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Now, get a refund of upto 50% on cancellation of Tatkal tickets

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NEW DELHI: Timings for the booking of Tatkal tickets have been changed by the Indian Railways. Now customers can get a refund of upto 50% on cancellation of their tickets.

Now, the Tatkal booking for AC classes will begin at 10 AM and close at 11 AM, whereas, for the non-AC classes, the Tatkal bookings will commence at 11AM and close at noon.

Railways is also set to launch its ‘Tatkal Special’ train service soon, travelling on which will be cheaper.

Indian Railways will also make special trains on tatkal fares operational for certain busy routes.

In addition to Premium trains — tickets for which are priced as per a dynamic fare structure, the Tatkal Special trains will be an additional help to cater to the rush of passengers.

The advance reservation period for Tatkal Special trains has also been relaxed by the railways. The latest advance reservation period is of a minimum 10 days and a maximum of 60 days.

 

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What’s In A Name? The Decision to Rename Mughal Sarai Junction Divides the Nation

What's in a name, probe Indians as the controversy over the renaming of Mughal Sarai junction continues to spread like wildfire.

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The Mughal Sarai junction is the latest entrant in the list of places renamed in India. Wikimedia
  • UP government’s recommendation for changing name of Mughal Sarai Junction accepted
  • Opposition ministers express discontentment, get Rajya Sabha session adjourned 
New Delhi, August 5, 2016: It all began with “They are going to change New Delhi’s name too!” In the ongoing session of the Parliament, the Centre approved a proposal to rename the iconic Mughal Sarai railway station in Uttar Pradesh after Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, the Jan Sangh leader. And the citizens of the nation had a lot to say.
The decision came following a proposal by the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh with an intent to revive the legacy of Upadhyaya, who had been mysteriously found dead in the junction in 1968.
The Mughal Sarai Junction is the fourth-busiest railway station in the country, located on the line between Howrah and Delhi. Located right along the Grand Trunk Road, it has since 155 years served as a prime stop along the route.
The Uttar Pradesh government, headed by Yogi Adityanath, had approved the proposal of the renaming of station in June and forwarded it to the Ministry of Railways for the final nod. On August 3, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Hansraj Ahir cleared the proposal of the renaming of the station to ‘Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Nagar station’.
However, the move evoked a row in the Parliament, with the opposition accusing BJP of trying to change the country’s map.
Strong objections were raised in Rajya Sabha by members of the Samajwadi Party, which had lost power to BJP in Uttar Pradesh this year.
Naresh Agarwal, a member of Samajwadi Party lashed out saying the government was trying to “change the character of the country” and that they will soon “change New Delhi’s name too.”
Immediately after receiving clearance, according to popular opinion, the move wasn’t being seen as a welcome one, with questions on its intent circling discussion environment –  is this cultural hegemony, or maybe instead religious hegemony?

is it right to rename the station?
Even some of the BJP supporters question the decision of the renaming. NDTV

People are also viewing this as a strategy to assert power, to claim land by Yogi Adityanath’s government.
Similar reactions flooded Twitter and public discussion platforms, with the public expressing discontentment over the decision.

public view is divided over the renaming of railway station
Dont they have any real work to do, asks public over the decision to rename station. NDTV

However, every coin has two sides. While the move was being criticized for being outrageously religious, another set of opinions believes the renaming will be a welcome step.
Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi shot back at the opposition saying, “They want stations in the name of Mughals, but not Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya. This view is wrong.”

is it right to change Mughal Sarai junction to Pt. Deen Dayal Upadhyaya station?
Amidst opposition, a set of public believes it was time to drop “baggage” of the past. NDTV

While opinions in support and in rejection of the re-naming continue to resurface, a popular question that has been put up time and again is why this specific decision is witnessing an uproar of this magnitude. Names of places have been previously changed, like in the case of the world famous Connaught Place. People continue to question why are we behaving like hypocrites- we have had the names of so many historical places from our history books changed, so why is this particular case creating a controversy.

Mughal sarai junction to be renamed deen dayal upadhyaya station
Netizens have come forward with their personal opinions at various public portals. NDTV

The move has provoked mixed reactions from the netizens as discussions and opinions have been since floating. However, an increasing group of people also believe that a better decision would be to let the name stay, but revamp the infrastructure of a place, or to make new buildings, schools or other places of public benefit with the newly suggested name.

The country witnesses uproar over centre's decision.
While opinions are divided in support and opposition, another set of opinions dominates discussion platforms. NDTV

The decision is a part of the celebrations by Yogi Adityanath’s government to mark the centenary of Upadhyaya.
– by Soha Kala of NewsGram. Twitter: @SohaKala

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Google and RailTail work together to make the project ‘Free WiFi for over 400 Indian Railway stations’ happen

RailTail claims that 6 million people use the WiFi network every month

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Free WiFi for over 400 Indian railway stations
Free WiFi at railway station. Wikimedia Commons
  • Google first announced a plan to install high-speed wifi at 400 Indian railway stations, in September 2015
  • The project went live in January 2016
  • As a part of the project, Google and RailTail work simultaneously 

New Delhi, August 3, 2017: Free WiFi for over 400 Indian Railway stations Is turning out to be a big hit, and what’s better is the fact that Google has claimed, of the WiFi coverage and capacity being better than that in London or San Francisco.

