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Today (22:16) Railways takes in first GE locos as part of a $2.5-billion contract (www.business-standard.com)
New Facilities/Technology
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News Entry# 359082  Blog Entry# 3822632   
  Past Edits
This is a new feature showing past edits to this News Post.
The Indian Railways has taken the first prototype of diesel locomotive from General Electric (GE) as part of a $2.5-billion contract with the American conglomerate.
GE Transportation announced on Wednesday that the Indian Railways has confirmed its acceptance of GE’s 4,500-horsepower diesel-electric Evolution Series prototype locomotive, following the completion of testing on railway tracks. The locomotive was handed over in February 2018. Railways minister Piyush Goyal had recently said the diesel locomotives that General Electric (GE) will come out with will be used in border areas as a backup.
“This is a major
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step towards fulfilling our contract with Indian Railways. Together we will help modernize Indian Railways' fleet, significantly upgrade India's rail infrastructure and provide critical support for India's growing economy," said Nalin Jain, President, GE Transportation.
The locomotives are part of a $2.5 billion agreement signed in 2015 in support of the Government of India’s Public Private Partnership ‘Make in India’ program. The deal included an order for 1,000 locomotives, as well as the establishment of a new GE Transportation factory and maintenance sheds in India.
The acceptance of the locomotives came after months of reviewing "key design aspects, documentation and a thorough validation around various parameters in US and India," the company said in a statement today. The locomotives also completed additional reviews including oscillation trials and rating and performance tests.
The new units feature an Evolution Series engine and an electronic fuel-injection system for improved fuel efficiency, as well as compliance with international emission standards. The individual axle-control AC propulsion technology will improve hauling capability and decrease life-cycle cost. The locomotives also are digitally enabled for predictive analytics to increase reliability and availability.
The company said that there are 45 locomotives in India that are ready for inspection and acceptance by the Indian Railways. GE’s Roza Maintenance Shed in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India is ready for operations and the construction of the factory in Marhowra, Bihar is in advanced stages towards completion. Operations will begin in the fourth quarter of calendar year 2018. Once fully operational, all locomotives built in Marhowra under the agreement will have 70 percent localized content.
Earlier this year, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had said GE's plan to come up with the manufacturing unit at Marhowra was not “in sync with the overall strategic vision of Railways”.
The report added that setting up a new infrastructure for production of diesel locomotives and incurring a huge liability of Rs 171.26 billion.
  
Today (22:15) Indian Railways is hiring! Apply for RRB Group C vacancies in sports quota before October 15 (www.indiatoday.in)
Employment
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News Entry# 359081  Blog Entry# 3822630   
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ailway Recruitment Cell North Eastern Railway Gorakhpur is inviting applicants in its recruitment process to fill the vacancies under sports quota.
The recruitment will be done on the official website www.ner.indianrailways.gov.in for the year 2018 to 2019 in the various games which are as follows:
VACANCIES IN RRB GROUP C
Athletics: 02
Handball:
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05
Cricket: 02
Kabaddi: 03
Volleyball: 02
Basketball: 03
Wrestling: 01
Swimming: 01
Weight Lifting: 02
APPLY BEFORE OCTOBER 15
Candidates who are interested to work in Indian Railways can apply for the positions on or before October 15, 2018.
HOW TO APPLY:
Visit the official website of North Eastern Railway Gorakhpur
On the homepage, go to the 'Contact Us/ Recruitment' tab and then click on 'Recruitment'
Click on 'Recruitment' link when you are directed to a new webpage
Click on RRC and then click on Apply Online under 'Sports Quota Recruitment 2018-19'
Fill the application form and submit it.
Direct Link to apply: Candidates can also click on the link here to directly fill the application form.
AGE LIMIT FOR THE GROUP C POSTS
Candidates who are willing to apply need to be between 18 and 25 years of age as on January 1, 2019.
SELECTION PROCEDURE
The candidates will be selected on the basis of their performance in trial and evaluation of sports and educational achievements.
APPLICATION FEE
General and OBC categories: Rs 500
SC/ST/ PWD categories: Rs 250
RRC notification
For details, click on the notification link here.
ABOUT INDIAN RAILWAYS
Indian Railways is the national railway system operated by the Ministry of Railways. It manages the fourth-largest railway network in the world by size, with 121,407 kilometers of total track over a 67,368-kilometre route.
Railways were first introduced to India in the year 1853 from Bombay to Thane.
