In the august presence of Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ministry of Railways and PEC University of Technology for setting up of ‘Kalpana Chawla Chair’ on Geospatial Technology for Indian Railways at PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh was signed i.e. on 30.05.2016. On the event of Signing Ceremony, Chairman Railway Board Shri A. K. Mital, Member Engineering Shri V. K. Gupta, and other Board Members and Senior Officials were present. On behalf of the Railway Ministry Shri V.K. Gupta, Member Engineering signed the MoU whereas on behalf of PEC University of Technology Shri Som Mittal, Chairman, Board of Governance, PEC University of Technology signed the MoU. Prof. Manoj K. Arora, Director, PEC University of Technology was also present among others. The MoU was signed in the backdrop of Railway Minister’s Budget announcement.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha said that updated technology always promises safe railway operation throughout the country and thus in the recent past years the role of technology has been recognized by the Railways to remove technological and engineering related problems. He said that today’s MoU is a unique collaboration between the two organizations which will help in developing applications to remove day to day engineering and technological problems and geospatial solutions to Indian Railways. He stated that this is very historic partnership which will ascertain smooth functioning of the Railways.
Salient Features of the MoU:-
In the august presence of Hon’ble Minister of State for Railways Shri Manoj Sinha a function was organised on 30.05.2016 to mark the signing of a MOU between Shri V.K.Gupta , Member Engineering Railway Board and Shri Som Mittal , Chairman , Board of Governors, PEC University of Technology , Chandigarh to set up“Kalpana Chawla Chair” at PEC University of Technology , Chandigarh . Function was attended by distinguished officials from Railway Board including Chairman Railway Board Shri A.K.Mital, Finance Commissioner Shri Sanjay Mookerjee, Shri Hemant Kumar Member Mechanical .
In order to promote research in Geo-spatial Technology , the Chair was announced in Budget speech of Hon’ble MR for the current financial year .
This academic chair is being instituted in fond memory of Late Kalpana Chawla , an Indo – American Astronaut and Alumnus of PEC during the year 1978-82 .She was incidentally the first woman of Indian origin in space. To honour her contributions in Aerospace Engineering Indian Railways decided to institute the academic chair in the area of Geo-spatial Technology in her alma mater.
Indian Railways would provide a corpus of Rs 10 Crore to PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh towards setting up and to meet the running expenses of this chair. The Chair will be headed by Shri V.K.Gupta , Member Engineering , Railway Board as Chairman and Shri Manoj Arora , Director , PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh as Co – chairman . The Chair will function through a Chair Core Committee (CCC) having members from Railways and PEC.
The objective of this chair is to encourage research activities in Geo-spatial Technology and to strengthen Indian Railways especially Railway projects where use of remote sensing data , global positioning system (GPS) and Geographical information System (GIS) is predominant. This will immensely help Indian Railways to develop in house solutions to the problems which are often outsourced to western countries.