Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya Drives Transformation for Viksit Bharat

As India charts its course towards Viksit Bharat, the intrinsic importance of robust infrastructure and education takes center stage, and in a concerted effort to bolster growth across key sectors, government initiatives emerge as guiding beacons for collaborative progress. Evidently, the nation is actively investing in many transformative endeavors, aligning itself to foster inclusive growth. Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya – the first of its kind in India – plays a vital role in these endeavors as it works towards developing India’s human resources for the entire transportation and logistics sector. In this interview, we explore the visionary perspectives and initiatives of GSV with Professor (Dr.) Manoj Choudhary, ViceChancellor of the university as he shares profound insights into the dynamic role GSV is set to play in the ever-evolving realm of industry integration, shaping the landscape of India’s future development.

As India progresses towards the vision of Viksit Bharat, the significance of infrastructure in a country’s development cannot be overstated. The state of a nation’s railways, airports, and roads often serves as a visual and tangible indicator of its development status.

Recognizing the pivotal role of infrastructure, India has been actively investing in its transportation infrastructure, supply chain and logistics sector. For the same, the PM Gati Shakti National Master Plan was launched in October 2021, with a primary objective to foster synergy among various government departments and harness technology for effective collaboration.

Currently, 16 ministries and 42 departments of the Government of India, spanning railways, ports, shipping, civil aviation, roads and highways etc. are working collaboratively under the PM Gati Shakti plan for holistic development of infrastructure projects, to prevent and control both the cost overruns and the schedule delays.

This comprehensive plan with a budget outlay of approximately 1.2 trillion USD is considered the single largest national plan for any sector, after our independence. Further, the government in September 2022 also launched the National Logistics Policy to address the high logistics costs in India and bring efficiencies.

While these initiatives shall give a boost to the infrastructure, a gap in skilled workforce for respective sectors was noticed. To address the demands of skilled workforce of the sector, the Parliament of India passed an act in August 2022 to establish a dedicated central university for the transportation and logistics sector called Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya. Headquartered at Vadodara (Gujarat), this central university, funded by the Ministry of Railways (Govt. of India), aims to focus on logistics and transportation, broadly aligning with the goals of the PM Gati Shakti NMP and the National Logistics Policy.

As a 21st-century university, Gati Shakti Vishwavidyalaya emphasizes being industrydriven and innovation-led. The curriculum, both in relevance and rigor, is designed to cater specifically to the needs of the transportation and logistics sector. The new-age university not only imparts education but also contributes to creating and assimilating new knowledge in the field, aligning with the dynamic and evolving nature of the industry. With an emphasis on technology, innovation, and industry collaboration, the university aims to produce graduates who shall be the leaders for the infrastructure sector.

We prioritize leveraging, harnessing and promoting new technology and adopting a data-driven approach to drive innovation in education. Our university has a distinct national mandate, and we shape our curriculum to align with national priorities. For a unique mandate to focus on the transportation and logistics sector, we have oriented our curriculum by including sector-specific specializations. We have started with Railways to begin with, and shall expand soon to other sectors like aviation, shipping etc.

Specialization is achieved through ensuring 20% of course content with dedicates courses and internships. For instance, our B.Tech programs include specializations in Railway Engineering. Similarly, like B.Tech in Electronics & Communication Engineering (Specialization: Rail Engineering), 80% of mandatory courses are similar to traditional electronics and communication engineering programs such as analog electronics, digital electronics, communication systems, signal processing, and VLSI etc., while the remaining 20% courses comprise of specialization courses such as principles of railway signalling systems, railway operations, communication-based train control, automated train protection, cyber security, and electronic interlocking etc.

This distinctive approach makes our university the only one in India producing B.Tech graduates with expertise in Rail Engineering. Similarly, B.Tech in Civil Engineering (Specialization: Rail Engineering) include courses related to Rail Track Technology, Railway Station & cargo terminal design, Railway Land Management, Railway Bridge Technology, Railway Tunnel Technology etc.

 Moreover, our internship programs are sectorspecific, with mandatory internships after the first, second and third years of study. This emphasis on practical exposure further sets our university apart in fostering newer educational paradigms that are driven by technology, industry immersion and national priorities.

We’ve innovated by introducing mandatory courses that transcend traditional disciplines, offering a 21st-century approach. These courses cover design thinking, multi-modal transportation systems, operations research, artificial intelligence, machine learning, logistics, supply chain management, and ethics in engineering. They provide students with essential skills for a rapidly evolving technological landscape.

To stay at the forefront of technology, we launched a B.Tech program in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science with a specialization in transportation and logistics. This program explores quantum computing, predictive asset maintenance, optimized route planning, and the integration of technologies like the internet of things.

Our MBA programs currently have two specializations into (i) Logistics & Supply Chain Management, and (ii) Transport Economics & Management.

Our commitment to Industry-driven approach relies heavily on sectoral stakeholders involvement for both curriculum design as well as delivery. Continuous innovation extends to meaningful industry collaborations and plans for expansion, focusing on sectors like aviation, port and shipping logistics, with additional partnerships are on the horizon.

This is an abridged version of the interview published in the March edition of the Logistics Insider Magazine. To read the full interview, click here.

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