge of Aviation Ministry

10 : Commerce and Industries Minister Suresh Prabhu given additional charge of the Civil Aviation Ministry. The President, as advised by the Prime Minister, has directed that Suresh Prabhu, Cabinet Minister, shall be assigned the charge of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, in addition to his existing portfolio. Suresh Prabhu was the former Minister of Railways.

First all-women railway station in A.P.

The South Central Railway (SCR) management named the little-known Chandragiri station near Tirupati as the ?all-women railway station? in the zone. Chandragiri became the first station in Andhra Pradesh to get the privileged status. The station has four station masters, one booking clerk, one health worker and two technical positions.

Mumbai’s AC local has green coaches for women

Two coaches of Mumbai‘s first AC local train have been painted green to indicate that they are reserved for women. Meanwhile, Mumbai‘s tourist attractions, including the Bandra– Worli Sea Link and Gateway of India, have been painted on the coaches. Western Railway Divisional Railway Manager Mukul Jain said that the green colour signifies the environment.

No trans fees on rail tickets with debit card

The Indian Railways has announced that Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) charges won‘t be levied on passengers for booking railway tickets through debit cards. These transactions include those made at the railway ticketing counters as well as through IRCTC ticketing website. However, the exemption has been granted only on the bookings made for an amount of up to Rs.1 lakh.

Phirangipuram to be all-women rail station

An all-women railway station is launched at Phirangipuram, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. The railway station on the Guntur-Narsaraopet line would be handed over to an all-women crew from the station master to the signalling staff. Only the third-of-its-kind railway station in the country after Jaipur‘s Gandhi Nagar and Mumbai‘s Matunga, the all-women station is set to create history.

UP Government Signs Pact With Amazon India

Uttar Pradesh’s Khadi and Village Industries Board has signed a pact with Amazon India.It is to facilitate online selling of Khadi products. As part of an MoU, Amazon India will educate, train and enable rural khadi artisans to directly sell their products to Amazon.in customers across the country under the brand of UP Khadi.

PM Flags Off Palace Queen Hamsafar Express

PM Modi flagged off the Palace Queen Humsafar Express between Mysuru and Udaipur in the Mysuru Railway Station.The train between Mysuru and Udaipur will act as a backbone of tourism, an employment generating industry. Both the Mysuru Palace and Udaipur palace are iconic tourist attractions and this special train will create a new tourist circuit connecting North India and the South.

India-Morocco Cooperation agreement approved

Cabinet has given its ex-post facto approval to the Cooperation Agreement b/w India & Moroccan National Railways Office.The agreement aims to develop long-term cooperation & partnership in different areas of railway sector. The Agreement will enable technical cooperation in Training and staff development & Mutual technical assistance, including exchanging of experts among others.

Country’s first all-women railway station

Jaipur’s Gandhinagar railway station has become the country’s only non-suburban railway station to be entirely run by women.The station is fully operated by 28 women employees, including ticket checkers, RPF, operations staff and reservation and booking supervisors. The station has a footfall of nearly 7000 passengers per day and of the 50 trains which pass by, 25 trains halt here.

South Central Railway with 100% LED Lighting

9 : The South Central Railway (SCR) has become the first railway zone in the country to complete 100% LED lighting at all the stations under its jurisdiction.The SCR has been on the forefront of adopting energy conservation measures.It has attained the status of becoming the first zone in the Indian Railways to complete 100% LED lighting in all the 733 stations under its jurisdiction.

881 km of rail network to be electrified

The Union Budget for fiscal 2018-19 has proposed electrification of 881 km of rail network in WB at a proposed cost of ?771.54 cr.The project will be undertaken in seven zones of West Bengal, under the jurisdiction of Kolkata-based Eastern Railway, South Eastern Railway & Maligaon-based North Frontier Railway.The electrification of the WB part of this route involves a cost of ?124.95 crore

Howrah Bridge celebrates 75th anniversary

On the night of February 3, 1943, the inauguration of the Howrah bridge took place without any fanfare when a lone tramcar rolled down from the Kolkata city end to the Howrah Railway station end.This marvel turned 75 this year.The Howrah Bridge is a suspension type balanced cantilever bridge with the central span between the two main towers of the bridge measuring about 1500 ft.

