Railway Digitization

One of the warship projects of the Narendra Modi government has been a marked shift onto the route of digitalization. The Indian Railways is the single-largest State-owned commercial entity in the entire world. It is indeed commendable to witness the progress that the Indian Railways has made over the course of the years, mutating from issuing manual tickets to being a pioneer in the era of paperless tickets, from having the quintessential pantry cars in the long-haul trains to e-catering services.

Till 1985, all tickets were issued manually. This led to the process being cumbersome and time-consuming, leaving behind a probable scope for errors to creep in. Stand Alone Computerized Ticketing and Reservation System was then rolled out.

The Indian Railways Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a subsidiary arm of the Indian Railways, has under the present government taken on itself the primary responsibility of ensuring the process of digitalization of the Railways

The keyword of digitalization has proven useful on many counts. Industry major Google, in a bid to tap into the millions who commute by the Railways on a daily basis, had partnered with RailTel to provide free Wi-Fi services at a targeted four hundred stations.

One significant domain where the Railways have latched onto, is harnessing the power of social media. The Indian Railways receives seven thousand tweets on a daily basis, out of which around a thousand are actionable. In a recent survey that was launched by the government to let the people rate the services rendered by the government, the results of quick response and follow-up on individual complaints was understandably evident.

To build on the noble initiative of Digital India. Continuous innovations and development, fuelled by imagination and an acute understanding of the demands of the day, have propelled the Indian Railways into bringing out several applications and services that can be accessed by having a phone. A facility for online booking of disposable linens on trains has also been established.

Digitalisation of essential services would reduce manual operational costs, and thus help to bring down the total expenses. Moreover, facilities such as online booking of tickets and related services have convenience surcharges attached to them that helps bring in additional revenue.

As the largest commercial organisation in India, the Railways shoulder colossal social responsibilities. It is indeed heartening to learn that under the able guidance of the Minister of Railways. The Railways is one of the pioneers of change; it wonderfully metamorphoses itself to acclimatise to the dynamic requirements. In this era of globalisation and technological advancement, the Digital Indian campaign has only reinforced the roots of this sesquicentennial organisation: making it better, secure, and ready for the leap towards greater heights of success in the upcoming years.