Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Buy Ticket digitally for Chennai Rail Museum

#offbeat, #chennairailmuseum

Read this links to savour the sights awaiting at Chennai Rail Museum

As far as many tourists and people in the city go, the rail museum still remains a hidden gem.

          One of the hidden gems in IRCTC booking site is the Ticket to Chennai Rail Museum.  

          As is the norm, the ticket charges can be paid through digital transactions channel i.e Net Banking, Wallets etc.

          Indian Railways have built the massive railway network in our country over a period of 150 years. Every year, Indian Railways have contributed immensely to our country’s landscape.

          In this journey, the buildings, bridges, coaches, locomotives, wagons and other artefacts of the yester years are a testimony for the entrepreneurship, skills and innovativeness of the railway men.

To preserve the pioneering efforts of Railway men, museums are the best medium. In this regard, Regional Rail Museum, Chennai was opened by the then Railway  Minister Shri.Nitish Kumar on 31.03.2002.

The Regional Rail Museum is located at North West side of ICF furnishing division and adjacent to new avadi road at an area of 6.25 acres in a serene ambience.

At the centre, it has a built up area of 360 sq.metres having many heritage exhibits, information about rail heritage, audio visual show and photo gallery.

Regional Rail Museum, Chennai or Chennai Railway Museum over the years has enthralled thousands of visitors with its objet d'art’s .

Chennai Rail museum separated into four units first you will be taken to a hall showcased with train equipment, engine motors, train accessories and you are taken to a park and watch all standing trains, old aged trains, mountain trains, rescue trains and again to a hall with a model of all old age trains packed in a mirror glass with a working model of trains

Do you love travelling? Travelling in any mode. Then a visit to the Chennai Railway Museum, Chennai, is a must.

The 10-km-long New Avadi Road houses Chennai Railway Museum, one of the five regional museums in the country.

The Museum offers a lot on History, development, past and present. You will have to enter a traincoach that serves as the ticket counter to buy your entry ticket and once you get off on the other side a road takes you to the first room.

          Alternatively, one can buy the ticket online at Railtourism website

What can you except at the Chennai Rail Museum?

Different scale models of coaches, bogies, tracks, types of trains and write ups loaded with the rich historical data will welcome you. The earliest railway Coach was a rectangular wooden open box affixed to wheels with benches (rough wooden boards without backs) laid out horizontally for seating passengers.

The passengers sat exposed to the sun, the wintry breeze, rain and storm. The coaches were connected by a primitive system of loose couplers, which gave the passengers many jolts whenever the brakes were applied or the train accelerated.

On passing the older models you will notice the gradual development of the coaches.

Don’t miss the train on which Gandhiji travelled, one can see all the different types of classes. The First class not only looked luxurious it also offered a range of services. The second and the third classes, however, managed to accommodate the lesser mortals who could not afford the luxury.

After the passing the “Cheap Trains Act” of 1844 in Britain which provided penny-a-mile fare, the railway coaches built had to necessarily allow free admission of light and air, protection against wind, rain and cold. Provision of lamps for night journeys and seats with backs, windows for looking-out and doors in sufficient numbers were to be included.

But later this was amended as coaches were to have roofs and doors. This gave way to the modern coaches which included individual berths.

Visually Yours

An audio video on the Neal’s ball token system will demonstrate how the signalling system operated before the automated version came into being. At a time when trains ran on one single track A steel ball was used to connect the stations and send messages of entry or exit. On entering a station the guard would throw a ball with a particular number which the engine driver will pick up using a huge net. The numbered ball will then be thrown out at the next station. Once the station master got the ball he would have to push it in machine to lock it signalling a no entry point for any train.

This concept is still prevalent in the Ooty Mettupalayam single line entry section.

Live exhibits

You will get to see the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, GM salon, MG EMU, Hospital van, a hand operated crane, an over head equipment car, Meter gauge EMU, different types engine (Steam, Diesel and Flower stream plough engine), The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, Narrow gauge coaches and the gauge coaches. You can get in and see the entire coach.

