Ample opportunities for IT sector in Rail Budget 2014: Experts

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The IT initiatives outlined in the railway budget would bring in greater efficiency and transparency in the system, and open up several opportunities for Indian information technology companies, industry experts said. 

“The thrust on technology initiatives in the railway budget are a welcome step to improve efficiency, modernisation, customer satisfaction and access. Providing Wi-Fi services, next-gen e-ticketing system, GIS mapping and digitisation of records will enable the Indian Railways in its overall growth objectives,” said R Chandrashekhar, president of software industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom). 

“Leveraging technology for transformation in India is a key priority for Nasscom and we look forward to work with the ministry of railways in enabling the private sector to collaborate on these initiatives,” he added.

Railway minister DV Sadananda Gowda has announced a host of proposals that require IT intervention, including paperless offices in the next five years, real-time tracking of trains and rolling stock, mobile-based alerts for wakeup calls and destination arrival, station navigation information system, improving the e-ticketing system to support 7,200 tickets per minute compared with 2,000 tickets per minute and increasing the number of simultaneous users at any point to 1,20,000. 

The IT industry believes the thrust on public-private partnerships is a potential business opportunity for Indian IT companies. Abhaya Agarwal, partner-infrastructure practice at Ernst & Young LLP, said, “All the computerisation including hospital management information system which he (the minister) has talked about will ultimately bring lot of efficiency.” 

In the next 5-10 years, railways will be able to carry more cargo compared with the present over billion tonnes without the addition of too much manpower, thereby bringing in more efficiency and transparency into the system, Agarwal added. 

Filed in: Budget 2014, Business, News

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