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Sci-Tech
Monday, 18-September-2006
(Mumbai Mirror)- - After international business schools and Indian Institute of Management (IIMs), it is the turn of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) to succumb to the charm of great turnover of Lalu Prasad Yadav-headed Indian Railways.

In a move that will introduce railway technology in the academic field, IIT-Kanpur plans to start M Tech (Master of Technology) in railway technology from next year to encourage research on the biggest employer of the Indian economy.

The IIT has already discussed the academic program with railway board and will soon submit the proposal to human resource development (HRD) minister Arjun Singh for his approval.

“We’re spending tens of thousand crores on nuclear and space research. But there is nothing on railways, the most vital infrastructure in the country. The need of the hour is that there should be research on energy efficiency, signalling and other things in the railways,” says Director IIT Kanpur, Sanjay G Dhande.

In an exclusive conversation with Mumbai Mirror, Dhande claimed that he did not want exclusivity over the academic program and would happily share it with other institutes, if they showed interest.

The IIT Kanpur along with Research Development Standards Organisation (RDSO) and a group of industries is presently working on a technology mission on railway safety, which is expected to reduce derailments and accidents considerably.

Under the mission, it will develop derailment detection devices, rail flaw-detection instrumentation, GPS-based rail network mapping and tracking (SIMRAN) and environmental friendly toilets and over half a dozen other projects.

On Friday, the IIT presented before HRD Minister Arjun Singh and Minister of State for Railways R Velu the SIMRAN and showed on display screen status of New Delhi-Lucknow Shatabadi Express. The screen also displayed speed of the train.

Dhande said the IIT had already transferred flat wheel detection technology to the Railways and were in the process of conducting field trial on systems which will monitor bogeys, axles and bearings. The IIT has also developed new toilets which will segregate degradable solid and liquid waste.

Till now, no academic institute in the country teaches railway technology and railways solely rely on in-house training to train its men.



• “We’re spending thousands on nuclear and space research. But there is nothing on railways in the country. The need of the hour is that there should be research on energy efficiency, signalling and other things in the railways.” —Sanjay G Dhande, director IIT Kanpur

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