Speech of Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam at National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR) [formerly Railway Staff College], Baroda

An Extract of Address by Hon’ble Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam, former President of India, at the Railway Staff College, Vadodara on 31st March, 2008 on “Railway Vision 2030


I am indeed delighted to address the Students and Faculty Members of Railway Staff College, Vadodara.  I am happy that the Railway Staff College has been educating the executives of the Railways with the mission of “Excellence in Executive Education”.  The development of an officer from a probationer to a responsible executive with high quality professional skills for meeting the organisational growth is an important task for the Indian Railways.

The colleDr Abdul Kalam at RSC Barodage over the years has built professional excellence, the strength of character, intellectual ingtegrity, honesty, originality, creativity, innovation, ability to work with a team and a sense of safety among gthe probationers and middle level officers participating in training programmes from time to time.

I congratulate the faculty members of Railway Staff College both the present and past, who have built a robust institutional framework for training of all railways executives during the last fifty-eight years.

My greetings to the Director General of the College, Faculty Members, Staff and Railway Executives attending various programmes.

Recently I had talked about Railway Vision 2030 in a conference organized by National Academy of Engineering which I thought of sharing with you today, since you all will be at the helm of affairs when this vision is translated into reality.  I would like to talk on the topic “Railway Vision 2030″…

Railway Vision 2030

…, I would like to give my visualization of Indian Railways in the year 2030.

  1. Indian Railways has a route length of 88,000 kms covering all the states in the country catering to the needs of over 20 million passengers per day including tourism.
  2. The average speed of travel for passenger trains in the Railways will be more than 200 kms per hour and for goods train it will be 150 kms per hour.
  3. Indian Railways would have transformed into an inland transportation system providing door to door service suing multimode transportation system and having 15,000 kms length of inland waterways for tourism and freight traffic.
  4. The accident rate is less than 0.1 per million train kilometer.  Passengers feel they are absolutely secure and safe.
  5. Indian Railways will be known for its punctuality, just in-time delivery of goods.
  6. Multi-layered Railway station platforms is crowd free and facilitate free movement to all passengers in all the metro and tier-1 and tier-2 cities.
  7. The Railways produce 70,000 tonnes of bio-diesel through their own plantation annually.
  8. The coach utilisation increases form the present 500 kilometer per day to 1500 kilometer per day.
  9. Railway system integrates all the  states and union territories and becomes a partner in promoting the economic, social and cultural vibrancy of the nation in fulfilling the aspirations of the three sectors of the economy namely Agriculture, Services and Manufacturing.
  10. Indian Railways will work with SAARC Countries to have a common SAARC Railway System.

Role of Railway Staff College

I would suggest the Railway Staff College to break down the ten vision elements into small projects and tasks which could be given to the officers participating in probationary courses, foundation courses and induction training programme of the college.  Each task could be given to a group of four students.  The integration of tasks and projects could be done by the participants of Advance Management Programmes. Based on these inputs, the faculty members can facilitate building of simulation models for execution of the vision elements and determine the impact which it can make to the Railways as a whole.  This type of continuing research will facilitate building of team spirit among the executives, promote capacity to work in interdisciplinary terms and transform Railway Staff College as a Railway Research Institute.  While carrying out these tasks, Railway Staff College could also associate experts from the industry and academic institutions of repute as partners.

Conclusion:  Leadership

I have derived the following special traits of a leader based on my experience.  A leader must have the following qualities:

  1. Leader must have a Vision.
  2. Leader must be able to travel into an unexplored path.
  3. Leader must know how to manage a success and failure.
  4. Leader must have courage to take decision.
  5. Leader should have Nobility in management.
  6. Every action of the Leader should be transparent.

For success in all the missions, it is essential to have creative leaders.  Creative leadership means exercising the vision to change the traditional role from the commander to the coach, manager to mentor, from director rot delegator and from one who demands respect to one who facilitates self respect. For realising Railway Vision 2030, the important thrust will be on the generation of a number of creative leaders by Railway Staff College.

My best wishes to all the members of Railway Staff College in their mission of developing the quality human resource needed for realising the goals of transforming Indian Railways into world class inland, environmental friendly, transportation system for the nation, before the year 2030.