Railways, NID to sign MoU for design centre

Taking the previous Union budget announcement further, the Indian Railways Board has asked Ahmedabad-based National Institute of Design (NID) to draft a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for setting up a Railway Design Research Centre at its campus. The MoU is likely to be signed within a fortnight.

“The Indian Railways Board had invited us for a meeting in December 2012 with a desire to concretise the budget announcement of a design research centre at NID. As a result of this meeting, we will be soon signing an MoU with the Indian Railways,” said Pradyumna Vyas, director of NID.

Former Railway minister Dinesh Trivedi had announced a dedicated Railway Design Centre at NID’s Ahmedabad campus during his union budget speech last year. However, with frequent changes in the cabinet, the proposal had maintained a status quo.

However, according to Jignesh Khakhar, activity chairperson, research and publication at National Institute of Design (NID), the institute has now been asked to draft an MoU that will be signed within couple of months.

“We are in the process of drafting the MoU and will look at all aspects of design research for Indian Railways. The centre will primarily facilitate new ideas for design that could be later commercialised for Indian Railways,” said Khakhar.

As part of the upcoming Railway Design Centre at its Ahmedabad campus, NID will develop design concepts in station architecture, coach layout, luggage storage in coaches, toilets, ticketing kiosks and an online services system.

“We will have to take a holistic approach for design intervention in Railways. The attempt is to improve the overall services of Railways which could benefit multi-users like passengers, railway platform users and drivers.

Several areas will have to be considered including communication design, signage design, IT integration, catering services, kiosk services and industrial design, among other things,” Vyas added.

Moreover, service design for all facilities in trains and at railways stations, exteriors and interiors of railway coaches, environment design and design issues related to public transportation will also be taken into consideration.

In all, 70 disciplines of NID will each play their roles as part of the Railway Design Centre. For this, NID will get Rs 10 crore from the railway ministry to start the proposed centre


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