No diesel locomotives in Delhi area

According to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, no diesel locomotives will be allowed in the Delhi area after March 2019.The railway ministry has set a target of 2022 to switch to electric locomotives completely by phasing out their diesel counterparts with a focus on increasing speed.The Railways will save about ? 11,500 crore annually through such a move.

Indian Railways to create database

For the first time, Railways will have a database of workers engaged by contractors in non-operational areas such as housekeeping, cleaning, consultancy etc.The database is being created to keep an eye on any violation of labour rights. It will comprise of details of all workers with their personal details, police verification, medical insurance, identification certificate & other details.

Railways to get high-speed locomotive

Indian Railways’ all new 12,000 horsepower electric locomotive would be rolled out in March.It is produced in collaboration with Alstom of France and can run at speeds of up to 120 kmph.The all new engine would be rolled out in March this year, when president of France, Macron will visit India to participate in the International Solar Alliance meeting.

Railways sets highest ever capital spend

The NDA government charted out a plan for the Railways with a capital expenditure target of Rs 1.47 lakh crore and a revenue target of over Rs 2 lakh crore — the highest ever.It also pledged to upgrade the suburban railway network of Mumbai and Bengaluru.This is in consonance with the government’s focus on long-term capacity augmentation and upgradation of the country’s railway network.

ixigo launches AR feature on its app

‘ixigo’ recently launched augmented reality feature on its train’s app which helps its iOS users to accurately locate their coach positions.The Coach Position feature categorizes and labels coaches, thereby identifying how far away the passengers are from their intended coach. These features will provide users with live updates and instructions to improve their train travel experience.

Pak-Iran to resume rail services

Pakistan & Iran will be resuming train services b/w 2 countries by Sept as the security situation has improved.The train will operate between Quetta & Mashhad or Qom. Both countries also considering to revise 1959 railways agreement inked between both countries. To cater to the business community, Pak’s railway ministry has decided to start running 15 freight trains between Quetta & Zahedan.

BSE Lists IRFC’s First Green Bond

The BSE’s India International Exchange, India INX, has listed the IRFC’s green bonds on its debt listing platform – the global securities market.With this, the Indian Railway Finance Corporation’s green bonds have become the first debt security to be listed on an exchange at International Financial Services Centre in Gujarat’s GIFT city. The bonds have an annual yield of 3.835 percent.

India’s 1st All-Women Railway Station

The first all-women station in India, Matunga on Central Railway (CR), manned by a staff of 41 women, has entered the Limca Book of Records.The unique initiative was taken by CR General Manager D.K. Sharma in July 2017 with the aim of empowering women, said CR spokesperson Sunil Udasi. Matunga station is situated in Mumbai, Maharashtra.

New Online Vendor Reg System by Railways

Research Designs & Standards Organisation (RDSO), the research arm of Ministry of Railways, has launched ‘New Online Vendor Registration System’.This new system provides major improvements and big changes in the registration system over the earlier system. This system was evolved by Minister of Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal.

Railways to deploy drones

Drones would now monitor railway projects, aid crowd management and oversee maintenance works across its zones.The West Central Railways, headquartered at Jabalpur (MP), is the first zonal railway to procure the drone cameras. The cameras (UAV/NETRA) would be used for these activities. The DRDO Netra is an Indian, light-weight, autonomous UAV for surveillance and reconnaissance operations.

Railways to equip stations with Wi-Fi

All railway stations nearly 8,500 across the country, will be equipped with Wi-Fi facilities at an estimated cost of Rs 700 crore.As part of the government’s ambitious Digital India initiative, it has currently commissioned Wi-Fi services at 216 major stations. Digital India is a campaign launched by the GoI to ensure that Government services are made available to citizens electronically.

Ministries join hands for Railways proj.

Three Union ministries have signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate the co-financing of ‘Technology Mission for Indian Railways’, says Ashwani Lohani, chairman, Railway Board.MoU will facilitate co-financing of TMIR by investment sharing for railway projects. The mission will take up R&D projects in the areas of heavy haul, safety, energy, environment and urban railways.

