Economy 3AC Coaches in Indian Railways

Indian Railways have now started producing Economy AC 3-tier coaches in the Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala. Under the new interior design, the number of seats will increase per coach from 72 to 83. This will result in an increased number of passengers boarding the same train. The question is, will it not reduce the leg space, or will it bring comfort to the boarding passengers. Read this article to know more.

AC 3-tier is the most profitable coach type for Indian Railways when it comes to revenue from passenger traffic. Hence, Indian Railways is giving no stone unturned to explore new ways of providing passenger comfort, and giving greater chances to occupy a 3AC seat. Over the years, modern LHB coaches have provided more seats in a train than older ICF coaches. Railway engineers have found out a major flaw in AC rakes on which they have started modification. This new economy 3AC class is a result of correcting the design flaw.

3AC Interior Bunks

AC coaches require switch gears, transformers and other electrical devices which eat up a lot of space inside the coaches. Engineers have now planted these devices under the coaches, suspending them from the bottom of the coaches between the bogies. It freed up enough space for the addition of another 11 seats in AC 3-tier coaches. This will not compromise on the leg or luggage space previously available to the passengers. The same formula can be applied to AC 2-tier coaches, chair car and AC First Class coaches, which may increase their capacity. For a trial, this has been applied only to 3AC coaches as these are the most profitable coaches of Indian Railways attracting a lot of passengers, who want to put a lot of expenses, and at the same time get good facilities as well.

Moreover, no extra profit will be earned by the Railways, as the prices of Economy 3AC coaches will reduce by 8% of normal 3AC coaches. The reduction in fare of 3AC coaches will attract more passengers who previously travelled in only the non-AC sleeper class. In the long term, the loss-prone non-AC sleeper and second seating class will be completely replaced by profitable AC coaches, be it chair car or sleeper. The economic coaches, being new, will have modern amenities like personal reading lights, personal AC outlet, personal charging socket, which are essential requirements to most passengers.

3AC COach Toilet

Will all these attract more people to take the train to their travel destinations? The initial results of revamping rail coaches with modern facilities have been a success. The Prayagraj-Jaipur express is the first train to get Economy 3AC coaches in view of demand. 2 more trains, New Delhi-Lucknow AC special and Lucknow Mail, will be allotted Economy 3AC coaches very soon. So plan your next ride in an Economy 3AC coach with a flushed interior and reduced price to your next travel destination.

Written by – Himadri Paul

4 Days Work a Week

5 days a week work may seem boring for many employees. After long hours of duty daily, getting only 2 days a week as holiday is not enough for many workers, who are doing laborious work. Also, the working hours per week seem to have exceeded what is required in this modern, fast-paced and digital world. That is why some countries are looking forward to either reducing the working hours a week or giving Friday or Monday a holiday along with the usual weekend.

The Covid-19 pandemic lockdown and work from home conditions is said to be the inspiration for exploring the possibility of a reduction in working hours. Some countries and private companies have explored the possibility of either a 4 working day week pattern, or reduction in working hours per day, or even giving a flexible approach deciding the duty time. All possibilities were tested by several private firms during the pandemic period when most of the workers opted to work from home. Currently, Germany has the least working hours a week at less than 30 hours a week.

Though several small firms had started reduced working hours or 4-day a week trials, the first major success was found in that of Iceland. Though the trials started before the pandemic, it took one and a half years to conclude finally. In July 2021, Iceland released its report on the trials. Iceland concluded that reducing working hours would result in an overwhelming success for the employees and the working class. Though the production did not increase as anticipated, sufficient cost can be reduced in terms of electricity bill, manpower, maintenance for offices, and transportation cost for employees.

