PM Narendra Modi-led NDA government has gifted India its first railway university on Wednesday! On September 5, to mark Teachers’ Day, India’s first railway university has been opened in Gujarat’s Vadodara. To begin with, the railway university will teach two courses; B.Sc in Transportation Technology and BBA in Transportation Management. From next year onwards, the plan is to add five more courses, learns Financial Express Online. These are; (Master of Technology) Transportation and Systems Design, (Master of Technology) Transport Systems Engineering, (Master of Science) Transport Technology and Policy, (Master of Science) Transport Economics and (Master of Business Administration) Transportation Management. While the two courses being taught right now are under-graduate ones, the five new ones that will commence from next year will be post-graduate courses.
The National Rail & Transport Institute (NRTI) was first announced in the Railway Budget 2014 and has since then faced several roadblocks. According to an IE report, work on the university gathered steam in the last one year, with the ministry claiming that files were cleared at record speed. To begin with, the railway university is part of the of the erstwhile Gaekwad state which also houses the National Academy of Indian Railways. The report said that meanwhile, Indian Railways has identified a 100-acre plot in Vadodara and is in talks the Gujarat state government to acquire it. The Railway university will be built on the lines of the Pratap Vilas Palace of the erstwhile Gaekwad state.
In the first batch, 103 students have been shortlisted of which 17 are girls. Ashwani Lohani, Chairman of the Railway Board is the Chancellor of the university. The report said that visiting faculty from eminent institutes such as XLRI School of Management and Indian Business School, Hyderabad will teach the students. NRTI has been deemed to be university under the de novo category. A newspaper advertisement was issued in May this year inviting students to register on nrti.in and as many as 11,582 students registered. In July 2018, an online aptitude test was held for 3640 candidates across 25 cities for admission to 100 seats of the two undergraduate courses being offered in the first academic session 2018-2019.
The final 103 students were asked to report on campus on September 4 and classes for the two courses have begun from today, that is September 5 to mark Teachers’ Day. According to the IE report, the first batch of students is being given a 50 per cent scholarship on the annual course fee which is Rs 75,000. Without scholarship and including all charges, the annual course fee is Rs 91,000.