Railways extends MoU with IITs for undertaking joint R&D on track, high-speed rail


New Delhi, Sept 23: Indian Railways has renewed a Memorandum of Understanding with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee along with IIT

Kanpur and IIT Madras to foster cutting-edge joint collaborative research.


The objective of the MoU for Indian Railways is to intensify outreach to academia and industry to leverage the domain knowledge and expertise for undertaking core and fundamental research for the development of new technologies and applications for use on the Indian Railways network.

The MoU will facilitate research in the core area of Track, Bridges and Structures, Civil Infrastructure of High-Speed Rail, Bridges, Structures and Health Monitoring, Track Management System, Remote monitoring of Railway Assets,  among others through the Centre for Railway Research (CRR) sanctioned by the Ministry of Railways for undertaking core and fundamental research.

“The Indian Railways has witnessed a paradigm shift in organizational structure with segregation of management and research and development cadres. Research and Development is our priority and it can be successful only if it is fully integrated with the on-ground situation, said Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, Chairman and CEO, Railway Board on the MoU renewal occasion.

Yadav said “We look forward to a long-lasting partnership to foster cutting-edge research that will herald a transformation of Indian Railways. Going forward, we also plan to restructure RDSO on lines of Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).”

“The role of IITs will be crucial in resolving key technical concerns of Indian Railways. Ensuring the efficiency of rolling stock through minimum heat dissipation, minimum dust accumulation and minimum vibration as well as technological advancements such as remote condition monitoring in operations management are among our key challenges. I am confident that this MoU will go a long way in fulfilling aspirations of Indian Railways,” said Shri Rajesh Tiwari, Officer on Special Duty (Safety) who was earlier the Member, Traction, Indian Railways.

The MoU was signed between Alka Arora Misra, Principal Executive Director (T&MPP), Ministry of Railways and Manish Shrikhande, Dean, Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy, IIT Roorkee in the august presence of Chairman & CEO, Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, Director General(HR), PED(T&MPP), Shri Vashishtha Johri, General Manager, Southern Railway, Prof. Ajit K. Chaturvedi, Director, IIT Roorkee, Prof. Manoranjan Parida, Deputy Director, IIT Roorkee, Prof. Yogendra Singh, IIT Roorkee, Prof. Satish  Sharma, IIT Roorkee Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, Prof. Ravindra Gettu, IIT Madras, Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur among others.

The MoU envisages a multi-disciplinary approach for conducting the research through engagement with industry (Startups, SME, MSME, etc.) with the focus on time-bound delivery at the Technology Readiness Levels of prototyping. Ministry of Railways and RDSO will provide necessary technical inputs along with system requirements based on the intended applications including the field data available with railways.

“I would like to thank CEO & Chairman Railway Board Shri Yadav for organizing this event and facilitating continuation of our ongoing collaboration. We value our partnership with Indian Railways and have provided a dedicated space for the Centre for Railway Research (CRR) to implement railway related research activities. IIT Roorkee’s expertise can also be leveraged for Masters level academic programs for senior railway officials which will facilitate the objectives of this MoU,” said Prof. Ajit K Chaturvedi, Director, IIT Roorkee.

The MoU mandates the setting up of the Apex Steering Committee consisting of senior officials, faculty members and experts of both institutions to be chaired by DG, RDSO and co-chaired by Director, IIT Roorkee.

A Programme Advisory Committee (PAC) would also be established comprising officers from Indian Railways and faculty members of IITR to be chaired by ADG, RDSO and co-chaired by Dean (SRIC), IIT Roorkee. PAC will administer, monitor and supervise all the R&D related activities under this MoU. A Divisional Railway Manager, Moradabad will also be co-opted in the PAC for ensuring the timely completion of all the activities under MoU.

The MoU also mandates periodic monitoring by both institutions to review the progress made in R&D projects. It empowers the Centre for Railway Research to facilitate manpower training and explore the possibility of offering degree programs, postgraduate programs and Ph.D. programs in research areas related to Railways through the sponsored research avenue of IIT Roorkee.

It will also involve CRR, IIT Roorkee research projects and design and offer appropriate courses and electives related to Railway technology through mutual discussions.

MoUs were also renewed between Indian Railways and IIT Kanpur as well as Indian Railways and IIT Madras. Alka Arora Misra, Principal Executive Director (T&MPP) signed the MoU on behalf of the Ministry of Railways and A R Harish, Dean, Research and Development on behalf of IIT Kanpur.

Misra also signed the MoU on behalf of the Ministry of Railways and Ravindra Gettu, Dean, Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research signed it on behalf of IIT Madras.

Indian Railways is one of the largest railway systems in the world transporting 8.397 billion passengers and over 1000 million tons of freight annually. It is witnessing a major technological transformation involving modernization and up-gradation of its assets including track infrastructure, bridges, rolling stock and signaling infrastructure.
The national transporter is also working on the development and induction of new technologies in the field of Condition Monitoring, Predictive Maintenance Systems, Data Analytics, and much more. Speed-up-gradation Projects on core routes of the network are also being taken up in Mission-mode by the Ministry of Railways.