The South Central Railway (SCR) zone and the Indian School of Business (ISB) have signed a pact on Thursday to establish a center of excellence on artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics to collect insights for providing better services.
The railway zone’s general manager Gajanan Mallya handed over the letter of agreement to ISB deputy dean Milind Sohoni at SCR’s headquarters in the virtual presence of Railway Board chairman Vinod Kumar Yadav.
Yadav said establishing the center is a very important step forward in transforming the Indian Railways, which has already digitized most of its systems such as passenger reservations, freight operations, material management, store procurement, and human resources development.
“It is essential that all the data gathered are analyzed for the betterment of customer services and for the provision of better services to both passengers and freight customers,” he said. According to Yadav, Indian Railways is looking forward to using AI and data analytics in collaboration with ISB for innovative solutions.
As comprehensive importance is being accorded to digital solutions such as AI and data analytics, Mallya said setting up the center comes at the right time.
“These new technologies have become vital tools to make the organization more effective by optimal utilization of its resources to meet both customer and organizational goals,” he said.
Commenting on the collaboration, Sohoni said it is a great experience to work with the Indian Railways and SCR as ISB brings new ideas and business knowledge.
He said the vast data generated by the railways will be used to strengthen the public sector behemoth using AI and data analytics.
Indian Railways has a track length extending to up to 96,000 km. It shipped 1.27 billion tonnes of freight and ferried 8.6 billion passengers in 2019-20, making it the world’s largest passenger carrier and fourth-largest freight carrier.
In all these operations, the public transporter generates colossal amounts of data, which can now be processed by the centre to glean actionable insights.
The SCR-ISB collaboration will be for a year, during which projects will be undertaken for improving operational efficiency.