Reforms like Aadhaar and online tests make Indian railways more technology driven and efficient
GN Bureau | March 18, 2016
The Indian railway budget for 2016 clearly indicates that the government’s investment plans are high for the next five years. This means that many people will be hired by the recruitment board in the coming years. As per recent estimates, 2.35 lakh people will be hired in railways in the next one year.
Speaking at the Railways Reform and Governance Conclave, organised by Governance Now, in New Delhi on Friday, Nagendran Sundararajan, executive vice president, Merittac India highlighted the significance of technology in making the examination process of Indian railways easier. He said, “The age-old system of giving tests on exam sheets creates a lot of confusion and unnecessary effort for the examination bodies. There are a lot of issues involved like printing, transit of question papers etc. Many students try different means to pass the examinations. It is important for exam bodies to bring fairness in the system.”
Hence, in an effort to modernise the examination system, the railway recruitment board (RRB) has started online tests. The challenge is to convince the students to take these exams online. “It is important to integrate technology into the railway system at every level. We are glad that the RRB has started computer based tests”, he said.
“Around two-three crore people will be taking the tests in the next one and a half years. We need to ensure that the country has enough infrastructure to handle the data and not misplace it. We need to build good capacity and that can only be done through technology,” he added.
Aadhaar card for identification
In a bid to simplify and secure the process of identification of an Indian railway passenger, Sunil Kumar, GGM-IT of indian railways catering and tourism corporation (IRCTC), said that the online ticket booking service might be integrated with Aadhaar for identification purposes. He added that, “The current system allows the users to book tickets with the help of any of the documents that are available with them, such as PAN card, passport and driving license. IRCTC has been thinking about a safer and simpler way to confirm the identity of the passenger travelling in Indian railways. What is better than Aadhaar?”
So if all goes as planned, Aadhaar will soon be made mandatory for booking tickets and travelling in the trains for identification purposes.
Highlighting the benefits of including Aadhaar in IRCTC’s identification process, S.S. Mathur, GM-IT of centre for railway information system (CRIS) said, “At the identification level, there is a problem with both policy and technology. Interfacing with Aadhaar will help us a lot. We can easily identify the passenger by the use of biometric system and by taking his Aadhaar number.”
If Aadhaar is integrated in IRCTC’s identification process, a centralised authentication system will also be built to ensure that the data records are safe in their data centres.
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