Union Cabinet approves establishing India's first National Rail and Transportation University..

  • The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the Ministry of Railways’ transformative initiative to set up the first ever National Rail and Transport University (NRTU) in Vadodara to skill its human resources and build capability.
  • The University will be set up as a Deemed to Be University under de novo category as per the UGC [Institutions Deemed to be Universities] Regulations, 2016.
  • Government is working towards completing all approvals by April 2018 and to launch the first academic program in July 2018.

National Rail and Transportation University

  1. The University will be set up as a Deemed to Be University under de novo category as per the UGC [Institutions Deemed to be Universities] Regulations, 2016
  2. A not-for-profit Company under Section 8 of the Companies Act, 2013 will be created by the Ministry of Railways as the Managing Company of the proposed university.
  3. The company will provide financial and infrastructural support to the university and appoint Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor of the university.
  4. Board of Management comprising professionals and academics will be independent of the Managing Company and will have full autonomy to perform its academic and administrative responsibilities.
  5. Existing land and infrastructure at National Academy of Indian Railways (NAIR) at Vadodara, Gujarat will be utilized, and suitably modified and modernized for the purpose of the university.
  6. It is expected to have 3000 full time students. The funding of the new university will entirely come from Ministry of Railways.
  7. The university plans to use latest pedagogy and technology applications such as satellite based tracking, Radio Frequency Identification and Artificial Intelligence to improve on-the-job performance and productivity.
  8. Stakeholders will have access to Railways' facilities that will work as 'live labs' through which, they will be able to work on solving real life problems.
  9. University will have 'Centres of Excellence' showcasing high-end, niche technology like High Speed Train.

Union Government launches Project Darpan to improve postal services for rural customers..

Union Minister of Communications Manoj Sinha on 21 December 2017 launched Project DARPAN – “Digital Advancement of Rural Post Office for A New India” to improve the quality of service and add value to services for rural customers.

  • The project has an outlay of 1400 crore rupees and intends to provide a low power technology solution to each Branch Postmaster (BPM).
  • This will enable all 1.29 Lakhs Branch Post Offices (BOs) to improve the level of services being offered to rural customers across all the states. 
  • At Present, 43171 Branch Post Offices have migrated under the “DARPAN” project with the aim of financial inclusion to rural population. 

Project Darpan

  1. Project Darpan aims to achieve financial inclusion of un-banked rural population.
  2. The Project will increase the rural reach of the Department of Posts and enable BOs to increase traffic of all financial remittances, savings accounts, Rural Postal Life Insurance, and Cash Certificates.
  3. It will improve mail operations processes by allowing for automated booking and delivery of accountable article.
  4. It will increase revenue using retail post business, provide third party applications and make disbursements for social security schemes such as MGNREGS.
  5. The project is targeted to be completed by March 2018.

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