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Drones chase vectors, pests at Western Railway’s Mumbai workshop



In a first for Indian Railways, the Western Railway (WR) has teamed up with BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to deploy drones to step up cleanliness and hygiene in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic coupled with risks of monsoon illness, an official said here on Tuesday.

WR Chief Spokesperson Sumit Thakur said keeping pace with modern technology, drones are keeping tabs on the sprawling 144-year-old Lower Parel Workshop, for vectors and other pests in difficult areas or those beyond human reach.

“Some areas cannot be accessed physically or even visually, but drones help us to reach there and now we can keep serious diseases diseases like mosquito, dengue, etc, at bay, thus providing a safe and healthy working environment for the staff,” said Thakur.

The brainchild of Chief Workshop Manager Tarun Huria, the Aerial Microbial Disinfection, drew applause from WR General Manager Alok Kansal both for its innovativeness and simple yet effective practical applications.

Thakur added that the huge workshop is situated in one of the low-lying areas of central Mumbai which is regularly prone to flooding during monsoon.

This in turn creates problems of breeding of mosquitoes and other pests posing a health hazard to the workers, especially during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

One drone flies around to survey and peek over half-km (500-metres) high rooftops, valley gutters, long down-take pipes, drainage lines and the complete yard hunting for mosquito sites, and provides video footage.

The second drone follows the path and goes around spraying the correct insecticides at the right time and at the required sites to avoid mosquito breeding, without any human contact in view of the pandemic.

Apart from the drone technology for fumigation or spraying, the workshop has also installed pumps to drain out the water during heavy rains which would eliminate the problem of stagnant water and killing the breeding fields of the vectors.

Built in 1876, the workshop comprises huge sheds and administrative buildings including some heritage monuments of the British era where the work of overhauling of new generation railway coaches is done with latest technology.


Indian Railways to launch first Kisan Parcel Train on Friday



The Indian Railways will flag off India’s first Kisan Special Parcel Train from Maharashtra’s Devlali to Bihar’s Danapur on Friday afternoon to transport perishable goods, a promise made in the Union Budget 2020-21.

According to Railway Ministry officials, the train will be flagged off through video conferencing by Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Friday.

Railway Ministry officials said that the train will depart from Devlali on Friday at 11 a.m. and reach Danapur at 6.45 p.m. next day covering a distance of 1,519 km in approx 32 hours.

On the reverse trip, the train will depart from Danapur on Sunday and reach Devlali on Monday.

The official said that the Bhusawal Division in the Central Railway is primarily an agro based division as Nasik and surrounding region produce huge quantity of fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, onions and other agro products which are perishable. The official said that these perishable items are mainly transported to areas around Patna, Allahabad, Katni, Satna etc.

The official said that the train will have its stoppages at Nasik Road, Manmad, Jalgaon, Bhusaval, Burhanpur, Khandwa, Itarsi, Jabalpur, Satna, Katni, Manikpur, Prayagraj Chheoki, Pt Deendayal Upadhyay Nagar and Buxar.

The official further said that aggressive marketing is being done with local farmers, loaders, APMC and individuals to use the Kisan Rail to transport perishable goods.

The official added that freight tarrif from Devlali to Danapur per tonne is Rs 4,001, while from Manmad to Danapur is Rs 3,849.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed to start ‘Kisan Rail’ through the public-private-partnership (PPP) mode for a cold supply chain to transport perishable goods in her budget speech.

The Kisan Rail will comprise refrigerated coaches in Express and Freight trains.

The Railways has developed a new design of refrigerated parcel vans with the carrying capacity of 17 tonnes for the transportation of highly perishable parcel traffic. It was procured through Rail Coach Factory Kapurthala. The Indian Railways currently has a fleet of nine such refrigerated vans and they can be booked on a round-trip basis.

The Kisan Rail train with frozen containers is expected to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables, inclusive of fish, meat and milk, the official added.

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Firms can now shift VMware workloads to Oracle 2nd Gen Cloud



Oracle logo.

Cloud major Oracle on Thursday announced that enterprises globally can now move their VMware workloads to its second-generation cloud infrastructure for a true Hybrid Cloud experience.

The Oracle Cloud VMware solution offers a dedicated, cloud-native VMware-based environment that enables enterprises to easily move their production VMware workloads to Oracle Cloud infrastructure, the company said in a statement.

“What’s unique about this partnership is that we are enabling customers to realise their hybrid cloud strategies. Customers get complete access and control over their VMware environment in the cloud,” said Shailender Kumar, Regional Managing Director, Oracle India.

By moving their VMware workloads to Oracle’s second-generation cloud infrastructure, customers will achieve greater security and increased performance, in addition to saving significantly on network costs.

“VMware and Oracle customers can fast-track their apps modernisation and gain access to Oracle’s full portfolio of cloud services, including the world’s first and only autonomous database,” Kumar told IANS.

Unique to Oracle Cloud VMware Solution, customers will have complete access and control of their VMware environment, with no limits, to run production enterprise applications in the cloud without compromise.

Customers can also migrate existing Oracle apps and databases running on vSphere on premises to Oracle Cloud VMware Solution to take advantage of cloud scale and economics, informed the company.

“We are excited to offer our shared customers access to an Oracle-built, VMware-validated cloud solution that replicates the on-premises experience that people know and love, but is now available in a global hyperscale Public Cloud,” said Clay Magouyrk, executive vice president of engineering, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Whether it is building new digital services, scaling business-critical apps or enabling a remote workforce, applications sit at the core of addressing these challenges.

“Hybrid cloud opens the door to cost-effective enterprise application scalability, flexibility, and modernisation,” said Mark Lohmeyer, senior vice president and general manager, Cloud Services Business Unit, VMware.

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RBI to set up innovation hub for financial sector



The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) will establish an “Innovation Hub” in the country to promote innovation across the financial sector by leveraging technology.

In its “Statement on Developmental and Regulatory Policies”, the RBI on Thursday said that the hub will act as a centre for ideation and incubation of new capabilities which can be leveraged to create innovative and viable financial products and services to help achieve the wider objectives of deepening financial inclusion and efficient banking services among others.

“The Reserve Bank has constantly endeavoured to encourage responsible innovation by entities in the financial services sector. In order to further promote and facilitate an environment that can accelerate innovation across the financial sector, the Reserve Bank will set up an Innovation Hub in India,” said RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das.

The Innovation Hub is expected to support, promote and hand-hold cross-thinking spanning regulatory remits and national boundaries.

It noted that areas such as cyber security, data analytics, delivery platforms, payments services and so on, remain in the forefront in terms of innovation in the financial sector.

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