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Goyal launches Rail Heritage Digitisation Project in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture

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Railway Minister Piyush Goyal launched the Rail Heritage Digitisation Project in collaboration with Google Arts & Culture here on Friday.
 
The project is stated to be a landmark effort, the first of its kind in this part of the globe, to showcase the country’s rail heritage to the national and international audience.
 
Launching the project through video conferencing, Mr Goyal said, “Whenever we look at the evolution of the transport system in India, all these rich traditions, history and culture will play an important role in understanding how the Indian Railways has evolved.
 
“We will be setting up 22 digital screens across different locations in India for showcasing this historic project. This project is a gift from the 13 lakh railway employees to the 130 crore citizens of India,” he added.
 
The project can be accessed through the link: https://artsandculture.google.com/project/indian-railways. The Minister said this initiative by the Indian Railways and the Google Arts and Culture Association has taken over two years of hard work, research, inquiry and execution.
 
“It is often said that civilisation is built over millennia by countless generations, with each generation leaving its footprints in the sands of time. A culture must reserve these footprints to remember what it was and where it came from. Whenever we look at the evolution of the transport system in India, all these rich traditions, history and culture will play an important role in understanding how the Indian Railways has evolved.
 
“Being a 165-year-old organisation, the Railways have a lot of material which we need to preserve and leave behind for posterity. The Indian Railways has a lot of treasured moments for the world to see how technologies evolved over time: Mumbai has a special place in the Railways, being the first Railway line to be set up in India. It was way back on April 16, 1853, when the first train ran between Bori Bunder and Thane.
 
“We will be setting up 22 digital screens across different locations in India for showcasing this historic project,” he added.
 
“This partnership between the Railways and Google also has the dimension of the Wi-Fi, which we have proliferated to over 400 stations in India. This shows the potential of collaborations to serve people. The Wi-Fi that has been set up in 711 stations now have faster Wi-Fi access than any other system in the nation.
 
“We should take Wi-Fi to over 6,000 stations to provide it to people who cannot afford it. We have already offered around 5,000 odd stations for public-private partnership through Rail Sahyog (http://RailSahyog.in) where we have invited people to come and make offers to pick up stations so as to expand it throughout the Railways,” he added.
 
This project is the largest cultural heritage digitization project not only in India but possibly the Asia Pacific region, he said.  
 
Railway Board Chairman Ashwani Lohani, other Railway Board Members, Vice President, South East Asia and India, Google, Rajan Anandan, Director, Google Cultural Institute UNESCO representatives and Railway enthusiasts were among those present on the occasion.
 
Mr Lohani said collaboration with Google Art & Culture has enabled Indian Railways to digitize National Rail Museum, Rewari Steam Centre, three World Heritage Railways, CSMT Mumbai building and other prominent aspects of country’s rail heritage.
 
During the event, Mr Lohani also felicitated a few of the railway heroes associated with the conservation of World Heritage Railways and said that Railway is a human-centric organisation and it is the railway heroes who make it run.
 
Introducing this collaborative digital project between Indian Railways and Google Arts & Culture, Mr Rajan Anandan, described it as an extension of Google’s partnership with Indian Railways of providing public with Wi-Fi at 400 railway stations. It was an endeavour to bring incredible Indian Rail Heritage online.
 
Mr Amit Sood said Google was committed to preserving and breathing new life into artistic and cultural treasures around the world. “The extraordinary wealth of heritage, history and culture that Indian Railways inherits, is truly fascinating, and a treat for both the young and the old. This project is all about the iconic moments, the movements, and the making of Indian Railways, which today is the backbone of the country in many ways,” he added.
 
NNN
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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