South Central Railway was formed on 2nd October, 1966 as the 9th zone of the Indian Railways. In its forty two years of committed service and path breaking progress, South Central Railway has grown to a modern system of mass transportation fulfilling the aspirations of the passengers/customers and carved a niche for itself in Indian Railways system.
Strategically positioned in the southern peninsula, this dynamic organization with its headquarters at Secunderabad serves the economically vibrant state of Andhra Pradesh, Parts of Maharashtra, Madya Pradesh and Tamilnadu.
From the days of steam hauled locomotives and wooden plank seats, South Central Railway has come a long way modernizing its system with the state of the art high powered Diesel and Electric Locomotives, high speed telescopic Passenger Coaches, and higher axle load wagons, higher capacity track in all important routes, multiple aspect color light signaling with solid state inter locking, and micro wave & digital communication system etc.
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Over the years, South Central Railway has attained sufficient transportation output with adequate infrastructure development and technological upgrading to serve the regions in its jurisdiction. Safe operation of trains, expansion of net work, modern Passenger amenities, Punctuality of trains, courteous service and cleanliness in stations and trains remain always the thrust areas of this Railway. Being a service oriented organization, South Central Railway provided Computerized Passenger Reservation System at 85 Stations/locations covering 96% of the berths available. In the a rena of information dissemination to the rail customers, it has provided Inter-active Voice Response System (IVRS) for Reservation and train enquiry, National Train Enquiry System (NTES) for real time information on movement of trains, Passenger Operated Enquiry Terminals (POET) with information on availability of accommodation and confirmation and Close Circuit Television (CCTV) for real time reservation availability status at all important stations in its system.
For mass movement of freight, S.C.Railway has introduced high horse powered Diesel and Electric Locomotives and high speed, higher Axle load Box-N-Wagons. Today, South Central Railway plays a pivotal role as a catalyst for agricultural and industrial development in the Southern peninsula apart from fostering the growth of trade and commerce including import/export through ports by connecting sea ports with their hinder land and inland containerdepots.
It’s reliable and comfortable Passenger Services for long and short distance travel by way introducing many super fast and intercity trains helps transform the society by catering their personal, business, educational and tourism purposes.
South Central Railway was formed on 2nd October, 1966 by grouping Vijayawada and Hubli Divisions of Southern Railway and Secuderabad and Solapur Division of Central Railway.
Jurisdictional adjustments were made in October, 1977 by merging Guntakal Division of the Southern Railway with South Central Railway and transferring Solapur Division back to Central Railway.
Secunderabad Division was bifurcated in February, 1978 into two Divisions Secunderabad and Hyderabad to facilitate effective operational and administrative control.
On 1st April, 2003, the newly formed Guntur and Nanded Divisions of South Central Railway became operational and Hubli Division was transferred to the newly formed South Western Railway. Presently, South Central Railway has six Divisions Viz., Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Guntur, Guntakal and Nanded with 5752 Route KMs of which 1604 RKms are electrified.
After its inception, SC.Railway laid 342.805 RKMs of new lines, converted 2676.19 RKMs from MG to BG and carried out doubling of track on 1272.453 RKms, constructed many major river bridges including the engineering marvels Viz., II Godavari Bridge and III Godavari Bridges at Rajahmundry.
Towards customer Satisfaction, it had established the Computerized Passenger Reservation Systems at 85 Stations/locations and offer reservation by any train from any station in the Country. For gaining efficiency in freight operations, SCR established Freight Operations Information System (FOIS) in its jurisdiction and has already introduced Rack Management Systems at 23 Stations and Terminal Management System at 31 Stations.
It’s Passenger and Freight performance has met with stupendous leaps forward. The freight loading which was only 9.00 million tons in the year of its inception, i.e., 1966 has seen a quantum jump and touched 44.79 Million tons in the financial year 2003-2004. Passenger transport too has met with tremendous growth touching 195.65 millions in the year 2003-2004 as against 50 millions in the year of inception and the gross earnings from Rs. 58.00 Cr. to 3683.00 Cr in the year 2003-2004.
