UIC World Security Congress Calls for International Collaboration to Tackle Railway Security Challenges

The 18th UIC World Security Congress jointly organized by the Railway Protection Force(RPF) and the International Union of Railways (UIC) continued on the second day in Jaipur, with a focus on exploring the best Railway Security tools and practices from around the world. The event being held in India for the third time, has seen participation from leading security experts, policymakers and industry leaders from across the world to discuss the current security challenges in the Railway Sector and deliberate on innovative solutions.

The morning session contained presentations on best railway security tools and practices in North America, Middle East, Africa, Europe and India. The presentations highlighted how various nations are leveraging technology, innovation and customized processes to enhance security on trains and stations.

A running theme in the interventions undertaken by various regions was the need to recognize a Railway station as not merely a point of entry and exit for passengers but a centre of social, civic and economic activity. This particularly came to the forefront in the experiences shared by the Polish delegate, Ms Magdalena Kujacinska on the solutions developed for dealing with the Ukrainian refugee crises. Representing India, Dr. Pradnya Saravade, Director General of Railway Police, Maharashtra and Mr Ajoy Sadany, Inspector General of Railway Protection Force, Central Railways mentioned how the state police in collaboration with RPF have developed solutions tailored to the formal security apparatus and civic environment in Mumbai. In a densely populated urban area like Mumbai, they called for humane policing by placing the passenger at the centre while developing solutions for safe travel. Other speakers including Mr.VincentRoque from France,Ms Delphine Beatse from Belgium,Mr.  Samba Ndiaye and Ms. Yacine Sarr from Senegal, Mr Abdullah ALOTAIBI from Saudi Arabia, Mr Peter Lambrinakos, joining online from Canada, also made very useful presentations.

With the theme of “Vision 2030”, the afternoon session saw senior police officers ofIndia lead a stimulating discussion on the security challenges of the future. Mr. Arun Kumar,FormerDirectorGeneral,RPF,Mr.VSKKaumudi,FormerSecretary(Security),CabinetSecretariat, Mr. S M Sahai, Additional Secretary, Nation Security Council Secretariat, New Delhidiscussed these challenges that required unique solutions as the Indian Railways expands to sensitive regions of India. They underscored the need to develop a robust railway security infrastructure incorporating predictive mechanisms to forecast emerging patterns of crime and threat perceptions. Attendees recognized that effectively dealing with emerging threats such as Cyber Security, Security of High-Speed Rail, transnational crime and terrorism, will require greater push by these institutions for international collaboration. Such deliberations continued during the lunch hours as foreign delegates and senior Indian law enforcement officials were divided into six groups for sharing of perspectives and ideas on the common railway security challenges faced by them.

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