India's first railway university in Vadodara: Indian Railways' big initiative! Railway Minister Piyush Goyal along with the Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani is dedicating India's very first Railway University at Vadodara in Gujarat to the nation today. This is a big step by the national transporter towards professional education and training in the railway sector. The railway university began operations on September 5 this year to mark Teacher's Day. The university is said to be PM Narendra Modi's brainchild. Here are 10 interesting things that you should know about this premier institution and why its important: 1. The National Rail and Transportation Institute (NRTI), deemed university in Vadodara, had opened its doors to the first batch of 103 students from 20 states in two fully-residential undergraduate courses in September this year. 2. It is India's first railway university and only third such in the whole world after Russia and China. 3. In this year, two under-graduate programmes are being offered by the university. These are B.Sc. in Transportation Technology and a BBA programme in Transportation Management. These are the university's flagship 3-year full time programmes which are highly multidisciplinary and experiential in nature. 4. The university aims to start the masters programme from 2019-20 academic session in areas such as Transportation and Systems Design, Transport Systems Engineering, Transport Policy and Economics, among others. 5. 103 students had already been shortlisted for the two undergraduate courses. The student body remains highly diverse in the institution with 17 girls and 86 boys coming from 20 states. Forty-one students are admitted in BBA (Transportation Management) while and 62 students are in B.Sc (Transportation Technology) programme. 6. The Vice-Chancellor of the university is Ashwani Lohani who is the Chairman of the Railway Board of India. For academics, the university has visiting faculty from the likes of XLRI School of Management and Indian Business School, Hyderabad, among others. 7. The inaugural batch of the university this year has been given a 50% scholarship in the annual course fee of Rs 75,000 by the government. Without the scholarship, the fee is Rs 91,000 for one academic year, including all other charges. 8. The building's construction of the university has been designed on the lines of Pratap Vilas Palace of the erstwhile Gaekwad state. As an interesting add-on, The National Academy of Indian Railways is also situated in the same campus. Till the time the greenfield campus for the university gets ready, both the institutions will run from this campus. 9. The Ministry of Railways has sanctioned Rs 421 crores for the university and its curriculum's development for the next five years. 10. For the building of the greenfield campus, Indian Railways has identified a 100-acre plot in Vadodara and is in talks with the government to acquire the same. Approximately 110 acres of land at Pipaliya village in Waghodiya Taluka, District Vadodara is identified by Indian Railways.