“If you compare this (quality of internet) with Wi-Fi in London and San Francisco, you will find that the Wi-Fi is better in both coverage and capacity,” said Gulzar Azad, the Country Head Connectivity at Google India, in an interview with India Today.

The internet, according to Azad is “dynamically configured” in a way that the user is able to run apps like WhatsApp and search pages even when a cap for high-speed is consumed after 30 minutes.

Google, first announced a plan to install high-speed wifi at 400 Indian railway stations, in September 2015. The plan was in support of prime minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India campaign.

It was in January 2016 that the project went live, with Mumbai Central station in India’s financial capital becoming India’s first railway station to provide free, high-speed WiFi.

RailTel Corporation of India, a mini-ratna PSU under the Ministry of Railways, has been tasked with providing fast WiFi, called RailWire, for passengers at A1 & A category railway stations across the country. For this, RailTel has tied up Google, the latter being a technology partner, mentioned the Financial Express report.

Also read: Google rolls out free WiFi service at Udhagamandalam (Ooty) station in Tamil Nadu

“Under this partnership, we had a target of completing 100 stations by the end of December 2016. Surpassing the target, we completed 110 stations by the end of 2016. We now have taken up a target of completing 200 stations by the end of 2017,” a RailTel spokesperson told FE Online.

As a part of the project, Google and RailTel are working simultaneously, with RailTel providing the power and fiber network structure for the project, and Google bringing in its expertise on the radio access network front and to enable user experience for mobiles, laptops and other WiFi enabled devices.

RailTail claims that 6 million people use the WiFi network every month.

People who pass through these stations every day now have an access to fast Internet speed to stream, research their destination or download a new book or game for the journey ahead, according to railways.

-by Samiksha Goel of NewsGram. Twitter @goel_samiksha

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“Window Seat Project” : This Instagram page captures the nostalgia of Train Travel in India

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Instagram, Pixabay

New Delhi, April 24, 2017: Indian Railways — one of the world’s largest railway systems that runs over 12,500 trains every day — is more than just the country’s transport lifeline. For the 23 million passengers who use it daily, it is almost a way of life — with a unique charm and special rhythm of its own.

Capturing the nostalgia associated with the train travel in India is a crowd-sourced community page on Instagram titled “Window Seat Project” which has been ruling the social media platform for quite some time now. The pictures and their catchy captions will convince you to start travelling by train once again.

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With more than 20,000 followers and 654 posts, the community page is a melange of emotions and scenarios, from the endless sea to lush forests and woods, from food vendors to passengers and from railway platforms to the interiors of the train — all captured through the camera. Some of these exquisite pictures are in monochrome while others are in colour.

The story of the Window Seat Project started a few years ago when Shanu Babar (whose brain child the community is) began it as a hobby that gradually turned into something he started caring more about.

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“And now, it has become my reality,” Babar exclaimed in an email on the move, while travelling from Mumbai to various places in Rajasthan — by train, of course.

A graduate from Pune’s Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Babar is a cinematographer based in Mumbai. He has been associated with multiple television shows like “MasterChef India” and “The Voice and Taste Down Under”, to name a few.

But he soon realised that the monotony of sitting and editing had begun to suffocate him and, therefore, he started the “Window Seat Project” as a getaway from his humdrum routine.

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Babar had to submit a dissertation as a part of his course. Along with his classmates he went off on a train journey from Pune to Kanyakumari asking a variety of passengers just one question: “What kind of India do you see from the window seat?”

“I realised that I was not the only crazy person who loved trains; there are thousands of them out there. And it is because of them the page has flourished,” Babar added.

Babar finds Indian Railways “a mixed bag of a plethora of expressions, emotions and cultures”, something worth exploring. He finds a story in every passenger and likes to take these stories — captured in frames clicked from different angles — to the world through his community.

“Trains are like the veins of this country, they are a platform to enter people’s lives. Every passenger is a story. They come from so many different walks of life. Railways give you a wholesome experience, not only in terms of languages and ethnicities but also food and so much more,” he added.

So, how does he select the best picture in a day for the Window Seat Project?

“There is no process as such. The pictures have to be about trains, of course. But the primary criterion is that the pictures should speak for themselves. They should be relatable. Almost everybody has travelled by a train at some point of time in their lives. The pictures should make them relive those nostalgic moments,” he responded.

Despite much popularity on the social media platform, Babar said that Indian Railways probably has no clue about the page. But that does not disappoint him.

“I have not been approached by them but I would surely love to work with the Railways. There are so many railway publications that need pictures, so many new trains that have started that need to be featured. I would love to be the one covering them. It would be like a fan working with his superstar,” Babar quipped.

Planning a railway journey soon? Don’t forget to take a picture and share it on Instagram with the hashtag “windowseatproject”. Till then, keep clicking and happy journey. (IANS)