The trial was not entirely on 4-day work but also covered 5-day work with reduced working hours and flexible timings of duty. In the case of 4-day work, Friday or Monday was declared a holiday for employees on a rotational basis. In all cases, work hours were reduced from 40 hours a week to 35-36 hours a week, though it is alleged that some 5-day work requiring longer duty time got decreased by no more than 7 mins a day or 35 mins a week in private sectors and 13 mins a day or 65 mins a week in the public sector. The salary of employees were not decreased. Some researchers have stated that the report was greatly overstated, and the working limits were not strictly followed in many cases.

The most significant positive idea from the Icelandic trials is employee satisfaction. Every employee is more satisfied with the current working conditions, with same pay. While the managers and officers are satisfied that there is no decrease in output from each employee, the employees have most benefited from the new working conditions. In 4-day work, a 3-day weekend also means greater time for travelling and rejuvenating the mind. Apart from Saturday and Sunday, the extra holiday on Monday or Friday worked the best for employees. Flexible duty timings is a significant respite to employees living far away, who have to get up too early. Now employees can attend any evening party, or wake up late, which was previously not possible in rigid working-hour conditions. It also gives the workers to take break from work, indulge in exercise, and relax.

Though we should never rely on one report, the report certainly shows promising results that can be carried forward in other countries. Japan and New Zealand have also started trials of 4-day week work, reduction in working hours, or flexible shifts on a large scale basis. India has also expressed its willingness for a 4-day work week, albeit at the expense of increasing working hours a day. As the world changed from 6 days a week work to 5 days at the turn of the millennium, the time has come that many companies and public sectors look forward to switching to 4 days a week work in the near future.

To know more about the details of findings on the report, click here.

Written by – Himadri Paul

RUSSIAN VACCINE; SPUTNIK V

       The SPUTNIK V vaccine was found by Gamaleya National research institute, Moscow, Russia. The covid-19 vaccine SPUTNIK V [ Gam-COVID-vac ] is an adenoviral-based two-part vaccine against the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus. SPUTNIK V uses weakened viruses to deliver small parts of pathogens and stimulate an immune response. It is a vector vaccine based on adenovirus DNA in which SARS – COV -2 coronavirus gene is integrated.

Third vaccine launch in INDIA; when and how much all you need to know? 

                     Deepak Sapra, the CEO of API and services at Dr. Reddy’s laboratories, which are manufacturing the Russian vaccine in India, confirmed the launch of the SPUTNIK V vaccine on Friday. It is the second most expensive vaccine to be launched in India as it has been priced at rupees 995.40, including goods and service tax. As the Russian vaccine is also to be manufactured in India, No word on pricing for the India-made shots yet, but the company aims to cut input costs as much as possible to offer it at the lowest price. A company has said the production of enough vaccines is expected to begin in mid-June. “We are pleased to announce that the first consignment of 1,50,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine has landed in Hyderabad from Russia,” said Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories CEO-API and Services Deepak Sapra. 

When will the SPUTNIK V be available? 

Since it has to be stored at a temperature of minus 18 degrees Celsius, the vaccine will be available in 35 cities across India. As the tests are underway for keeping the wax in between 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, and if results are favorable, a wide rollout is expected but faster. Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), the Russian sovereign wealth fund that has funded the vaccine, has signed pacts with five Indian companies to produce 850 million doses. The doses will not only be made in India but also exported to third countries. Between June 2021 to March 2022, around 238 million doses will be produced in the country. India is also expected to get 11 million doses in the form of fill and finish. After getting clearance from the Drug regulator in the country, the vaccine was finally launched in the country on Friday. The first dose of the vaccine was administered to an adult in Hyderabad on Friday. 

Let’s compare; COVISHEILD, COVAXIN to SPUTNIK V

●    COVISHEILD, manufactured by the serum institute of India, costs rupees 300 per dose and rupees 600 in private hospitals. International clinical trials of COVISHEILD have shown 90 % efficiency when people are given half doors and then full dose.

● A 24-year-old vaccine maker manufactures COVAXIN with a portfolio of 16 vaccines and exports to 123 countries – BHARAT BIOTECH used a sample of coronavirus, isolated by India’s National Institute of virology. The Covaxin is priced at rupees 600 for a single dose and 1200 rupees for private hospitals. COVAXIN has 81 percentage efficiency as for the final trials.