  
Today (22:07) A Chinese Wrench is Stopping Public Procurement From Supporting Modi's 'Make in India' (thewire.in)
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News Entry# 359080  Blog Entry# 3822620   
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'The price offered by Chinese vendors is usually 40-50% lower compared to what local suppliers offer, which renders irrelevant the 20% purchase preference advantage stipulated for the latter under the Make in India scheme.'
The Indian railways and state government agencies continue to prefer Chinese goods to locally manufactured products because of the attractive cost differential.
New Delhi: It is now going to be four years since the Narendra Modi government launched its ‘Make in India’ initiative, but the scheme is still struggling to make a dent in the country’s high non-oil
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imports, especially capital goods.
In particular, central public sector enterprises (CPSEs), the Indian railways and state government agencies continue to prefer Chinese goods to locally manufactured products because of the attractive cost differential.
Modi had launched the Make in India scheme in September 2014 amid high expectations that the policy will transform the lacklustre Indian manufacturing.
But now the initial optimism is giving way to realism that weaning these entities off cheaper goods Chinese may not be easy.
Non-oil and non-gold imports during August 2018 are estimated at $29.77 billion, nearly 13% higher compared to the same month last year.The value of electrical and non-electrical machinery import during August was over 46% higher than a year ago.
Electronic imports saw a jump of over 22% during the month, on a year-on-year basis.
Suppliers, who have set up manufacturing facility under the Make in India programme, are entitled to 20% purchase preference in public procurement. That means they will be given contract provided the bid price differential is less than 20% and they are ready to match the offer of the lowest bidder, a foreign vendor.
But despite that, local suppliers are being outbid by Chinese vendors. The reason: price offered by Chinese vendors is usually 40-50% lower compared to what local suppliers offer, which renders irrelevant the 20% purchase preference advantage stipulated for the latter under the ‘Make in India’ scheme, said industry sources.
Five months ago, The Wire has learned, the department for industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) had to nudge various government departments into withdrawing tenders worth Rs 13,000 crore after domestic manufacturers complained of restrictive conditions that favoured foreign players.
Out of all PSUs, the Indian Railways has had a particularly rough time of it. For example, the  national transporter recently floated two tenders for the procurement of automatic track-laying and maintenance machines. In both the cases, the price offered by Chinese bidders is 40%-50% lower compared to what local players quoted.
The railways has not yet awarded contracts but given the huge price differential between the lowest and the second lowest bids, it looks like a foregone conclusion that Chinese vendors will bag both the orders.
Plasser India, a manufacturer of track-laying and maintenance machines is operating in India since 1965. It already has one manufacturing unit in Haryana.
It decided to set up another manufacturing unit in Vadodara with investment of Rs 400 crore to benefit from sops available under the Make in India. The facility is expected to be operational by next March. However, it failed to match up to Chinese competition in two recent tenders.
Siegfried Fink, managing director of Plasser India, wants the government to introduce 50% mandatory localisation to level the playing field for companies that have set up manufacturing facilities here.
Fink told The Wire that he is not against competition but there should be a level playing field.
“The government needs to ensure that local companies and investors are being protected against unfair priced and subsidised imported products so that they can derive viable proposals for Manufacturing in India,” he said.
“The procurement policies must curb unnecessary imports, softly enforce the location of products and therefore provide the grounds for robust manufacturing growth in the country.”
The Indian railways has drawn up ambitious plans to modernise signalling system, improve the maintenance of rail tracks and replace old rolling stock to boost safety and increase speed of trains.
It has budgeted Rs 7,000 crore for investment this year and proposed to increase this amount to Rs 13,000 crore next fiscal.
As the national transporter aims to increase speed of trains, it will have to switch to 100% mechanisation in laying and maintenance of rail tracks, say transportation experts. But for that, the railways will have to procure at least 700-800 rail track maintenance machines to meet its current requirement.
It was lure of this kind of demand that led companies like Plasser India into expanding their manufacturing capacity here. But now their optimism is fading fast as they see the reality.
In March 2018, The Wire was the first to report how a Rs 2,700 crore trainset project of the Railways had to be red-flagged by the DIPP after certain conditions in the tender favoured global players and companies that had experience in supplying to G-8 countries only. The tender eventually had to be re-jigged to comply with the Centre’s Make in India intiative.
House panel too expresses concern over poor implementation
A house panel report, tabled in Rajya Sabha in July, too found that the Make in India’s performance has been dismal.
In its report on the ‘Impact of Chinese goods on Indian industry’, the parliamentary standing committee on commerce noted that the Modi government has failed to ensure that the Centre, state governments and public sector undertakings purchase products manufactured in India and these entities have continued to buy Chinese goods.
