In 2017, Delhi metro rates were increased twice, once in May and then in October. The hike in the metro rates has not only made it difficult for students to afford it but have also led to unrest among students as the Students Federation of India threatens to start a ‘movement’ against it.
Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) has unswervingly been writing letters to the administration since October 2017 to provide metro rebates bearing in mind the plight of the students.
DMRC is finally “considering” discounts and rebates through biometric ID to students and elderly who travel by metro. Let’s hope that it works in our favor.
WHY DO STUDENTS AND THE ELDERLY REQUIRE SPECIAL DISCOUNTS?
Students have no income of their own and most campus students survive on pocket-money which is normally a minimal amount. Students prefer the tube for their traverse from one place to another as it is the lifeline for travel being the most elaborate and the most convenient means of travel. It is also considered as the fastest mode. Countries like Australia offer rebate by 30% for students to reduce their educational expense.
It is absurd to see that the government is ready to give tax breaks to the corporate sector and is incurring huge losses putting up with fraudsters who flee the country but they refuse to help the youth who are the future of our nation.
The senior citizens should also be offered concessional rates keeping in mind their frail condition to work and their lack of sources of funds. This issue needs to be addressed as both the elderly and the students deserve discounted fares for social welfare. The nation should prioritize its expenses and incur expenditure for social benefit.
THE ROLE OF RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY:
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Chief Mangu Singh has revealed of having explored the options for providing the elderly and the students discounted rates on metro rides.
This view was not on their horizon till date in view of fair chances of fraudulence. However, in the mad rush of technology in today’s world, it can be implanted by using biometric verification and face recognition.
If a smart card is issued, the Automatic fare collection machine will not be able to recognize students and elders which will lead to its misuse. With the help of present technology, it is pretty much possible of having it done but some glitches need to be taken care of.
The biometric system takes quite some time to identify the person. Research and technology need to be developed to pace up the systems. This system is now used for taking attendance and it is seen that the technology snag makes it difficult.
TACTICS TO AVOID FRAUDS:
The DMRC plans to use special gates for this biometric verification of students and senior citizens. These gates will also be accessible only to them. The card will be issued ‘only once’ to them in light of curbing any fraudulent practices which may take place.
The DMRC should also consider the scope of employing Artificial intelligence (AI). The world as a whole is moving in the direction where the AI will play an important role in the efficient administration. The government can also venture and look forward to employing AI.
The current rate structure is Rs 10 up to 2 km, Rs 20 for 2 to 5 km, Rs 30 for 5 to 12 km, Rs 40 for 12 to 21 km, and Rs 60 for traveling beyond 32 km. Considering the state of technological affairs and the pace of the administration faculty, execution of the said plan might take some time. However, if executed well, such a move would definitely be appraised and applauded by one and all.
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