On its 14th anniversary, Chennai Rail Museum added new art galleries. Eminent dancer Padma Subrahmanyam on Sunday evening inaugurated the new art galleries at the Chennai Rail Museum, Integral Coach Factory in Perambur, a press release stated.

The 14-year-old museum has now been expanded with a new art, rail heritage and
 diamond jubilee galleries.

The attractions in the museum include steam engines, a joy ride train, a children’s park, a souvenir shop and a photo gallery.

How to reach Regional Railway Museum?

Regional Railway Museum is located in Lakshmipuram. Once you book a cab head towards the Integral Coach Factory (ICF). When you reach the Furnishing Road, you will easily locate your destination. So travel safely and have a great time in Chennai.

ICF (Integral Coach Factory), which manages the rail museum has officially announced that it would be renamed as ‘Chennai Rail Museum’ on Monday when Chennaiites would be celebrating ‘Madras Day’ in commemoration of the founding day of the city on August 22, 1639.

ICF has many rare artefacts that are testament to the evolution of Indian Railways, particularly its southern zone.

Of particular interest would be the steam, diesel and fowler steam plough engines on display outside the museum, which demonstrate the seismic shift in the hauling capacity of the trains over years.

And if you are one of those unlucky ones in the state capital to have not witnessed a heritage Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) train chugging through the narrow caves of mist covered western ghats only on screen, the museum might help you catch a glimpse of a life size model of a NMR coach.

Various plans are afoot to make it more interesting for regular visitors and to have more people visiting Chennai Railway Museum.

As the Chennai Rail Museum completes 14 years this month, those who have visited the facility say the place can do a lot more to keep up interest levels among visitors as well as to draw new people.

“There must be some takeaway for every visitor,” says Arun Devraj, who took charge as its curator in February.

Spread over a 6.5-acre campus, the museum houses a fascinating collection of items. It has two galleries, a number of outdoor exhibits, a toy train and vast outdoor space.

Recently, coach models, which were above the eyeline for children, were kept at the ground level. “Many would like to touch the exhibits and we are open to that,” says Devraj.

Around 50 per cent of the items on display now have captions in English and Tamil.

“We are working on making a visit to the museum more interesting. We encourage teams to take a guided tour in which they the functioning of models is explained to them,” he says, adding that more documentation needs to be done.

Some working professionals feel if the museum is kept open for a longer duration on weekends, it will encourage more people to visit it.

It is also planning to introduce a monthly concept whereby a new exhibit is displayed for the period.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Canara Bank UPI- eMpower Revamped

        Canara Bank has revamped its UPI App with new features and released the 1.3 version on 1st December

        Till date the App has had 1,00,000 downloads. 

        The new additions are:-

1. Fresh new logo

2. Enabled New password Policy.

3. Enhanced User Interface.

4. Enhanced User Experience.

5. Generate QR code for receiving payments at Retail Stores to make payment through QR code scanning

        In the near future, the eMpower App will offer regional language support and merchant transactions like recharge.

          There is 24 x 7 support through

A)   Email id
B)    Toll Free Number :1800-425-0018

Canara Bank has numerous APPS on Playstore to enable its customers to transact digitally.

The following are the brief intro of the Apps.

01)  “Canara GeoLocate” – Smart finder is a mobile app enables a GPS based search to
locate Bank’s ATMs/Branches/E-Lounges.


03) CANARA e-INFOBOOK: The IT Development of Canara Bank enables you to view e-passbook (transactions details), balance inquiry, A/C summary, Cheque Status, ATM/Branch Locator, Info about new products etc now on your android set at anytime anywhere in English.

04) HINDI-CANARA E-INFOBOOK: to view e-passbook (transactions details), balance inquiry, A/C summary, Cheque Status, ATM/Branch Locator, Info about new products etc now on your android set at anytime anywhere in Hindi.

05) Tamil canara e-infobook: to view e-passbook (transactions details), balance inquiry, A/C summary, Cheque Status, ATM/Branch Locator, Info about new products etc now on your android set at anytime anywhere in Tamil.