Alvesson (1996) claims that a situational approach enables leadership to be viewed and studied as “a practical accomplishment” (p. 476) rather than starting with a conceptualization of leadership as whatever the appointed leader does. This approach seems particularly well suited to networking professionals in which technical knowledge needs to be shared.
In this project, I will explore how the booking system is made via wireless network without facing the hassles unlike standing in queue and tickets can be booked from any places or stations.
In particular, I will focus on how online booking from the technical perspective members influence the direction of the team as well as the relationships and identities of individual members and the identity of the team as a unit, and how their interaction is enabled and constrained by social and cultural influences (e.g., organizational culture, national/ethnic culture, and gender). Such a study should give insights into the working standards of the Indian Railways, an organizational form that is rapidly gaining in popularity and acceptance. Also, the study will test the usefulness of a perspective (the situational approach) that is underdeveloped in the leadership literature.
Background: I will conduct my study in a team that is restricted within a particular Division within the City Council. IRCTC has several online reservation counters, each of which is responsible for online ticket booking within one geographical section of the city. This particular team includes four men and a woman. Three of the men are in their thirties and one in his early 50s; the woman is in her thirties. They are assigned to an area around City. They start each day with a brief (15-45 minute meeting) on an agreed upon site, often just gathering around the back of a truck for their meeting. I will attend these three mornings a week for four weeks, and will stay on to observe their work for approximately 20 hours during the four week period. My primary focus will be on their interaction in meetings, although I will also observe (and perhaps enquires about) interactions during their other work.
Scope: I will engage in participant-observation over a six-week period, for approximately four hours per week. I will typically observe the morning meetings and stay for an hour or so to observe their other work. On some days I may come at other times of the day for comparison. I will not schedule structured interviews, but will interview member staff at the reservation counters informally, as needed to clarify and provide insight into specific conversations.
Theoretical framework: I will be guided most generally by the interpretive perspective, and more specifically by Indian Railways staff based situational approach. The interpretive perspective places the focus on interpreting the meanings and perspectives of cultural members, and how these meanings are negotiated (Trujillo, 1992). I am exploring the meanings the sales staff and customers have for themselves as individuals and for their relationships, as well as the meanings sales staff have for the organization, group, and profession of which they are working 24×7. The situational approach directs me to choose one or a few specific interactions to explore in depth. Thus, an appropriate means of investigating the topic from this perspective is observation of conversation, plus interviewing the interact ants to understand the meanings they have for their symbolic interactions.
1. Conduct a literature review on leadership and communication in SMTs.
2. Observe the group four hours per week for six weeks, focusing mostly on conversations at team meetings, especially those conversations in which the group addresses changes to their work processes and issues of team relationships and identity (ies).
3. Interview team members to clarify and provide insight into conversations. I will attempt to conduct these interviews shortly after conversations of interest. While the interviews will not be formal or structured, the kinds of questions I will ask include the following. The general strategy for the interviews is to start off with broad questions and follow up on the interviewee’s responses, to capture her or his meanings and to avoid imposing my meanings on the interviewee.
a. Tell me about the conversation you just had with X.
b. What were you thinking during the conversation?
c. What do you think she/he was thinking?
d. What do you think she/he was trying to do (or accomplish) in the conversation?
e. What did you mean when you said, “……”?
f. What were you thinking when you said that?
g. What do you think she meant when she said “……”?
h. When you think about what you did and said in that conversation, how would you describe yourself?
4. Undertake a situational analysis of the field notes and interview notes, guided.
5. Write a research report that combines my understanding of the relevant theory and previous research with the results of my empirical research.
Prepare proposal by 15 October
Complete literature review by 30 October
Complete fieldwork by 10 November
Complete analysis by 20 November
Give presentation on 4 January
Complete final report by 12 January
Limitations: Time constraints of the semester require less time than may be ideal for an ethnographic study. By being in the organization for only four hours a week for five weeks, there are bound to be aspects of leadership practice, organizational culture and team communication that will not be revealed during my observations. Being an outsider may also limit what is revealed to me. The team members may be guarded in their conversations around me, especially in my initial observations.
Delimitations: I am choosing not to observe multiple teams, even though such comparisons might be valuable, in order to allow more depth of understanding regarding the group on which I will focus. Additionally, I will not use structured interviews in order to minimize my obtrusiveness and my influence on the team members.
