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A start-up experiment?

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For four months now – until two days after the Cabinet reshuffling under the NDA-led government – the Indian Railways had been in the headlines for nearly all the wrong reasons. Under the new minister for the railways, Piyush Goyal, it seems India is hoping for an infrastructural and administrative transformation.

And the railways are quite clearly back on the track – of self-advertising its potential short term goals, derationalising the need for effective communication about the recent failures of the railway system, leading to at least six derailments in the last four months, in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, and Delhi. The Opposition, led by the Congress, has perhaps tacitly decided not to speak on the railways, except in the case of a new derailment.

Leasing thy neighbour

Almost all major headlines of failures or successes of the Indian government – such as Cabinet reshuffling, implications of GST in MSME sectors, the grand publicity and branding campaigns around demonetisation and the cessation of the Doklam standoff – have been mitigated by Japanese interests clouding over Indian bullet trains.

Today, September 14, 2017, has been chosen to anoint the Indo-Japanese collaboration over the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Hhigh-Speed Rail (MAHSR), for which India is about to receive a soft loan of about 1 lakh crore rupees, from Japan.

With Shinzo Abe’s overwhelming support to leasing his technology and talent to India’s cause, the Chinese premier, Xi Jinping, is not far behind. China “has been aggressively marketing its high-speed rail technology…[and has] lobbied hard to get the first contract in India.” It is now renewing its interests and feasibility studies of reopening the New Delhi-Chennai corridor.

Statistics of derailments in the Indian Railways may very well land up in a cold storage. But the way the........

© DailyO