Why Nations Need Railway University: India as a Case Study

By Piyush Goyal,

Minister of Railways and Coal,


India has been known since time immemorial for its centers of learning. Institutions like Nalanda attracted scholars from places as distant as China, Tibet, Mongolia, towards our north, Turkey towards our west and Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka and South East Asia towards our east and south east.

As our great nation embraces the 21st century, it requires institutions that embody the spirit of globalisation but yet are firmly rooted in our rich cultural and historical traditions. The sanskrit saying “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”- The world is one family from the Mahopanishad succinctly captures our aspirations and values.

The Railways family has been playing a vital role in the fueling our Vikas Yatra towards building a New India. As Indian Railways embarks on pioneering projects such as High-Speed Trains (popularly known as bullet train), Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs) and massive infrastructure modernisation it requires a workforce with high level of proficiency and skills. Catering to these aspirations requires creation of a world-class training ecosystem in India.

With this in mind the Cabinet approved the National Rail and Transport University (NRTU) proposal on 20th December 2017. The University is planned to be set up as a Deemed University as per the UGC (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2016. Government is working towards completing all approvals in the near future and launches the first academic program in this year itself.

Existing land and infrastructure at National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR) at Vadodara, Gujarat is to be utilized, suitably modified and modernized for the purpose of the university. In its full enrolment, it is expected to have 3000 full time students. The funding of the new University/Institute is to entirely come from Ministry of Railways.

In addition, the university will provide the following benefits:

● Set Indian Railways on the path of modernisation with access to cutting edge technologies and helping India emerge as a global center of expertise.
● Enable India to become a global leader in transport sector by enhancing productivity and promoting ‘Make in India’
● Improve the on-the-job performance and productivity by using latest pedagogy and technology applications (satellite-based tracking, Radio Frequency Identification and Artificial Intelligence)
● Help leverage state-of-the-art technology that enables faster movement of people and goods.
● Create a resource pool of skilled manpower who are able to work and solve real engineering problems.
● Provide better safety, speed and service in Indian Railways to all passengers and customers
● Help India become a global leader in transport sector enabling faster movement of people and goods
● Support ‘Startup India’ and ‘Skill India’ by channeling technology and delivering knowhow, and foster entrepreneurship, generating large-scale employment opportunities
● Transform India’s railways and transportation sector and enable faster movement of people and goods

This innovative idea, inspired by the Prime Minister, will be a catalyst for transformation of rail and transport sector towards New India.

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