06) Kannada canara e-infobook: to view e-passbook (transactions details), balance inquiry, A/C summary, Cheque Status, ATM/Branch Locator, Info about new products etc now on your android set at anytime anywhere in Kannada.

07) CANARA mWALLET: The Mobile Wallet facility of Canara Bank enables you to view wallet balances, ATM locator, Branch locator, transfer funds between accounts to wallet and wallet to wallet within our bank and many more useful services.

08) Canara Swipe: Swipe is a simple yet powerful mobile app that enables customers to carry out a host of routine banking activities through Missed call and SMS. To make it more convenient to customers, this app provides all services with an option to either auto dial for missed call or auto construct the required SMS format. Customer will be facilitated to manage all services within a single app.

09) Malayalam canara e-infobook: to view e-passbook (transactions details), balance inquiry, A/C summary, Cheque Status, ATM/Branch Locator, Info about new products etc now on your android set at anytime anywhere in malayalam.

10)  Telugu canara e-infobook: to view e-passbook (transactions details), balance inquiry, A/C summary, Cheque Status, ATM/Branch Locator, Info about new products etc now on your android set at anytime anywhere in Telugu.

11)  MARATHI CANARA E- INFOBOOK: to view e-passbook (transactions details), balance inquiry, A/C summary, Cheque Status, ATM/Branch Locator, Info about new products etc now on your android set at anytime anywhere in Marathi.

12)  BANGLA CANARA E-INFOBOOK: to view e-passbook (transactions details), balance inquiry, A/C summary, Cheque Status, ATM/Branch Locator, Info about new products etc now on your android set at anytime anywhere in BANGLA.

13)  Canara Rewardz: Canara Rewardz is Canara Bank’s Loyalty Program to make the banking experience highly rewarding for all Canara Bank’s Credit Card customers. This app allows you to manage your Canara Rewards

Monday, December 12, 2016

Special Incentives to encourage Digital payments at PSU petrol pumps – UPI not enabled!!

The positive effect of Demonetisation

          # Demonetisation, #Cashless

          Indian Oil Corporation Ltd has released a Press Release on December 12th, 2016.

          The Press Release starts with highlighting the number of initiatives taken by Government of India to move our countrymen towards cashless society.

One of the initiatives is to promote cashless transactions at PSU Petrol Pumps through  0.75% discount when a customer uses Debit / Credit Cards, Mobile Wallets and Prepaid Loyalty Cards.

This 0.75% discount is to incentivise petrol / diesel customers to transact through CashLess modes at PSU petrol pumps.

The best part is that this 0.75% discount is applicable to Debit / Credit Cards, Mobile Wallets and Prepaid Loyalty Cards transactions.

The above would come into effect from 13.12.2016, 00.00 hrs.

This amount of discount will be credited to customer’s account by way of cash back within maximum three working days of the transaction.

Tomorrow morning I will be going to my nearest PSU  Petrol Pump, fill up my petrol tank, and pay through my debit card.

And, in another three days, will see the cashback credit in my Bank Account statement. Wonderful isn’t it?

As of now, transactions through UPI are not eligible for CashBack. Trust in the near future, UPI transactions will also be eligible for CashBack.

One interesting aspect of the program is that the CashBack is eligible for prepaid cards too. This means that large consumers like Travel companies, Corporates, Educational Institutions drivers will now demand their management to provide them prepaid cards.

Isn’t this brilliant?

Saturday, December 10, 2016 - Spreading the Joy of Safe ePayments

The positive effect of Demonetisation   
Government of India has stepped up the throttle to spread the Joy of Safe ePayments in our country.

It is building up a quiver of tools to enable our countrymen to transact safely through Digital Channels.

The website is one more tool to raise the awareness levels of Digital Transactions in India.

The new portal was launched on 9th December, 2016 by Union Minister of Electronics and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad and PP Chaudhary, MoS, Electronics & IT.

The website content is managed by ‘Ministry of Electronics and IT’ (MeitY).

The website has 6 sub-sections namely:-

01)  Digital Payment Methods

02) Cyber Security for Digital Payments

03) Capacity Building and Awareness

04) Promoting Digital Payments within Government

05) Promoting Digital Payments amongst Citizens

06) Contact

The website is designed, developed and hosted by National Informatics Centre (NIC).

