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Standard gauge Vande Bharat rakes to be manufactured in Chennai for exports: Ashwini Vaishnaw

Union Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw in Chennai (Image: ANI)

Union Minister of Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw announced that Integral Coach Factory (ICF), Chennai will now develop standard gauge Vande Bharat trains, only for export purposes.

Minister Vaishnaw was speaking on the occasion of the inaugural ceremony of Qualcomm’s Chennai Design Center. The center was inaugurated by the minister Vaishnaw.

Standard gauge rakes are used in Railways across the world. Following the inauguration, the Minister said that presently, broad gauge Vande Bharat is being manufactured in ICF for use in the Indian Railway network.

“If we have to export Vande Bharat rakes five years from now we have to start now the process of designing as the process of designing, testing, getting national and international approval and manufacturing is a lengthy process. This will add to the export potential of ICF in Chennai, Tamil Nadu,” the minister said.

Vaishnaw also announced that wheels using the forging process will be manufactured in Tamil Nadu and the construction work has already started and production will commence in 16-18 months.

He said that this manufacturing unit in Gummidipoondi, Tamilnadu will have a huge production capacity of 2.5 lakhs per year.

“Of which, 80000 will be consumed in India and the remaining 1.7 lakhs will be exported,” the minister said.

Minister pointed out India has been an importer of forged wheels for the last 60-70 years and now with this plant being set up, India will become an exporter of forged wheels.

The Minister who was attending the inaugural ceremony of Qualcomm’s Chennai Design Center also launched the 6G University Research India Program on Thursday, in the presence of Cristiano Amon, President and CEO, Qualcomm incorporated at the Ramanujan IT City, Taramani, Chennai.

This initiative marks a crucial step forward in Qualcomm’s journey of innovation also strengthening its presence in India. This expansion entails an investment of Rs 177.27 crore.

Talking about the semiconductor production in India, Vaishnaw pointed out that all three semiconductor chips in Qualcomm board will be designed now end to end in the newly inaugurated Chennai Design Center and thus meeting the Prime Minister’s vision of creating entire value chain of semi-conductor in India starting from design, fabrication and ATMP (Assembling, Testing, Marking and Packaging) and encompassing further all three layers of semiconductor ecosystem, i.e., talent pool, gases and chemicals and semiconductor equipment.

The Minister also said that the with foundation stone laying for three projects of semiconductor by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, the country will have capability in all fields — design, fabrication and ATMP (Modified Assembly, Testing, Marking, and Packaging).

“We have programmed with 104 universities spread across the nation where latest design tools are made available to the students, to learn, experiment and try out new ideas,” the Minister noted.