RailTel Will Launch ‘Digital India PCO’ At 500 Railways Stations; Passengers Can Get WiFi, Pay Bills & Youth Will Get Jobs


IRCTC Digital India PCO

Technology can indeed transform the society, and solve real-world problems.

Indian Railways’ new scheme, called Railwire Saathi is a perfect example of this theory.

The New Digital PCO @ Railway Stations!

Before mobile and Internet happened, there used to be PCO (Public Call Offices) in railway stations, wherein passengers used to call their dear and near ones, using landline phones. In fact, PCOs used to operate at every marketplace, residential areas and commercial hubs.

However, the need for such PCOs have now been removed, as everyone has a mobile phone. And most of them have the Internet on it.

Still, there is a vast majority of mobile users, who often left stranded without any Internet connection. In order to provide them WiFi, and a range of online services, Indian Railways, in association with RailTel, will launch ‘Railwire Saathi’ kiosks across 500 railway stations.

Some of the tasks which passengers and public-at-large can perform at Railwire Saathi include:

  • Access to WiFi hotspot
  • Online shopping using e-commerce portals
  • Access to Open University’s education portal
  • Provision to appear for online exams
  • Provision to recharge mobile phones, pay DTH bills
  • Assistance in filling various online forms (for exams, registrations, purchasing etc)
  • Pay insurance premiums
  • Book tickets online (both Railways and Airways)

Indian Rail’s Digital PCO scheme via RailTel would be planned and executed in-house.

Earlier, Indian Rail had partnered with Google to provide WiFi access across thousands of railway stations. However, Railwire Saathi has no association with Google.

Interestingly, under the program Railwire Saathi, passengers and users can also get detailed information about Govt. welfare schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Ujjwal Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Atal Pension Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Beema Yojna and Pradhan Mantri Surakhya Beema Yojna.

Railwire Saathi Will Encourage Entrepreneurship As Well

The whole program has been designed so as to provide jobs and a chance to become entrepreneurs for local youths. First of all, these kiosks would be set-up in remote railway stations, in those cities where Internet connectivity is still at a nascent stage, places where youths are demanding jobs and work.

As per reports, Railwire Saathi is also an ‘entrepreneurial program’, wherein youths, women and unemployed would be trained and assisted to run the kiosk and make money as well.

RailTel, which is the telecommunication division under Indian Railways, will execute the whole program.

Here is the process of its working:

  • Youths, unemployed, women who want to become part of Railwire Saathi will first contact RailTel for being part of Railwire Saathi program.
  • National Skill Development Council (NSDC) will then train them, as per the requirements for running such kiosks at railway stations.
  • Once they get the certificate of training, the youths can apply for a loan under Mudra scheme.
  • The loan amount can be then used to install, operate and manage such kiosks at remote railway stations.

Is it a masterstroke by Indian Railways to connect Digital India will Skill India mission to generate more jobs, businesses using the Internet as a platform? Or it is one of those impossible looking Govt. projects which has no beginning? Do let us know by commenting right here!

1 Comment
  1. Vivek says

    Mukul, your post is factually wrong.

    This is being launched by RailTel and NOT IRCTC.
    Please correct

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