The website also has an accessibility dropbox to enable all kinds of viewers to go through the website contents.

The seeds for National Informatics Centre (NIC) were sown in 1976, and over the years NIC has emerged as a "prime builder" of e-Government / e-Governance applications up to the grassroots level as well as a promoter of digital opportunities for sustainable development.

The contents in each sub-section are being updated continuously.

Keep logging into frequently to enhance your knowledge of Safe ePayments.

5 Points which can boost the viewership numbers of

Point No 01) - Counter indicating number of visitors

Point No 02) – Sub-section indicating the visitors flow

Point No 03) Sub-section highlighting success stories

Point No 04) Sub-section highlighting the volumes of daily digital transactions

Point No 05) Sub-section highlighting links to various other important websites

Friday, December 9, 2016

e-Kharid – Haryana’s Digital Procurement Tool

The positive effect of Demonetisation

On 26th Septmember, 2016 Haryana Government launched a Mobile APP in Google Playstore named e-Kharid.

The launch program was presided over by Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan and Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar at Karnal, Haryana.   Karnal  is a city located in the NCR and the headquarters of Karnal District. It is one of the Counter-Magnet cities.

The primary objective of e-Kharid is to bring in transparency in the food grains procurement process across the procurement channel.

The main focus is in providing real time information and timely payment. These twin aims is to enable the growers to get the best price for their produce with minimal pain.

The e-Kharid program has two access points a) Portal b) Mobile App. The “e-Kharid” portal is a joint initiative of the Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board and the Department of Food & Supplies, Govt. of Haryana.

According to J Ganesan, Chief Administrator, Haryana State Marketing Board, said it would extend ease of doing business to the traders and empower the farmers by providing them real time information and timely payment.

Ganesan said a mobile app which would make the system paperless and hassle free will be launched, too.

With the help of this system, the procurement agencies would disburse payments to arthias instead of age old paper and stamp system.

A toll free number 18001802060 would be available for any kind of help, queries and grievances, he maintained.

With the help of ‘e-Kharid’, all the stake holders, including farmers, traders and government agencies, farmers, traders and purchasers, would get instant alerts on each and every transaction.

The state government’s ‘e-kharid’ initiative supplements National Agriculture Marketing, a pan-India electronic trading portal of existing APMC ‘mandis’, to bring efficiency and transparency in procurement of agricultural commodities.

As per latest news,  Haryana has procured Rs 2,500-crore worth of kharif crops, including paddy, cotton, bajra, guar and oilseeds, through the e-purchase platform.

In the current season, paddy worth Rs 1,500 crore and other cash crops worth Rs 1,000 crore were procured online.

The online procurement process was made optional for the current season by the Haryana government after ‘aarthiyas’ and commission agents sought more time to adapt to the automated process. The aarthiyas had expressed concern over the money given as advance to farmers and objected to direct payment to farmers.

The direct payment system to farmers was objected by the traditional aarthiyas and commission agents. Educational programs are being run to encourage them to adopt to the new procurement process.

Officials maintained that direct payments are likely to be introduced by rabi season when mainly wheat is bought by government agencies.

By the following rabi marketing season, about 54 more mandis are being targeted to be covered under the online scheme. “It will bring mandis in half of Haryana under the ambit of e-kharid,” said J Ganesan, chief administrator, Haryana State Agricultural Marketing Board.

Under e-kharid, an auction recorder digitises data, including credentials of a farmer, the linked Aadhaar number and bank account details, through handheld device. An auto generated gate pass receipt is issued and the device also registers the login ID of an aarthiya selected by the farmer.

Traditionally Aarthiyas or Commission Agents are the link between Grower and the Buyers. The Aarthiyas usually get a commission from both the buyers and the sellers. In some cases, they also finance the farmers. These financing locks up the farmers with the respective Aarthiyas and the farmers are obliged to bring their produce to the particular aarthiya only.

The e-Kharid program does not aim to replace the aarthiya, rather its focuses on brining in transparency and timely payment to the farmers.

