Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Know Your Babu: The officer who gave Railways an IT vision 11 years ago

Featuring a historic train journey
ON TUESDAY morning, as rail bureaucrats like lakhs of their fellow countrymen logged into their computers, they all said “wow”! After all, Google doodle of the day featured India’s first passenger train journey, an event that dates back to April 16, 1853 when the historic 34-km-long train journey took place between Bori Bunder in Mumbai and Thane. But another event that went largely unnoticed outside New Delhi's Rail Bhawan was the elevation of an Indian Railway Traffic Service officer who incidentally gave Indian railways…
an IT vision as early as 2002. He is 1976 batch IRTS officer Sunil Kumar, an MA and MBA by education. On Tuesday, Kumar took over as Managing Director of Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS), an arm of the Indian railways that provides consulting and IT services and implements business and technology strategies in the current digital environment.
His paper on “IT vision 2025 for Indian Railways” written way back in 2002 is considered to be the Bible for computerization drive of Indian Railways.
During his 37-year-long career, Kumar worked as adviser (PG), CPM (IT) in Northern Railways, Member (Traffic) Running Allowance Committee, Railway Board, DRM (Vadodara), ED (Computerization and Information Systems) Railway Board, Chief Commercial Manager (G) Northern Railway just to name a few. He was instrumental in Indian Railways experimenting with the concept of Internet ticketing which has gained momentum only during the last couple of years.
While Kumar completed the computerization project of passenger reservation system in Southern Railway in record 89 days against the target of 15 months and has computerized every single office where he had worked since 1985, he gave the unique concept of Port Side Container Terminal (PSCT) to railway PSU CONCOR which today contributes more than 30% to CONCOR’s over Rs 1,000 crore revenue, according to a statement released by the Railways. The first PSCT in the country was established by him in Madras in 1990.
Kumar won the Railway Minister’s medal, the highest honour in Railways in the year 1984. Later, he went to USA to represent Railways on information security deliberations with US government.

Action and Appointments
a) JN Chamber, a 1980 batch UP cadre IAS, at present in the cadre, has been appointed as secretary, National Commission for Scheduled Castes, in the pay of additional secretary.
b) B Vijayan, a 1982 batch UT cadre IAS, at present in the cadre, has been appointed as Director General of National Productivity Council under department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) under the ministry of commerce and industry in the pay of additional secretary.
c) AP Joshi, a 1978 batch Karnataka cadre IAS and special secretary in department of atomic energy, has been appointed as Member (Finance), Atomic Energy Commission, Space Commission and Earth Commission in the rank and pay of secretary in place of V Venkateshwara Bhat, a 1976 batch UT cadre IAS.
d) CB Venkataramana, a 1982 batch Andhra Pradesh cadre IAS, has been appointed as additional secretary in department of atomic energy in place of AP Joshi, a 1978 batch Karnataka cadre IAS, on his relinquishing the charge of the post.

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