Vadodara (BRC): Ministry of Railways will set up India’s first Railway University at Vadodara in Gujarat. Vadodara will become home to country’s first railway university as the railway ministry has decided to upgrade Pratapnagar-based National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR) into a full-fledged university.
In January, Union railways minister Suresh Prabhu had visited the academy to attend it 64th foundation day. NAIR, formerly known as the Railway Staff College, is the apex level training and management development institute for the officers of the Indian Railways.
Prabhu had announced during the railway budget that the ministry was in process of setting up a full-fledged university during 2015-16.
Replying to questions by two MPs in Rajya Sabha, minister of state for railway Manoj Sinha informed the house that NAIR will be upgraded into a railway university.
“Ministry of railways has decided to establish one university on Indian Railways, at present, by upgrading NAIR, Vadodara, and by taking the existing centralized training institutes and other training institutes under its umbrella,” said Sinha.
“The university would award degrees and diplomas in various technical and non-technical areas related to the working of railways. No funds have been allocated for this purpose. Timeline for commissioning of the university has not been fixed,” he further stated in his reply.
It should be mentioned here that National Academy of Indian Railway was established 63 years ago to give training to railway officers. Its campus is located in Pratapnagar area of Vadodara. The academy is functioning in Pratapvilas palace which was built by then ruler of Baroda state Gaekwad in year 1914. The design of this palace was made by CF Stevens. NAIR was originally established in Dehradoon in year 1930. It was later shifted to Vadodara in year 1952. Training is given to railway employees from probationer to general manager rank in this academy for the period ranging from one week to ten weeks.
The academy has rich library with 50,000 books including 8600 titles in Hindi. It has 15,000 journals and 103 magazines.It has multipurpose auditorium room that showcases models of 18 railway stations.
NAIR was founded in 1930 at Premnagar in Dehradun. On January 31, 1952, it was shifted to Lalbaug in the city. Since then, it has been housed at the Pratap Vilas Palace, built in 1914 by the Gaekwads, the erstwhile rulers of Baroda state.
It provides training and management development opportunities to the newly-appointed railway officers and senior officers. Besides, the academy trains officers of other services of the government of India and those from foreign railways.
This was stated by Minister of State for Railway Shri Manoj Sinha in Rajya Sabha in reply to questions asked by Members of Parliament Palvai Govardhan Reddy and Ranjib Biswal.