Additional reading material:

Role of Commission Agents In Marketing Agricultural Products

Who is the “arthi”: Understanding the commission agent’s role in the agriculture supply chain

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Andhra Bank *99# - The Safe way to do USSD Transactions


          On September 8, 2016 Andhra Bank released its *99# USSD Banking APP on Google Playstore.

          You can type *99# in Playstore to locate the APP or click on this link to directly land on the APP landing page.

          As on date, the APP has had 10,000 plus downloads

          The primary purpose of this APP is let Andhra Bank account holders to initiated banking transactions through the USSD Channel.

          The APP is designed to initiate SMS requests to the banking server to execute the requests.

          Andhra Bank with its Headquarters in Hyderabad, Telangana has branches spread all over India.

          Apart from *99# APP on PlayStore it also has the following APPS

01) mPay Solution

02)                  Andhra Bank UPI App

03)                  Andhra Bank Selfie Banking

04)                  AndhraBank Cube

05)                  Andhra Bank “Safe-T” Mobile Application

Andhra Bank is also part of the ‘Chillr’, APP platform

So go ahead, download Andhra Bank *99# and transact from any part of the world.
For any grievances you can mail to : - or the App Developer @

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Way Ahead for Siddipet CashLess Journey @ Harish Rao Thanneeru - The positive effect of Demonetisation

Read more of Shri Harish Rao Thanneeru efforts to popularise CashLess Transactions in Siddipet .

          This is in continuation of my earlier Post . The villages in Siddipet Assembly Constituency have yet to begin the race.

          A support system is required for these villages to begin the race and take this forward.

          The main differentiator in this attempt is to convert a number of villages simultaneously from a Cash economy to a Digital economy.

As per Census 2011 Data, Siddipet Mandal has 21 villages.  

As per the official site of Siddipet District, there are 29 villages.

At this moment the number of villages does not matter. What matters is the race to win the coveted prize of INR10,00,00/- and the associated publicity.

The focus is on CashLess villages due to the following reasons:-

01)  Small footprint
02) Low population
03) Less obstacles

Other CashLess villages in India

a)     At Akodara, India’s first digital village
b)    Maharashtra Gets Its First 'Cashless Village'
c)     ICICI Bank to transform 100 villages into ‘ICICI Digital Villages’ in 100 days

11 ways to take this forward

Way No 01 : - A new website named as

Way No 02 : - Dedicated control room to track the progress

Way No 03 : - Dedicated SPOCs in each Village

Way No 04 : - Adoption of each village by an educational institution

Way No 05 : - Daily updates on

Way No 06 : - The best innovative ideas to be highlighted on

Way No 07 : - Funds from MLA Constituency Development Fund can be deployed to run this campaign

Way No 08 : - Dedicated FaceBook Page to highlight the achievements of villages in the run-up to the final prize

Way No 09 : - New age technologies to be explored instead of traditional methods

Way No 10 : - Invite Abhishant Pant to spread the Joys of CashLess transactions

Way No 11 : - Organise cultural programs to spread the benefits of Digital Transactions

Of the various multiple options available in the market the most promising is COOPaisa – The Cooperative Digital Currency

The next question is which Bank can quickly scale up this in Villages under Siddipet constituency.

Couple of Banks which come to my mind are:

Bank No 1:- APGVB - We are with you!
Reason 01 --- 775 plus branches
Reason 02 --- Winner of Best-IT enabled Regional Rural Bank for year 2016-17
Reason 03 --- APGVB is familiar with Alternate Delivery Channels

Bank No 2:- Andhra Bank
Reason 01 --- Head office at Hyderabad
Reason 02 --- Multiple products for CashLess modes

Reason 01 --- Local Bank
Reason 02 --- Tech savvy Bank

Bank No 4:- Gayatri Bank
Reason 01 --- Local Cooperative Bank
Reason 02 --- Capability to scale up quickly

Bank No 5:- State Bank of Hyderabad
Reason 01 --- Lead Bank for erstwhile Medak District
Reason 02 --- Head Office in Hyderabad