Israel to name a station after Trump

Israel’s transport minister wants to dig a railway tunnel under Jerusalem’s Old City and name a station next to the Western Wall after US President Donald Trump.Yisrael Katz said he wanted to honour the US president for his decision to recognise the city as Israel’s capital.The Western Wall is the holiest site where Jews are permitted to pray.

India’s first AC local in Mumbai

24 : India’s first air-conditioned local will ply between Churchgate and Virar from December 25.The first service of the 12-coach EMU will commence at 2:10 pm.The services will replace 12 existing non-air conditioned services. This will be the first train with automatic doors in the suburban system.

‘R-MITRA’ app for security of passengers

Eastern Railway has launched a mobile application “R-MITRA” (Railway Mobile Instant Tracking Response & Assistance) for security of passengers.It is launched especially for the safety of women passengers.It is an attempt to prevent and detect crime against passengers during travel.

LED Lights At All Railway Stations

Ministry of Railways is actively working to provide 100% LED lighting for its most of the Non-traction Energy needs.Under this 100% LED initiative, Ministry of Railways has decided to make all railway stations 100% LED lit by the end of current financial year i.e. by 31 March 2018. LED or light-emitting diode bulbs are more energy efficient and have a longer lifespan than traditional lamps.

Trainers programme for Sendai Framework

Shri Kiren Rijiju, inaugurated the first national-level training of trainers programme to sensitise various Central Ministries and Departments.This workshop will sensitise the participants and will help in building capacity of the trainers’ utilization of Sendai Monitor for developing Action Plans for DRR.The Programme has been organised by the NDMA in collaboration with the UNISDR-GETI.

World’s steepest railway opens

The world’s steepest funicular railway has opened to the public in Switzerland.The 1,720-meter track will run from valley floor near Schwyz to car-free Stoos.The track, which travels through the mountainside for part of its journey, rises 743 meters along gradients as steep as 110%.The Stoos Bahn took 14 years to build – two years longer than scheduled – at a cost of 52m Swiss francs.

Upgrade of mishap-prevention system

Indian Railways has cleared a Rs 12,000-crore proposal to equip electric locomotives with the latest European train protection system.Railway Board cleared the proposal to equip 6,000 electric locos with European Train Control System Level-II to help drivers to prevent rail mishaps.Currently, Railways has a basic automatic train protection system based on the ETCS Level-I specification.

Panel to review flexi-fare system

14 : Railway Board has initiated process of reviewing flexi-fare system in premium trains by comparing prices with that of other modes of transport in the same sectors.The Board has formed a six-member committee to review the system and submit a report in 30 days.The committee consists of railway board officials along with Ravinder Goyal, Adviser, NITI Ayog

First energy-efficient railway station

Kacheguda railway station in Hyderabad division of SCR, has achieved the distinction of being 1st energy-efficient ‘A1 Category’ railway station of India.Station has achieved 100% energy efficiency by replacing 1,312 conventional lights with LED lighting.With these initiatives, it will save about 1.76 lakh units & Rs 14.08 lakh p.a. with reduction of connected load by 46.18 kW for Railways

First Swarna Rajdhani rake

Eastern Railways brought into service, the first rake of upgraded Sealdah – New Delhi ‘Swarna’ Rajdhani.It is India’s first Swarna Rajdhani rake under Project ‘Swarna’ of Indian Railways.Under Project ‘Swarna’, Indian Railways had given a free hand to Zonal Railways to develop and create aesthetic and passenger friendly coach interiors on running rakes of Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains.

Google to train workers for Skill India

Aiming to build a highly skilled tech workforce in India, Google partners with Pluralsight and Udacity to provide training in emerging technologies like Mobile and Web Development. In July, Google announced that it would train around 2 million developers in India to foster innovation and support the growth of India’s startup ecosystem. Google will also provide scholarships.

Asia’s largest interlocking system

Indian Railways has installed Asia’s largest Solid State Interlocking system in Kharagpur, which will enable station masters to set 800 different routes for trains in a matter of minutes. Interlocking is a railway signal apparatus that prevents conflicting movements of trains. The cutting-edge technology replaces the pre-1989 route relay system that only allowed operators to set 423 routes.

