Vadodara to be Learning, Education and Training Hub for Indian Railways

The National Rail and Transport University (NRTU) by the Ministry of Railways and the High Speed Rail Training Institute (HSRTI) by the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) in Vadodara are being set up at an estimated cost of Rs 600 crore

VADODARA: The city is set to emerge as human resource hub for the Indian railways. Two key projects including the one for setting up specialised railway university and another to set up institute to train manpower for the high speed railway projects like the prestigious Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train project – both first of their kind in the country – found mention in union finance minister Arun Jaitley’s budget speech on Thursday.

Earlier, the Ministry of Railways had identified 100 acres land at Piparia in Waghodiya taluka for setting up the railway university. But sources said that to begin with existing premises of the National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR), Vadodara will be utilised for starting both the projects – the National Rail and Transport University (NRTU) being set up by the ministry and the High Speed Rail Training Institute (HSRTI) being set up by the National High Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) in Vadodara at an estimated cost of Rs 600 crore.

“HSRTI is being developed over a land area of five hectares. Construction of the institute has commenced and it will be ready by December 2020. The institute will provide advanced training modules on cutting edge technologies relating to HSR,” said Dhananjay Kumar, PRO of NHSRCL.

HSRTI, Vadodara will have all those facilities which are available at HSTI of JR-East Railway Company at Shin Shirakawa in Japan like the driver simulator, signal and telecom equipment, OHE and power supply equipment and sample track among others.

“The contracts for construction of sample track and hostel building have already been awarded. For operation and maintenance, NHSRCL will require around 4,000 personnel. Out of these, initially around 350 belonging to various categories of maintenance and operation including drivers will be trained in Japan,” said Kumar.

“Some of these trained manpower along with other Japanese experts will be utilised to train the remaining personnel at HSRTI, Vadodara before commissioning of the corridor,” he said, adding that the institute will also serve as a back bone for future development of other high speed corridors in India.

NRTU being hailed as an idea inspired by Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi to transform the rail and transport sector towards new India received nod from the union cabinet chaired by the PM in December last.

It is being set up as a “Deemed to Be University” under de novo category as per the University Grants Commission (Institutions Deemed to be Universities) Regulations, 2016.

“We are working towards completing all approvals so that the first academic program can be launched in July this year,” said an official.

A not-for-profit company (which will be managing company of the university) under section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 is being created by the ministry. The company will provide financial and infrastructural support to the university and appoint its chancellor and pro-chancellor. A fully autonomous board of management comprising of professionals and academics will perform its academic and administrative responsibilities. In its full enrolment, NRTU which will be funded by the ministry is expected to have 3,000 full time students.