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Keeping abreast of the times, Southern Railway has equipped itself with a host of technological innovations.  The Information Technology portals and mobile applications designed and implemented over Southern Railway have brought about a paradigm shift in the working pattern for the railway staff while providing the much needed ease-of-access of railway services to the rail users.  Of these, five noteworthy innovations in Information Technology front have paved way for the Zone’s entry into the ‘Innovations in Public Administration’ challenge conducted by Capacity Building Commission.

On 2nd September 2020, Government of India launched Mission Karmayogi, the National Program for Civil Services Capacity Building, a civil services reform initiative that aims to improve capacity building efforts across the Government. Capacity Building Commission (CBC) is an institutional framework set up under Mission Karmayogi and it aims to harmonize training standards, create shared faculty and resources and have supervisory role over all Central Training Institutions. Recently CBC conducted the ‘Innovations in Public Administration’ challenge.  All Central & State Departments and PSUs submitted their entries.

Amongst the various entries received, Southern Railway’s entry has been selected as top entry in this challenge and will be captured as case study for capacity building of present and future civil servants. These case study is to be included in the Knowledge Repository to be created by Central Government in the future.  Southern Railway entry included a bundle of innovation consisting of five series of IT innovations implemented over Southern Railway to empower ordinary railway passenger and making railway staff working more effective and efficient. The five innovations are detailed below:

1.    Portable Unreserved Ticketing System (P-UTS) is an innovative Ticketing System to issue tickets at remote stations where Telecom connectivity is either not available or unreliable. It works on a “Plug and Play” mode and just needs to be connected to power for issuing tickets immediately. This will help in providing lower cost ticketing solutions at remote locations and at Melas, festival sites, halts etc. This P-UTS mode of ticketing is to be put under trial in selected suburban stations of Chennai division shortly and is planned for proliferation in other divisions subsequently.

2.    Rail Partner is an Android Mobile Application which helps the passengers in getting all kinds of information needed to plan their rail journey and during their journey in Southern Railway like trains available between stations, suburban timetable and facilities available at stations etc.

3.    Rail Dhandora is an Android mobile application which acts as the knowledge centre for all the commercial circulars issued by Indian Railways and Southern Railway and helps the railway staff and general public in searching and accessing the relevant circulars easily. This also provides information regarding various forms that are to be used by the travelling public like application for Circular journey ticket, bulk booking, name change, etc.,

4.    Rail Census is an Android Mobile Application used for conducting surveys of passenger on trains. This is an efficiency enhancing application which reduces the unreserved passenger survey activity from one month to few hours and thus helps in saving man hours and also helped in better analysis of data. This app is restricted for in-house purpose only.

5.    TPMS or Ticketing Peripherals Management System is a Mobile Web based Application for lifecycle management of thousands of PRS/UTS peripherals such as Thin clients, PRS and UTS Printers, Routers, Switches, Modems etc. installed at thousands of locations in the six Divisions of Southern Railway .In Southern Railway, this App is being used at hundreds of stations for improving ticketing services for over 20 lakh passengers per day.

All these applications have been developed by a dedicated team of 5 railway staff  of “IT and Innovation cell”  working in the office of Principal Chief Commercial Manager, Southern Railway. Under the leadership of Shri Ravi Valluri, Principal Chief Commercial Manager and with the guidance of Shri J. Vinayan (ex CCM/Passenger Marketing), this team comprising of  V. Anil Chowdary (Chief Commercial Clerk) , P.S. Abinaya (Dy.CTI), R. Saravanan (Sr.Commercial Clerk), K.Sundar (Reservation Supervisor –II) & R. Nithyaraj (Senior Commercial Clerk) have developed an ecosystem of IT based innovations which is now a self-sustaining system for development of IT solutions in Public Administration field.

Shri B.G. Mallya, General Manager, Southern Railway met the team members of this IT and innovation cell and congratulated them for achieving this feat and deserving the recognition of Capacity Building Commission.  Shri Ravi Valluri, Principal Chief Commercial Manager, Ms. Neenu Ittyerah, Principal Chief Operations Manager, Shri Nitin Bansal, Chief Commercial Manager/Passenger Marketing and Shri J.Vinayan, Chief Operations Manager/General were also present during the meeting.

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