Assam inaugurates Namami Barak festival

Namami Barak festival is being celebrated in Silchar, Assam. Sarbananda Sonowal, CM of Assam said that, the Namami Barak is organised to revive humanistic values, to discover resources and possibilities of the land. Also, a new train connecting Silchar Dibrugarh – Trivandrum was flagged off.

Railways launches Project Saksham

14 : Railways will launch the country’s largest time-bound “upskilling” exercise for government employees to upgrade the skill sets of its 13 lakh-strong workforce with a single drive spanning 9 months. Project Saksham will start in January 2018 and go on until September. The launch date of the project has been tentatively scheduled to coincide with the 155th birth anniversary of Vivekananda.

Airport-like amenities at Rail stations

Rail Land Development Authority has signed a MoU with NBCC to redevelop 10 railway stations across India with airport-like amenities by the year 2020. 10 railway stations which would be redeveloped are Delhi Sarai Rohilla, Lucknow, Gomti Nagar, Kota, Tirupati, Nellore, Ernakulam, Puducherry, Madgaon, and Thane. The redevelopment will be carried out at an estimated cost of Rs 5000 crore.

PM Modi flagged off Bandhan Express

‘Bandhan Express’ a passenger train between Kolkata and Bangladesh’s southwestern industrial city of Khulna was inaugurated on November 9, 2017. It is a fully air-conditioned passenger train and will run every Thursday from both Kolkata and Khulna. It is the second Indo-Bangla train service after the Maitree Express, which runs between Dhaka and Kolkata.

Main arch of Chenab bridge launched

Indian Railways has launched the main arch of the world’s highest bridge on the river Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district. It will provide direct connectivity to the Kashmir valley. The bridge will stand 359 meters above the bed of the River Chenab and will be 30 meters higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The bridge forms link in the 111-km distance between Katra and Banihal.

‘SAMPRITI 2017’ begins

‘SAMPRITI 2017’, the 7th edition of Indo-Bangladesh joint military training exercise begun in Meghalaya. SAMPRITI will be held from 6th–18th November 2017. Exercise ‘SAMPRITI’ is held alternately in India and Bangladesh every year, last year it was held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2016. The objective of this exercise is to enhance interoperability between army personnel of India and Bangladesh.

Railways to unveil its ‘gold’ standard

The railways will showcase its first ‘Swarn’ train (gold standard) on Nov 6. The New Delhi-Kathgodam Shatabdi Express will be the 1st to be launched as part of railways’ ‘Swarn’ project which aims to renovate India’s premium trains. New onboard entertainment, trolley service for catering & clean toilets with automatic doors are some of the features of these elite trains.

Conference on “Ramayan Circuit”

A two day International Conference on “Ramayan Circuit and Mithila-Awadh Relations” was organised from 3-4 November at Janakpur. Eminent experts and academicians of India and Nepal have stressed upon further strengthening age-old cultural ties between both the countries. During conference 11 resolutions were adopted including launch of bus and train service between Janakpur and Ayodhya.

List of MoUs signed during Paolo’s visit

During the visit of Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni various MoUs were signed. They are as follows. A Joint Declaration of Intent of Cooperation for Safety in the Railway sector was signed. MoU on 70 years of diplomatic relations between ICCR and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Italy. MoU for promoting mutual investments between Italian Trade Agency and Invest India

New railway line from Bidar-Kalaburagi

Modi dedicated the Bidar – Kalaburagi New Railway Line to the Nation by unveiling a plaque at Bidar Railway Station, in Karnataka. The 110 km Bidar-Kalaburgi railway track in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region that will reduce the distance between Bengaluru and New Delhi by 380km and travel time by six to eight hours. Prime Minister also flagged off the DEMU Service between Bidar and Kalaburagi.

Vikram Appointed as Sec. to President

31 : Railway officer Vikram Singh was ppointed Private Secretary to President Ram Nath Kovind. Singh is a 1997 batch officer of the Indian Railway Traffic Service. In another order, IAS officer P C Meena was appointed Private Secretary to Minister of State for Commerce and Industry C R Chaudhary. Meena is a 2004 batch IAS officer of the Haryana cadre.

