Indian Railways is working with IT firm Oracle to upgrade its information technology systems, as projects such as human resources (HR) management system, network optimisation, and ‘Master Data Management’ are on the drawing board.
Debapriya Nandan, Senior Director, Business Development Public Sector, Oracle India, said: “There is even discussion on giving out passenger bookings on a private basis.”
Nandan said that the HR management system is to create a comprehensive record of railway employees and to measure their performance.
“This project is currently on the drawing board. It is sanctioned by the Railway board. It is already with the Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) with which we are in talks,” Nandan told BusinessLine.
Nandan said that data from the areas that the Railways has and works with, such as manufacturing, maintenance yards, vendors, products, will be organised in ‘master data tables’.
“They are going to create one single source of truth,” said Nandan. He also mentioned that new technologies for accounting and finance are also getting implemented.
The Railways is also focussed on network optimisation. “Network optimisation is all about improving performance. It is going to help Railways get real-time information about how a train is moving, or if there is an accident…” said Nandan.
The Railways is also working on mining data from suburban local train systems to improve services. “ We attended one of the workshops, and they were talking of how they can mine data from the Mumbai Suburban System to improve not only the suburban train movement, but also the express and mail train movements,” said Nandan. He added this was already in the works.
With the country’s road infrastructure improving and heavy duty trucks becoming available, Nandan said that customers now also look to road transport instead of railways.
Nandan stressed on the need for a time-bound charter for implementation of such IT projects. He also said that the Railways needs a common data architecture for everybody to build their applications on. An enterprise-level integrated database for all data from all of Railways’ applications is needed, he added.