MIS CASE STUDY ONCREW MANAGEMENT IN INDIAN RAILWAYS : A CASE OF DELHI DIVISION SUBMITTED BY :- ABHIMANYU DUBEY PG20101006 SECTION – D IILM, Lodhi Road
Q1) Was getting the MIS such a good idea?ANS: Getting the MIS was a good idea. MIS is normally used as a system in the organizations whichprovides solutions to the various difficulties faced. In the given case, MIS was implemented to easethe difficulties faced in handling the day to day activity which was done manually.Indian Railways is the largest employer in the world which employees around or above 1 lac peoplefor operating trains on one of the worlds busiest railways network. Managing such a large force is notat all easy. Managing such a large force was a vital function which is performed in train operations inIndian Railways. It aimed at efficient deployment of running staff (Loco Drivers and Traffic Guards),ensuring the availability wherever and whenever required. Efficient people and power managementwere essential for proper functioning. An improper crew forecasting for freight trains would lead tonon-availability of running staff for freight trains. This would create problems in the scheduling offreight trains and would result in loss of revenue for the Indian railways. Moreover, the number ofpassenger trains and magnitude of freight operations would increase every year. This added strain toan already stretched system. Hence, efficiency of crew management had become even morenecessary and important .To make the matter even more worse this system had to be applied all overthe country. All this processes required automation for better, faster and accurate work to be carriedon. The answer to these questions came in the form of the crew management system. Hence the useof MIS by the Indian Railways is totally justified. This helped the Indian Railways by automating theday to day activities of the crew by providing the information on the availability of the of the crewand few other things .Q2) What should Mr. Gupta do next to improve the results and enhance the system?ANS: Mr. Gupta was the head of the mechanical power wing of the Delhi Division, this division lookedafter the maintenance and operation of seven Running Rooms1, six crew booking lobbies2, three RailDiesel Installations3, one A class Accident Relief Train including 140 tonne crane and the HeritageSteam Care Centre4 at Rewari. To manage the freight and crew operations was the main activity of thePower Wing. In order to improve the results and enhance the system Mr. Gupta can : • Using the business intelligence which helps in better understanding of the different processes. • Create an Indian Railway Internet portal to address the information need of the IR managers. • Interacting with the Railway officials from all over the country to address the disparity in practices and lack of common standards . • Train the staff for better handling and use of the information system.
Q3) If Crew Lobby Networking was the solution, what were the challenges facing Mr. Gupta ?ANS: The challenges which were faced by Mr. Gupta were as follows : • Lack of any knowledge and the vastly spread rail network. The crew lobby network had not been tried any where in the Indian Railways so Mr. Gupta had no idea as to how it should be done properly. • Networking was one of the other problems. Though the first phase involves the verification of the softwares network connectivity and adaptability features before proceeding with hardware purchase was done on the railnet (leased line of the IR). • Railnet was available only at few stations like New Delhi, Old Delhi and Shakur Basti. JHI, MTC and DEE were not connected on railnet this limited the scope of using railnet. • One of the other problems was the cost which was involved in the whole process. Solutions with practically costs were preferred because amount of data transfer would be huge and network engagement would be high. This was considered to increase efficiency of the system and utilization.Q4) Which networking technology would best suit future requirements?ANS: Areas of Improvement in India railways: • To tap similar revenue generation potential in the telecom and IT sector, using the 64,000-km long right of way for laying optic fibers, signaling towers and other infrastructure assets that Indian Railways owns. • Track, signaling and rolling stock including predictive and diagnostic tools, anti-collision devices and protection of level crossings for improvement in safety and reliability of operations to achieve zero accidents and zero failure in equipments. • Improvement of control and voice/video communication to aid IT applications across the Indian Railways. • A satellite-based train tracking system to provide real-time information on train location and other train related information to passengers through a variety of devices including mobile phones.New technology can create a boon in the Indian railways:Railway Signaling systems world over are provided not only to make optimum use of the existing linecapacity, but also to provide safe train operation by reducing human dependence. Now in the 21stcentury, modern signaling systems provide an answer for reliable, safe and viable train operations.Large scale induction of modern signaling systems for train control are expected to pave the way forhigher levels of speed, safety and passenger comforts in train operations. It is expected that importantroutes on IR will be equipped with ATP system or its variants like ATC, ETCS etc during the next decadeor so. These routes will be worked on automatic block signaling system with majority of the stationsequipped with solid state interlocking. This paper briefly outlines various safety related signalingsystems, which play a significant role in safe, speedier and efficient train operation.
Q5) What were the difficulties faced by Mr. Gupta in setting up an IS?ANS: The manual crew booking and monitoring systems was solved by the Crew Montoring systems .Since setting up the information systems was not an easy task and this point can be brought forwardby the problems faced by Mr. Gupta. The problems faced were: • Crew management problem was not a division specific problem but it prevailed throughout the Indian Railways. Hence the implementation had to be done in such a way that it covered and connected all the divisions of the railways. • Another difficulty was to create an information system that would encompass all the required software’s to handle different functionality. • Thirdly the problem was that of the networking and bringing all the system on a common platform. The system which were installed were working as a stand alone system. • One of the major problem which stemmed out from the lack of networking was the fact that the crew availability across different lobby was still done manually. Hence forecasting and most of the control work still posed problem.Q6) Based on this case, comment on the organizational culture of the Railways?ANS: Based on the given case study we find that Organizational Culture of the Indian Railways is verydynamic which has evolved and grown with time. The successful implementation and working of thecrew management system and other such initiatives speaks volume about the right environment andattitude prevalent in the work force. This tells us that the people who are working there are at anytime in there life are ready to adapt the change and move ahead with time and technology. Peoplefollow the knowledge path, i.e., generation of a new ideas, implementation of such ideas and theirmaintenance and are ready to embrace newer role and face challenges in order to come out withbetter and improved system.Q7) How can Information System sustain technological and human changes?ANS: The purpose of information systems is to facilitate work activities: here we consider how ActivityTheory can be applied in information systems. The requirements for an analytical model foremancipatory, work-oriented information systems research and practice are specified. Previousresearch work in Activity Theory is then elaborated to satisfy these requirements in parallel withpractical applications.The second notion which can help an information system to sustain is adaptability. Adaptation meansthat an organization needs to ensure that its interactions with its environment fit the demands andpossibilities of this environment. Also an IS to be sustainable requires that it include the relevantstakeholders like people associated with the business process (employees) and the programmers.