Railway’s first set of solar plants

Piyush Goyal launched railway’s first set of solar plants with a total capacity of 5 megawatt peak installed on the roof tops of Hazrat Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Anand Vihar and Delhi railway stations. Plants were inaugurated at the International Conference on Green Initiatives and Railway Electrification. These plants will generate will generate 76.5 lakh units of solar power per year.

World’s first track-less train

China began test runs of its world’s first track-less train in Zhuzhou city, China. The train runs on virtual track and is being considered as the ‘World’s First smart train’. This train could travel at the speed of 70 kmph and is called Autonomous Rail Transit (ART). This train was created to reduce urban traffic problems. This train is a hybrid between a bus and tram.

Railways to cut running time of trains

The Indian Railways will soon cut short the running time of over 500 long distance trains by up to two hours, a senior railway official said today. The new timings will be updated in the November timetable of the railways. The new timetable will also provide each railway division two to four hours for maintenance works.

New Rajdhani between Delhi-Mumbai

Ministry of Railways is introducing a new Special Rajdhani Express between Delhi & Mumbai from 16th October, 2017. It is done to fulfill the long overdue demand of passengers & to provide faster and convenient connectivity to passengers between two metros Delhi and Mumbai. Flexi Fare shall not be applicable in this train.

Int. Railway Equipment Exhibition

Bharat Earth Movers Limited, a Public Sector Company under Ministry of Defence is participating in International Railway Equipment Exhibition-2017. It is a three day event being held at Pragati Maidan, from 11 – 13 October, 2017. IREE is India’s largest international event for the Railway Sector. BEML is the Nation’s first Rail coach manufacturing Company.

Germany to help Indian Railways

Ministry of Railways and Germany signed a joint declaration of Intent, regarding carrying out of feasibility study on existing 643 kilometer Chennai-Kazipet corridor of Indian Railways. German Railways will assist Indian Railways to make country’s existing rail corridors semi high speed. The semi high speed trains will run at 200 km per hour.

Govt to end VIP culture in Railways

The railway ministry has asked its senior staff to slug it out, at home & at work as part of steps to end the VIP culture in Indian Railways. In an unprecedented move, the ministry has brought to an end a 36-year-old protocol. As part of a massive overhaul of the culture of privilege prevalent in the ministry, the Railway Board has decided to do away with the instructions of a 1981 circular.

EIB gives loan for Bangalore Metro

The European Investment Bank (EIB) will lend €300 million for Bangalore Metro Rail Project. The project envisages the extension of East-West and North-South lines for Bangalore Metro Rail which includes a total length of 72.095 km and 61 stations with 12 underground stations. The objective of the project is to bring in a quantum improvement in the transportation sector in the city.

No service charge on train till March

Rail passengers will continue to enjoy service charge exemption on tickets booked online till March 2018. The government had waived service charges after demonetisation in November last year to encourage digital modes of booking. Service charges on booking train tickets online through IRCTC ranges from Rs 20 to 40 per ticket.

Bangladesh signs loan deal with India

Bangladesh on 4 october signed a $4.5-billion loan deal with India for developing its infrastructure, health and education. Bangladesh will use the funds for 17 priority infrastructure projects, which include electricity, railways, roads, shipping and ports. Bangladesh will pay an interest rate of 1% a year. It will have 20 years to pay back the loans, with a grace period of five years.

MobiKwik partners with IRCTC Rail

Digital payments firm MobiKwik announced its partnership with IRCTC Rail connect app, which will allow customers book railway tickets using the former’s payment gateway. Mobikwik’s Payment Gateway currently powers payments for more than 3,000 e-commerce websites and apps. The tie-up is aimed at simplifying payment systems by introducing MobiKwik’s easy-to-use interface for all.

‘Best Tourism State’ award

Madhya Pradesh has won the ‘Best Tourism State’ national award for the third consecutive year. The state bagged total 10 awards in this programme, organised on the occasion of World Tourism Day. While Chanderi was adjudged as the Best Heritage City, the Best Tourist-Friendly Railway Station award was given to Ujjain Railway Station.