The panel, headed by Shiromani Akali Dal Rajya Sabha member Naresh Gujral, recommended that the government give “complete protection to Indian industry against any illegitimate, protectionist and unfair trade practices of any country.”
The committee expressed concern at Chinese bulk drugs, bicycles, toys, steel, solar panels, textiles, firecrackers and other products pushing Indian manufacturers of these goods to the brink.
The panel noted that the public procurement order, issued in June 2017, to promote local manufacturing has not been implemented. Even after a year of the order, the preference for Chinese products by government agencies, PSUs, and state governments has not waned, the panel noted.
The industry players that the panel spoke to said that government tenders and procurement processes have restrictive and discriminatory clauses that hobble local manufacturers and suppliers, while Chinese products do not face such obstacles.
Time for Goyal to walk the talk
As Union power minister Piyush Goyal had last year claimed that he “will not allow” any company to come to India from a country that does not permit an Indian firm to do business there, in a warning that did not name any country but was apparently meant for China, a big exporter of power equipment.
China does not allow foreign players to bid for supply of equipment to its railways, just as in power sector.
“Reciprocity should be there. Is India a punching bag that if you want then you can come and invest in India and earn and Indian companies cannot come and earn in your country. We believe in reciprocity and it is also a display of our strength,” Goyal had said.
Now that Goyal is at the helm of the Indian railways, it remains to be seen if he plans on stopping Chinese vendors in participating for bids for supply of equipment and services to Indian railways in a tit-for-tat response.
  
Today (22:05) Railways accepts GE’s diesel-electric evolution series prototype locomotive (www.india.com)
New Facilities/Technology
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News Entry# 359079  Blog Entry# 3822614   
  Past Edits
This is a new feature showing past edits to this News Post.
New Delhi, Sep 19 (PTI) Indian Railways has confirmed its acceptance of GE’s 4,500-horsepower diesel-electric evolution series prototype locomotives, a statement from the US technology giant said Wednesday.
After successful testing on India Railways’ tracks, the locomotives were handed over in February 2018, the statement read.
The acceptance of these locomotives is a testament to GE’s engineering depth and understanding of customer requirements. This is a major step towards fulfilling our contract with Indian Railways, said Nalin Jain, President and CEO-APAC, GE Transportation in the statement. A standard practice, the
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acceptance of the 4500hp locomotives came after months of reviewing key design aspects, documentation and a thorough validation around various parameters in US and India, said the statement.
The locomotives also completed additional reviews including oscillation trials and rating and performance tests.
The new units feature an evolution series engine and an electronic fuel-injection system for improved fuel efficiency, as well as compliance with international emission standard UIC1.
The individual axle-control AC propulsion technology will improve hauling capability and decrease life-cycle cost. The locomotives also are digitally enabled for predictive analytics to increase reliability and availability, read the statement.
The locomotives are part of a $2.5 billion agreement signed in 2015 in support of the Government of India’s Public Private Partnership ‘Make in India’ programme. The deal included an order for 1,000 locomotives, as well as the establishment of a new GE Transportation factory and maintenance sheds in India.
Currently, there are 45 locomotives in India that are ready for inspection and acceptance by the Indian Railways.
GE’s state-of-the-art Roza Maintenance shed in Uttar Pradesh is ready for operations and the construction of the train factory in Marhowra, Bihar is in advanced stages, the statement read, adding operations will begin in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Once fully operational, all locomotives built in Marhowra under the agreement will have 70 per cent localised content.
  
Today (22:03) Indian Railways Bullet train suffers yet another blow; Farmers shoot off letter (energyinfrapost.com)
Commentary/Human Interest
BULT/Bullet Train
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News Entry# 359078  Blog Entry# 3822611   
  Past Edits
This is a new feature showing past edits to this News Post.
Farmers in Gujarat whose lands will be acquired for the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Bullet train have written to the Japan government, alleging violation of the guidelines of the Japanese agency which is funding the project.
The letter sent by the farmers asked the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which is providing a soft loan for the Rs 1.10 lakh crore project, to withhold disbursal of funds to the Indian government until the agency’s guidelines are complied with, said a lawyer.
Advocate Anand Yagnik, who represents five petitioners who have challenged land acquisition for the project
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before the Gujarat High Court, said the petitioners and 1,000 other affected farmers, led by the Gujarat Khedut Samaj, have written to the Japan government.
They have also sought an appointment with Japan’s Ambassador to India, Yagnik said. The letter invited the Japanese Ambassador to Gujarat for understanding the farmers’ plight, he said. Read More
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