India’s Railway network being one of the second largest all over the globe and anybody can travel at anywhere places through the train services. However in terms of tourists who want to visit places do not have any special mode or medium whereby tickets could be booked easily. In most of the trains special seats are reserved for the tourists. Which simplifies that if all the seats are completely booked things are assured that this tourists get to seat till others haven’t booked up the seats (Bruyn, Venkatraman and Bain, 2006). This is one of the main information that needs consideration as any agent would not be able to book seats on anybody’s behalf or can booked from the everyday booking window. The main challenge that lies in the reservation system is supporting a huge range of database for holding information. Indian Railways over years has been the most considered user of IT in India. When it was first introduced into the market computerized passenger traffic and accounting of railways, “operating statistics”, “and payroll and inventory management” was started through using computers paled at all regional zones (Kamel, 2006). The Computer based Passenger Reservation System (PRS) was introduced by Central for Railway Information System (CRIS) whereby passengers had the privilege of booking tickets through PRS which were found in all major terminals who have their own local database. In this kind of circumstances reservations only covered trains that departed from local terminals. But in the later phase when CRIS introduced Country Wide Enhanced Reservation and Ticketing System (CONCERT) that was developed with the intention to connect five passenger reservation centers from any station or terminal of the Indian Railways so that reserved tickets could be provided from any reservation counter (Kamel, 2006). Later all the PRS were attached together where by the system would have the capability of handling a higher volume of reservation every day. It was one of the most aspiring initiatives by the Indian Railways that reduced the passenger’s time in terms of being held up at the queue for a long period of time. But situations have shown that till now passengers need to move to the station to book their railway tickets.
In India since train is considered as one of the most convenient mode of communication so information regarding bookings, train availability, journey fares, accommodation availability and reservation of tickets is the crucial factor for the general mass. Earlier methods like enquiry at the help desk counter, information gathering through TV or through radio were the methods used earlier.
In due later phase when internet booking and ticketing services through the e-commerce channel it gathered sufficient interest to the general public. In this regard IRTC in collaboration to CRIS launched its wholly owned website (www.irctc.co.in). This venture changed the whole image of Indian Railways ticket booking system. This helped passengers to get hold of their tickets from the departure station to the destination station without facing the hassles standing in long queue at the railway booking counters. Any passenger at this point of time can visit the website at get their desired information regarding train timings and ticket availability. Later on getting the train details and the suitability in terms of travelling tickets they just needed to fill in the online application form which contained about the details of the journey.
During the payment stage the user was transferred to a suitable payment gateway where they need to furnish the details of their debit/credit card at it was certified by the “VeriSign”. When the transaction was completed the passenger would receive an e-mail that contained the Passenger Name Record (PNR).
In this new technological world Indian Railways are considerably looking to get started with the new technological phase of wireless technology. In the discussion as embarked that mobile services has been picking up on a massive scale for the last couple of years. In today’s date around 7 million text messages are sent by Indian counterpart’s everyday life and nearly 80% of Indians use the facility of SMS in major counterparts (Dutta and Shridhar, 2004). Most of the service providers in India have upgraded their mobile technology from 2G to 3G service which has processing speed of high data connection mechanism. Nowadays mobile handsets have the facility of GPRS and WAP that are flooded in Indian markets. With respect to matching and catching up with this technological advancement IRCTC introduced the option of ticket booking via mobile handsets. In present scenario tickets can be booked via mobile phone through voice recognition system. This proved flexibility in terms of passengers who could get hold of the tickets of any places sitting in any corner of the world. The project implementation of online ticket booking through internet and telephone prompted other service providers like telecom industries and broadband service providers to enable the payment process through their own systems. Through this project it has shown that if consumers are provided the much needed comfort and flexibility depending on the indented products or service that would sell, consumers are always likely to adapt the technology in other horizons.
The Electronic Ticket system (ETS) is specifically designed software through which passengers would have the flexibility through which railway tickets could be purchased through usage of smartcard. In this the payment is made via wireless network with the connecting computer system at the Railway Company which is itself connected through clearing house and a trust centre (Wieringa, 2003).
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