IR brings about new policies and technological advancements for the improvement of services provided to Indian customers, but where does this new-age technology to manage billions of passengers and tonnes of freight come from? It is the Centre of Railway Information Systems (CRIS) that supplies the technology and IT brain power to make management for IR easier. The designing, development, implementation, and maintenance of information systems for the IR are a huge responsibility that falls on the shoulders of CRIS.In July 1986, the Ministry of Railways set up CRIS as a Society. Currently, they have headquarters at New Delhi, and regional offices at Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Secunderabad. Things as simple as checking the train availability online is possible because of the easy accessible and user-friendly websites developed by CRIS.
History of CRIS
- A central organisation called COFOIS was set up by IR in 1982 for the computerisation of freight operations. However, the Ministry of Railways considered the need for a separate organisation to handle technology-based operations of IR as vital for the further progress of IR. This led to the birth of CRIS asan umbrella organisationasked to design, develop, and implement the Freight Operations Information System (FOIS) and improve its communication infrastructure.
- CRIS possesses a trustworthy collaboration of IT specialists and railway experts on behalf of IR. This amalgamation of brain power with strong management strategies has boosted development to the extent that CRIS gained international recognition from Computerworld.
- In 2010, a symposium was held by CRIS to spread the awareness of the problems within the government to meet their IT needs and solving them for better integration called ‘IT can happen in government’. 2014 saw a seminar on Big Data and 2015 was put into a chair to attend a symposium based on Smart Cities. CRIS has been providing valuable information and IT solutions to help in government affairs as well.
- Rapid development has occurred in this decade as the number of projects handled by CRIS rose from 3 in the year 2000 to more than 40 in the year 2016.
Features of CRIS
- The current projects under the purview of CRIS consists of a gamut of IR functions which includes freight operations, passenger ticketing systems, train dispatching and control, crew management, management of Railways’ fixed and moving assets, e-procurement, and production of rolling stock. Services range from Kargil to Kanniyakumari and from Tawang to Andaman Islands.
- Their human resources constitute their strength. A pool of talented IT professionals that possess a skill set pertaining to system architecture, system analysis and design, and program developmentwith a support of a group of former railway professionals who are well-versed with domain knowledge and system implementation skills and procedures.
- CRIS is ardent in developing information systems that are sustainable and cost effective to match the needs of Indian customers. They pride themselves on creating top-notch technology that is used practically to make workable IT solutions a reality for many railway areas.
With the drive of maintaining and further developing many IT solutions to support the railways, CRIS is arduously working to achieve exponential progress.