Railway line between India, Nepal

After remaining non-functional for the last 3 years the Janakpur-Jayanagar Railway line connecting Nepal and India is expected to become functional by 2018. It is the only railway line that once used to link India with Nepal but after 2014 its service got discontinued. The project will be completed in three phases and is estimated to cost Rs. 5.48 billion, mostly aided by Indian Government.

57th National Open Athletics

The 57th National Open Athletics Championships will begin at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai. Around 1200 athletes from various states & departments/PSU would be taking part in the meet. Among the institutions to be represented include All India Police Sports Board, ONGC, LIC, apart from Railways & Services. The participants include country’s top track & field athletes.

Books on Indian culture, morals now must

Books on Indian culture & morals are now to be displayed for sale at all platform kiosks, a new stall policy to all zonal railways has mandated. Railway Board has instructed all general managers to ensure that such books are found in stalls, under its new Multi-Purpose Stall policy. The policy supersedes Bookstall Policy of 2004 which mandated that stalls will keep books on varied subjects.

World’s fastest bullet train launched

21 : China began the process to restore the world’s fastest bullet train, running at 350 km/hr, from Beijing to Shanghai, 6 years after it reduced the speed of its trains. A ‘Fuxing’ bullet train, which will enjoy the high-speed, departed Beijing South Railway for Shanghai. The Fuxing has a 30-year life, 10 years more than the existing model, and consumes 10% less power when running at 350 km/hr.

Railways cuts down sleeping time

According to a circular issued by railway board, passengers in reserved coaches can only sleep between 10 pm & 6 am to allow others to sit on the seats for the rest of the time. Until the circular was issued, the existing permissible time for sleeping was between 9 pm and 6 am. The circular, however, makes an exception for sick and disabled passengers, and pregnant ladies.

Mahendra Pratap Mall appointed IRCTC CMD

Mahendra Pratap Mall has been appointed as the chairman & managing director of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation. The appointments committee of the Union cabinet has approved his appointment to the post for a period of five years. He is at present director (finance) in Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation.

Railways to get Swiss tilting trains

India will collaborate with Switzerland for developing trains which will tilt on approaching a bend, just like a motorbike on a winding road. Tilting train rounds a curve at speed it cause objects to slide about. During a curve to the left, the train tilts to the left and vice versa. Such trains are now operational in 11 countries including China, Russia, Germany, and Romania.

Closure of loss-making Bharat Wagon

Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved closure of loss-making Bharat Wagon & Engineering Company. BWEL is Central Public Sector Enterprise under Ministry of Railways. Govt will have to provide one-time grant of Rs. 151.18 cr towards severance package & for clearing current liabilities. Employees of BWEL will be benefited from voluntary retirement scheme to be offered at 2007 pay scale.

Air India’s Interim Chairman

Rajiv Bansal, the Additional Secretary and the Financial Advisor of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, has been appointed as the interim CMD of Air India. He replaces Ashwani Lohani who took over as the Railway Board Chairman. He will be serving this additional charge for three months or until further orders. Bansal is a 1988 batch IAS officer from Nagaland cadre.

Railway Board Chairman Mittal Resigns

Ashok Mittal, the chairman of the Railway Board has resigned from his post in the wake of two derailments on the Indian Railways in just four days. Mittal was first in the history of Indian Railways to receive a two-year extension. He was to remain in the post till he turned 62 in 2018. Indian Rails Kaifyat Express & Utkal Express derailed in past 4 days, several passengers died.

Lohani named as Railway Board Chairman

Ashwani Lohani, CMD of Air India, has been named as the new Chairman of the Railway Board, following the resignation on A.K. Mittal. He will replace Ashok Mittal who resigned from his post in the wake of two derailments on the Indian Railways in just four days. He holds the Guinness Record for successfully running the ‘Fairy Queen Express’, the world’s oldest working steam locomotive.

Dharmendra Kumar appointed as DG, RPF

CISF ADG Dharmendra Kumar has been appointed as director general of the Railway Protection Force. Kumar is a 1984 batch IPS officer of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territories (AGMUT) cadre. Before being appointed additional director general (ADG), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Kumar was serving as special commissioner (Special Unit) in the Delhi Police.