Railway University: From Maharaja’s palace to training centre for babus, here’s the history of the building

| September 4, 2018

The new university will function from the Pratap Vilas Palace of the erstwhile Gaekwad state which houses National Academy of Indian Railways. The Ministry of Railways has identified a 100-acre plot in Vadodara for this purpose.

On September 5, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate country’s first railway university at Vadodara. The varsity will offer seats in two courses — Bachelor of Science in Transportation Technology and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Transport Management. A separate hostel is already allotted to 17 girls and till now 103 students have been shortlisted for the undergraduate course.

The new university will function from the Pratap Vilas Palace of the erstwhile Gaekwad state which houses National Academy of Indian Railways. Both the institutions will run from this campus till the time a greenfield campus will be set-up. The Ministry of Railways has identified a 100-acre plot in Vadodara for this purpose.

Royal residence

Known as the ‘National Academy of Indian Railways’, Pratap Vilas Palace at Lalbaug, Vadodara was constructed between February 15, 1908 to July 30, 1914 by the British architect Charles F Stevens. The campus named after Pratapsinh Rao Gaekwad once house the ‘Railway Staff College’ which constitute 55 acres of land and is designed in Renaissance architecture. Pratapsinh Rao Gaekwad was the last and the 13th Maharaja of Baroda state.

The palace houses ‘National Academy of Indian Railways’ where training to all levels of Indian Railway officers — from probationers to general managers — takes place. The academy was shifted to Vadodara in 1952 from Premnagar, Dehradun where it was founded in 1930.

The architecture of the Pratap Vilas Palace is remarkable having a mix of different European styles. The building is now maintained by the Ministry of Railways which purchased it on January 6, 1964 at a price of Rs 24,38,271. Earlier, the Bombay Province took the premise on lease on January 31, 1949.

The academic session (2018-21) will commence on September 5 and will offer a 50 per cent scholarship in the annual course fee of Rs 91,000. The students who will avail scholarship have to pay an application fee of Rs 75,000.

After coming to power, the BJP-led government under PM Narendra Modi first mentioned of a university in the Rail Budget in 2014. The teachers are likely to come from Indian Business School, Hyderabad and XLRI School of Management, among others.`

Category: Indian Railways, News

About the Author ()

Comments are closed.