In what could turn out to be a transformative initiative, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, has approved the Ministry of Railways' idea to set up the first ever National Rail and Transport University (NRTU) in Vadodara, Gujarat, to skill its human resources and build capability. This innovative idea, inspired by the Prime Minister, is expected to be a catalyst for transformation of rail and transport sector towards a progressive India.
This university will be set up as a deemed-to-be university under de novo category as per the UGC Regulations, 2016. The government is working towards completing all approvals by April 2018 and to launch the first academic programme in July 2018. A not-for-profit company under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013, will be created by the Ministry of Railways which shall be the Managing Company of the proposed university. The company will provide financial and infrastructural support to the university, and appoint Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor of the university.
Existing land and infrastructure at National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR) at Vadodara, Gujarat, will be utilised, and suitably modified and modernised for the purpose of the university. It is expected to have 3,000 full-time students. The funding of this new university is to entirely come from the Ministry of Railways. The university plans to use latest pedagogy and technology applications (satellite-based tracking, radio frequency identification, and artificial intelligence) to improve on-the-job performance and productivity.
With the railway authorities and the ministry aiming to push out ambitious projects like High Speed Trains (bullet trains), modernisation of infrastructure, dedicated freight corridors (DFCs), Indian Railways will require high level of proficiency and skills and this is where the university is expected to fill in the gap.
With inputs from PIB