AHMEDABAD: Becoming Japan’s advisor for the bullet train project is certainly fulfilling for Sanjeev Sinha, the first IIT-ian of Barmer, Rajasthan, who has a niece in Ahmedabad and a brother living in Surat. Sinha will be acting primarily as the main interface between the governments of Japan and India to make the bullet train project a reality.
Sinha, who has been appointed by Japan Railways as advisor for the project, has a personal reason to inspire him in actualizing the Rs 1.08 lakh-crore project of Ahmedabad-Mumbai High Speed Rail. He recalls his childhood days in Barmer, Rajasthan, when his mother had to travel long hours in trains to reach her workplace.
“My mother was a teacher in a village near Barmer. She had to get up early to catch the 5am train to reach the school. It was a two-hour journey, though the place was not so far. Had there been speedy transportation, she could have spent more time with us,” he told, explaining why he was especially interested in this high-speed rail project.
Sinha studied at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur. He is a resident of Japan for 21 years and worked there for various firms. His wife is Japanese. He often comes to India and visits Gujarat too, as his brother lives in Surat.
Given the safety issues of Indian Railways, Sinha said that Indians can learn from Japanese Shinkansen (Bullet Train), “which has a fabulous record of zero fatal accidents in its operations over more than 50 years, despite very intricate passenger friendly operations amid earthquakes, typhoons and the difficult hilly terrain of Japan”.
For Sinha, a bullet train in India is a challenging task, but he believes that it has to be completed. To support the huge technology collaboration efforts, Sinha is also setting up an India-Japan Technology Collaboration Fund as President of Research Institute of Next Generation AI in Tokyo.
He also plans to start a centre for learning Japanese language and culture for Indian youths. He sees plenty of opportunities for Indian youths in Japan’s corporate sector and industries. “Indians have got good skills of marketing and language. Their strength lies in the existing diversity in India which makes them able to adjust anywhere in the world,” he said.