Indian Railway Sets Up A Chair in TERI


Indian Railways will be funding a railway research chair on sustainable mobility at TERI University. The railway ministry entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with TERI University recently.

The ministry said the ‘Railway Chair’ will focus and promote research on issues of sustainable mobility, use of energy efficient technology and green energy initiatives by the Railways and would facilitate research into finding innovative solutions to these issues. It has provided an outlay of Rs.20 lakh per annum for the establishment of the research chair. The tenure of the Chair is one year initially, extendable upon review.

Scope of work

  1. To provide leadership in conducting research and teaching in the area of Rail Transport including energy management.
  2. Dissemination of knowledge in the area
  3. Advice to the Railways on specific projects related to the Chair.
  4. Following are the indicative areas of research in rail transport:-
  5. Policy Interventions and strategies for increasing the modal share of rail transport;
  6. Strategic, Capacity and Investment Planning in Railways;
  7. Climate change with focus on GHG emission in Railway sector;
  8. International and Global practices and innovations in Railway sector
  9. Better infrastructure productivity with improved energy efficiency and sustainable development through renewable energy resources.
It is interesting that the Indian Railways has finally recognized the importance of sustainable mobility as an important issue. The MoU details very relevant topics that need to be addressed. Yet, going by the financial commitment of a mere Rs. 20 lakh a year and tenure of the Chair as the same period, it seems the Indian Railways is not serious. Whoever is behind this has no idea of the significance of the position of a Chair in a university and the reasonable cost of managing it. This may well end up being occupied by a mediocre talent – resembling the extreme mediocrity of how the Indian Railways is being run for many decades. But with TERI University being the partner, there could be some hope that this Chair may deliver, although with significant constraints.
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