Centre for Railway Information Systems
|Founder(s)||Ministry of Railways|
|Headquarters||New Delhi, India|
|Key people||Minister of Railways
|Services||Information technology consulting services and solutions|
The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) designs, develops, implements and maintains most important information systems of Indian Railways. It is located in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. CRIS was established in 1986 by the Ministry of Railways of India.
In 1982, Indian Railways (IR) set up a central organization (COFOIS) to computerise freight operations. In 1986 the Ministry of Railways saw the need for a dedicated, autonomous organisation and established CRIS, an umbrella organisation for all information technology-related activities on Indian Railways. It was entrusted with the task of designing, developing and implementing COFOIS and its communications infrastructure. CRIS began functioning in July 1987 as an autonomous organisation headed by a managing director.
A unique feature of CRIS is collaboration by IT specialists and railway experts on assignment from Indian Railways. Systems managed by CRIS have received international recognition from Computerworld.
CRIS held a symposium, "IT Can Happen in Government", in New Delhi on 1 July 2010. The symposium explored the challenges faced by government agencies in meeting their IT needs and creating IT systems.
CRIS designs, develops, implements and maintains information systems for Indian Railways. In addition, CRIS has developed, implemented and maintained IT systems for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (the A & N Ship Ticketing system). The number of projects handled by CRIS has increased from three to 25.
Major IR projects
- Computerisation of the Freight Operations Information System of Indian Railways: The FOIS enables management and control of freight movement, optimised asset utilisation and the generation of freight invoices. Many of IR's larger freight customers pay through an electronic payment gateway interfaced with the FOIS. About 72 percent of the railway's freight revenue is paid electronically.
- Passenger Reservation System (PRS): A nationwide online passenger reservation and ticketing system, developed and maintained by CRIS, is a client-server application developed in C and Fortran on a Digital OpenVMS operating system using RTR (Reliable Transaction Router) as middleware. CONCERT (Country-wide Network of Computerised Enhanced Reservation & Ticketing) interconnects the four regional computing systems (in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai) into a national PRS grid. It allows a passenger anywhere to book train tickets from any station to any station. PRS handles reservations, changes, cancellations and refunds, reserving over 1.6 million seats and berths daily. Complex rules, validations and fare-computation techniques are interwoven in the application.
- The Internet-based E-ticketing reservation system, whose front end has been developed by CRIS.
- Computerisation of Indian Railways' Unreserved Ticketing System. Unreserved ticketing is a major component of IR’s ticket volume and an important source of revenue. UTS delivers fast unreserved ticketing from dedicated counters, replacing manual printed-card tickets, EFTs and BPTs with centralised online sales accounting. The architecture integrates with handheld terminals, smart cards and vending machines.
- [ National Train Enquiry System] and RailRadar for latest train running times and live train tracking.
- [ Web-enabled claims: Web-based software enables the public to file and track claims online.
- Rail Budget Compilation System (RBCS): Developed for budgetary input from Indian Railways zones and production units, RBCS facilitates data capture, database construction, demand analysis and estimate pruning for the railway budget.
- Vigilance Software System (VSS): Designed specially for the vigilance requirements of Indian Railways, and implemented in all the zone headquarters. VSS maintains information on vigilance cases and complaints, including reports and correspondence.
- "I-Pass" aids the personnel and finance departments. It consists of two modules: Financial Accounting System (FAS) and Payroll System (PS).
- Workshop Information SystEm (WISE): A MIS project for railway workshops around the country. It is in operation in 14 workshops: Kharagpur, Jagadhri, Ajmer, Kota, Charbagh, Liluah, Kanchrapara, Matunga, Lower Parel, Parel, Bhusawal, Secunderabad, Lallaguda and Jamalpur. WISE provides report for workshop management using the ORACLE DBMS, and is being upgraded to an ERP-based system.
- Crew management: The Crew Management System (CMS) software provides real-time railway crew information. Information includes location, status and train assignments. It also maintains information on time off and continuing education. The software issues SMS alerts to management and supervisors if crew levels drop below a level likely to affect train operations. It can book crew for coach, shunting and freight service. The software supports the safety monitoring of the crew by inspectors, monitoring crew knowledge through a quiz administered through kiosks in crew lobbies, and provides up-to-date safety circulars.
- Control Office Application (COA): Enables rail-traffic controllers to manage the trains running in their section, and is operational in all division control offices. The COA interfaces with other applications (such as NTES) to provide train information to passengers and managers.
- E-Procurement System: Provides a secure, fair and transparent method of materials procurement through a web-based interface. It enables suppliers to securely upload their tenders to a central server in encrypted form, which can be decrypted only by authorised railway officials after the tender opening. All timestamps are authenticated by the National Physical Laboratory. The system is operational on all zonal railways and units, and has been extended to CORE, RDSO, RailTel and the Kolkata Metro. E-Auction was launched in March 2012, and has been adopted by 12 zonal railways. A payment gateway was implemented in January 2012.
- Software for Locomotive Asset Management (SLAM): Under development, this system will track and allocate electric locomotives.
- Additional asset-management systems, such as for Diesel locomotives, freight cars, coaches and track, are under development. An ERP-based system was implemented at the Integral Coach Factory, Chennai, in January 2012.
- Automatic fare-collection and passenger-control systems for Metro Railway in Kolkata.
Independently-running applications interchange data amongst themselves. COA (Control Office Application), which assists train controllers (despatchers) in planning and tracking the movement of trains across the network, shares its data with applications such as NTES (by which passengers can obtain a train's location and forecast movement). Train punctuality reports are generated through ICMS (Integrated Coaching Management System), which also receives data from COA.
- 21 April 2008: Prime Minister Award for Excellence in Public Administration to CRIS
- 1 May 2008: IBM Beacon and Top Star Awards to CRIS for E-Working
- 2 June 2008: Case study "E Working: A less-paper initiative in the category 'Non Profit Organizations'"
- 19 June 2008: Deployment of CMS in Indian Railways
- 26 September 2008: CIO 100 Bold award to CMS
- 6 July 2009: CRIS Symposium
- 4 September 2009: CIO Green Edge Award
- 14, 21 September 2009: Documentary on UTS and UTN on DD – National – Delhi Channel
- 20 April 2010: PRS get Web Ratna 2009 in Citizen-centric category
- 1 July 2010: CRIS symposium
- 2005 Computerworld Honors Case Study, accessed 8 January 2007
- PCQUEST (India) Best IT Implementation of the Year 2006, accessed 8 January 2007
- "Freight Operations Information System". Indian Railways. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- "Indian Railways Passenger Reservation Enquiry". Indian Railways. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- "IRCTC Online Passenger Reservation System". Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- "National Train Enquiry Sustem". Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- "Railway Claims and Refunds". Indian Railways. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- "Indian Railways E-Procurement System". Indian Railways. Retrieved 24 November 2013.
- Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) website
- "Giving an IT boost to Indian Railways", Express Computer, 3 April 2006
- Priyanka Sharma (8 July 2005). "Rlys to use radio frequency identification to track wagons". Business Line (The Hindu).
- Details of the July 1, 2010, symposium