New Delhi: Close on the heels of an expert panel on safety last week, the Railways on Wednesday announced another one headed by technocrat Sam Pitroda to modernise the national transporter. “The entire world is looking at us,” said Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi. “We want a big leap forward for the Railways.”
 
He said Pitroda, who played a key role in revolutionising the telecom sector in India two decades ago, “will suggest ways to take the railways to the 4th generation technology”.

Recalling the days, Pitroda said, “The task would be easier today as technology, qualified people and better systems are in place than in the 1980s.”
 
The panel will outline strategies for modernisation of railways - with focus on tracks, signalling, rolling stock, stations and terminals - using information technology for improving efficiency and safety.

“The need for railways will only increase in the coming decade,” said Trivedi. “We need revenue generation to expand and modenise as a service provider.”

The panel is expected to submit a report by December this year.

Besides Pitroda, adviser to the Prime Minister on information innovation, other members of the panel are HDFC Bank Chairman Deepak Parekh, former State Bank of India Chief M.S. Verma, IIM-A faculty G Raghuram, IDFC Managing Director Rajiv Lal and economist Vinayak Chatterjee.

(Agencies)