• Minister of Railways & Coal, Shri Piyush Goyal launched the report “The Future of Rail” of International Energy Agency (IEA) at an event here today.
• Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vinod Kumar Yadav, Executive Director, International Energy Agency (IEA), Dr. Fatih Birol, Director General, International Union of Railways, Shri Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, Members of Railway Board and other Dignitaries from Ministry of Railways and IEA were present on the occasion.
• The huge investment Railways has achieved in the last 5 years has helped us improve safety, complete long-delayed projects and introduce modern & unprecedented technology in services.
Key highlights said by the minister
• Shri Goyal further said that the indigenously produced Vande Bharat Express is an engineering marvel that will change our approach to train manufacturing as well as revolutionise train travel in India.
• He also highlighted Indian Railway’s successful effort to convert diesel locomotives to electric locomotives as truly innovative and added that it will be a game-changer in the way forward as we move towards 100% electrification for the Indian Railways.
• He informed that 5 years ago, Railways had electrified about 600 km of tracks across the country.
• Last year alone, we electrified over 4,000 km, and in the coming year we aim to electrify over 6,000 Km. He reiterated that there is a rising demand for better quality, safer, more comfortable, efficient, reliable and cheap transport and added that no other form of transport can provide this other than railways.
• “The Future of Rail” the first-of-a-kind report analyses the current and future importance of rail around the world through the perspective of its energy and environmental implications.
• The report reviews the impact of existing plans and regulations on the future of rail, and explores the key policies that could help to realise an enhanced future rail.
• This first ever global report has a focus on India, elaborating on the unique social and economic role of rail in India, together with its great enduring potential, to show how India can extend and update its networks to harness rail at a scope and scale that is unparalleled.
• The IEA is an inter-governmental organisation that works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 30 member countries and 8 association countries.
• Its mission is guided by four main areas of focus: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and engagement worldwide.
• India and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have benefited from a long, on-going bilateral relationship and cooperation in a broad range of area including energy security, statistics, energy efficiency, market analysis for oil, gas, electricity, renewables, system integration and implementation agreements for enhanced technologies.
• India has been the focus of many recent IEA analyses and reports for instance through the special focus chapter on the Indian Power sector of the Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP) publication and the World Energy Outlook (WEO).
• High level policy dialogues have been further intensified over the last few years including a statement of intent on data and research cooperation, and a memorandum of understanding on clean energy research and development tracking.
• IEA has also held workshops and training programmes in India on energy data training, energy efficiency, strategic petroleum reserves, and the integration of renewables into the grid.
Mains Paper 3: Economy | Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways, etc.
Prelims level: “The Future of Rail” Report
Mains level: Importance of Railways Infrastructure