PM Narendra Modi, on Wednesday, September 5, will inaugurate India's first-ever Railway University at Vadodara in Gujarat. This university will function from the picturesque Pratap Vilas Palace, which currently houses the National Academy of Indian Railways - the alma mater for the Officers of the Indian Railways.
The university will be offering two courses -- Bachelor of Science in Transportation Technology and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Transport Management.
According to an Indian Express report, the university will function temporarily from the premises of the Pratap Vilas palace as the railway ministry has already identified a 100-acre plot in Vadodara to set up a greenfield campus.
The majestic Pratap Vilas palace was designed based on a renaissance design by British architect Charles F Stevens, son of F.W. Stevens who designed the famous Victoria Terminus of Bombay. The palace was constructed between 1908-1914 at the centre of 55 acres land, with a huge garden surrounded by several varieties of trees.
It was named after the 13th Maharaja of Baroda state, Pratapsinh Rao Gaekwad. The premises were taken over on lease in 1949 by the Bombay province who gave it to Indian Railways for use.
The National academy of Indian Railways, which was founded in 1930 at Premnagar, Dehradun was later shifted to Pratap Vilas palace in 1952. The palace now houses the Railway Staff College. This is the main training ground of Indian Railways.