MoU between Konkan Railway and ETH Zurich

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Konkan Railway and the ETH Zurich was signed on 31 August 2017 for cooperation between the two institutions. This signature took place within the framework of the State Visit of the President of the Swiss Confederation, H.E. Mrs Doris Leuthard to India on 31 August and 1 September 2017. The MoU was signed by Professor Dr. Sarah Springman, Rector ETH Zurich and Mr Sanjay Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director of Konkan Railway.

Picture:Professor Dr. Sarah Springman, Rector ETH Zurich and Mr Ashwini Lohani, Chairman, Railway Board, India exchanging the signed MoUs, as H.E. Mrs Doris Leuthard, President of the Swiss Confederation and H.E. Mr Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India look on.

Picture: Professor Dr. Sarah Springman, Rector ETH Zurich and Mr Sanjay Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director of Konkan Railway, signing the MoU.

The Memorandum of Understanding is a comprehensive one and will include inter alia exchange of information, curriculum development; organisation of joint courses, seminars and workshops; exchange of faculty and staff; and setting up and operation of courses.

Already extensive discussions have taken place between Konkan Railways and ETH Zurich on the activities to be carried out under the MoU and the modalities of cooperative actions.

The seeds of this cooperation were laid in June 2016. The then Indian Railway Minister, Mr. Suresh Prabhu, while addressing an event at the Swiss Embassy, to mark the inauguration of 57-kilometre Gotthard Base Tunnel (GBT) in Switzerland, had requested an academic collaboration between India and Switzerland for the upcoming George Fernandes Institute of Tunnel Technology (GFITT) in Goa, which will be set up by the Konkan Railway in Goa.

Picture: Former Railway Minister, Mr Suresh Prabhu, addressing the gathering at the Swiss Embassy on the occasion of the inauguration of the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland.

After exploring potential partners in Switzerland, the Konkan Railway identified the Institute for Geotechnical Engineering at the ETH Zurich as the partner of choice. swissnex India facilitated the initial contact between ETH Zurich and Konkan Railway and followed the progress of the discussions, which contributed to the finalisation of the MoU and its signature.

The Institute for Geotechnical Engineering is renowned for its excellence and carries out teaching, research and provision of services across the entire spectrum of soil and rock mechanics through to clay mineralogy, including geotechnical engineering and environmental geotechnics.

The ETH Zurich, of course needs no introduction. Founded in 1855, the ETH provides an environment which is ideal for developing independent thinking for students and for researchers a climate which inspires top performance. It is amongst the best universities in the world, being ranked No 9 in the Times Higher Education ranking on 2017 (the highest outside of the United States of America and the United Kingdom). 188 Indian students are currently enrolled at the ETH Zurich, mainly in the Master’s and Doctoral levels. .