Prof. N S Vyas of Mechanical Engineering Department at IIT Kanpur has been appointed Chairman of a new body called Technology Mission for Indian Railways (TMIR).
It was reported in media here.
This is a remarkable initiative of the Railways. First of all, the goals are ambitious and yet achievable. To develop technology for Railways within the country, and not just solve immediate problems, which is of course, important, but look at a longer term horizon, safety, high speed trains, state-of-the-art signalling, and everything else. The funding leverages research funds from multiple ministries, thus giving more people a stake in its success, and make sure that the project has good funding. Then they are involving academic institutions, which is the best place to get the long-term research done. Railways has been supporting various projects in different IITs and other places in the last decade or so. They have been pleasantly surprised by kind of output they were able to achieve at a very low investment. This has given them confidence of involving academic institutions on a much larger scale.
And best of all, they couldn't have selected a better leader for this project. Prof. Vyas is no stranger to Railways, having led the Railway Technology Mission in IIT Kanpur several years ago when IIT Kanpur was given several projects related to safety issues in Indian Railways. And under his leadership, many technologies were developed and many solutions were invented for safer functioning of Railways. He has the right kind of leadership experience, having led the Rajasthan Technical University for two years.
And, to us, the fans of Indian Railways, his presence in Delhi would be a fantastic opportunity to give ideas for research and technology development as well as incorporating latest technology into the functioning of Indian Railways. Many times in the past, we have felt that we have many suggestions but they don't reach the right ears. Prof. Vyas has an open mind and he believes in "let the good thoughts come from all directions."
Best wishes to Prof. Vyas on assuming a very important role.