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Govt of Rajasthan to implement Data-driven Systems approach to Road Safety in Collaboration with IIT Madras

This collaboration will involve various stakeholder Departments in Govt of Rajasthan involved in road safety.

Indian Institute of Technology Madras will collaborate with the Government of Rajasthan to help it implement a structured framework for a data-driven systems approach to road safety.

A MoU for this collaboration was signed recently between the Rajasthan Government represented by Ravi Jain, Transport Commissioner and IIT Madras by Prof Ravindra Gettu, Dean (Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research), IIT Madras.

The key objective of this collaboration is to enhance road safety measures, increase capacity and capability across the board in the Government to both increase the survivability of road accident victims and reduce occurrence rate in the State.

Marking the beginning of this partnership, Pratap Singh Khachariyawas, Minister for Transport, Government of Rajasthan, said, “Our Government has always been very determined in strengthening our State’s road safety measures so as to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities from it considerably. In this regard, we are extremely delighted to join hands with RBG Labs at IIT Madras to help implement the Tamil Nadu Model of Road Safety and are ever ready to facilitate interactions between the stakeholders of Government of Rajasthan and IIT Madras.”

The key outcomes targeted from this collaboration include:

Ø Building capability of the core road safety team in Rajasthan.

Ø Help build strategies and implementation work packages for all stakeholder departments to realize safe roads in the State of Rajasthan.

Ø Develop a road map towards reaching the SDG goal of 50% reduction in road fatalities by 2030 and eventually to zero deaths from road traffic accidents.

Ø Help build a data driven trauma care with institutional registry developed by IIT Madras.

Speaking on the association, Prof Ravindra Gettu, Dean (Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research), IIT Madras, said, “This MoU will foster a collaborative partnership wherein IIT Madras will be building the capability of various stakeholders in Government of Rajasthan and help them design and implement a successful road safety program.”

This collaboration will involve various stakeholder Departments in Govt of Rajasthan involved in road safety including Public Works Department (PWD), National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), police, health and medical services, among other agencies.

Elaborating on this engagement, Prof Venkatesh Balasubramanian, Faculty In-Charge, Rehabilitation Bioengineering Group (RBG) Labs, Department of Engineering Design, IIT Madras, who is coordinating this initiative, said, “Roads are shared asset and the safety on them is a collective responsibility of all the stakeholders. However, without having an overt and specific responsibility, it can be easily lost between the gaps. Therefore, it is quintessential to develop a good strategy based on data. It is, therefore, necessary to have a design thinking approach to solve the problem by not just identifying the issues but implementing changes that are sustainable in the local conditions.”

Prof Venkatesh Balasubramanian added, “The breadth of this engagement is a testament to the benefit it will bring to both the partners. With requisite orientation and training programmes, the stakeholders from the State of Rajasthan are expected to develop both capacity and capability. This will be essential in implementing and using the information from the magnum opus of road accident data from MoRTH, i.e., ‘Integrated Road Accident Database’ (iRAD).”

Some of the other key projects on road safety taken of RBG Labs at IIT Madras include:

Ø Working with National Health Mission Tamil Nadu, helped build a unique Trauma Care program, TAEI (Tamil Nadu Accident and Emergency care Initiative). RBG Labs had advised in designing and implementing this unique trauma care program that uses principles of lean manufacturing

Ø Working with the Tamil Nadu Police, helped improve the data collection process of road traffic accidents called RADMS (Road Accident Database Management System). The resultant application TARA (Traffic Accident Reporting App) was geared to have an integrated approach to accident data collection.

Ø MoRTH adopted this integrated approach for data collection where in-depth data can be simultaneously collected from various domain specialist agencies called iRAD (Integrated Road Accident Database). RBG Labs, IIT Madras and NICSI are currently in the process of developing and implementing nationally

Ø Based on a technology transfer from RBG Labs, IIT Madras to M/s Harita Seating Systems Limited, an IoT based ubiquitous monitoring of driver presence, performance and behaviour monitoring system called the Harita Intellisea™ was launched in 2017 and won the auto-component of the year in 2018.

Congratulating the initiative for being proactive, Giridhar Aramane, Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), Government of India, said, “Safe Roads are critical for safe movement of goods and people that will result in a vibrant economy. MoRTH has been backing RBG Labs at IIT Madras to take its structured data-driven system approach to improve road safety pan-India. We look forward to seeing a major impact in Rajasthan from this initiative. We wish all the stakeholders the best to make our roads safe for all.”

The Rehabilitation Bioengineering Group is an interdisciplinary group with competencies in Human Factors and Transportation, Innovation and Lean Operations, Medical Devices and Implants.

Speaking about this initiative, Ravi Jain, Transport Commissioner, who is responsible for road safety in Rajasthan, said, “Rajasthan is one of the pilot States that will be implementing the Integrated Road Accident Database. We look forward to aligning our stakeholder Departments to work on a systems approach to road safety using the Transportation Safety Framework developed by the RBG Labs. This will help us streamline our initiatives in road safety and have a significant impact in achieving SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) goal of 50 per cent reduction by 2030 in the State.”