Railway Budget Offers Exciting Prospects To IT Cos
The thrust on technology initiatives in the railway budget in order to bring transparency and efficiency in the system, can also open up a slew of opportunities for IT companies in India, according to industry experts. The drive on digitization and e-initiatives in the railways is another exciting area for e-commerce and hi-tech companies, as the Railway minister DV Sadananda Gowda has announced a host of proposals that require IT intervention, including paperless offices, real-time tracking of trains and rolling stock, mobile-based alerts for wakeup calls and destination arrival, station navigation information system, etc.
Some of the key tech based initiatives announced include a revamp of the e-ticketing system and a bigger role for mobile technology. According to Gowda, Railways reservation system will be revamped to next generation e-ticketing system. The new system, according to Gowda, will be able to book 7200 e-tickets per minute as against the current 2000 tickets per minute levels. This will allow 1.2 lakh people to book e-tickets simultaneously.
Gowda also said that there will be a hospital management system to integrate all railways health units and hospitals. The Railways minister also announced setting up an innovation and incubation centre for railways to promote talent, as well as summer internships for engineering and management graduates. Government will also make e-procurement compulsory for procurements over Rs 25 lakh, he said.
Welcoming the initiatives that is geared towards modernization, efficiency and greater customer satisfaction, Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar said that providing Wi-Fi services, next-gen e-ticketing system, GIS mapping and digitization of records will enable the Indian Railways in its overall growth objectives. “Leveraging technology for transformation in India is a key priority for Nasscom and we look forward to work with the ministry of railways in enabling the private sector to collaborate on these initiatives,” he added.
Experts see a thrust on public-private partnerships for Indian IT companies in this sector. While some also believe that technology can help Railways wriggle out of the current financial crisis, tech vendors in India can eye some of the most lucrative offers
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