SPUTNIK V EFFICIENCY IN INDIA 

        ACCORDING TO A PUBLICATION IN A SCIENTIFIC JOURNAL, SPUTNIK V has an efficiency of 91.6%, The Lancet. In real-world data, SPUTNIK V compares ” very very favorable” with other global vaccines and is among the top two.

Denis Logunov, deputy director of the Gamaleya research centre, said that a study has shown the SPUTNIK V vaccine is working well against new coronavirus mutations. Experts have said SPUTNIK V will be more effective in India. Yes, four deaths are reported after the vaccination trials, but the deaths are not related to the vaccination. As a total of 20000 volunteers have participated in the three trials of the SPUTNIK V vaccine, the study found no strong allergies caused by Sputnik V.

                       Sources :- NDTV , THE INDIAN EXPRESS , THE HINDU

Written by – R Mohamed Irfan

Vaccines for Covid-19

Novel coronavirus, which emerged from Wuhan city, China, in 2019 (thus called Covid-19), caused havoc worldwide. It is a new virus, and nothing was known about it when it outbroke in various countries. However, in record time, research was conducted, which came up with some valuable measures to control the spread of the virus. Wearing a mask, frequent sanitization, and maintaining social distancing are some of the control measures taken throughout the world. However, that was not enough to stop the virus from spreading or save someone from dying. The most crucial need of the hour was a vaccine that can protect all from the virus and be safe for human use.

Many vaccines circulating throughout the world are partially effective for Covid-19 treatment (no vaccine has claimed 100% efficacy yet). Each vaccine has its own specialities and drawbacks. Also, the governments of many countries have circulated only a particular vaccine among their citizens.

So let us find out which vaccine is available in your country and which vaccine is suitable for you.

1)Sputnik V :
In record time, Russia made the world’s first vaccine for Covid-19, the Sputnik V, on August 11, 2020. The vaccine underwent widespread trials throughout Russia and was deemed both safe and effective. It also has a high efficacy of 91.6%, as reported in phase 3 trials. Sputnik V is a viral vector vaccine that is given in two doses 3-10 weeks apart. Viral vector vaccines contain live viruses that produce immunity to fight the primary Covid-19 disease. Although the two doses are different, immunity is provided by both the vectors together. It is widely available in Russia and China and is planned to be manufactured by many other countries, including Hungary, South Korea, India, Bangladesh and Argentina. India got its approval for the use of Sputnik V in late April amid difficult pandemic situation in the country. The first batch of Sputnik V arrived on May 1, 2021, and more collections are to come soon.

2)Covaxin :
One of the earliest vaccines to be found effective was India’s indigenously developed Covaxin by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research. It is an inactivated vaccine where dead Covid-19 are injected which do not cause any infection but can trigger the immune system to produce antibodies. Its efficacy is 81% in phase 3 trials and can 100% eliminate severe symptoms. With research showing promising results, it got approval in India on January 3, 2021, and has been subsequently transported to many countries, including Mauritius, Paraguay, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. Philippines, Iran and Mexico have also approved Covaxin on emergency use.

3)Covishield :
The Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine is called by its brand name Covishield in India. It was invented by Oxford University in collaboration with AstraZeneca and was approved in the UK in early December 2020. It was also the first vaccine to be approved by India along with Covaxin for emergency use on January 3, 2020. It consists of a weakened form of a common cold virus (an adenovirus) from chimpanzees modified to look like coronavirus. This viral vector vaccine is given in two doses which contain the same virus. Covishield claims 70% efficiency after the first dose and nearly 90% efficiency after the second dose (given after 12 weeks) and can 100% eliminate a severe infection. The two doses are given at an interval of 4 to 12 weeks, where increasing the gap between the doses tends to increase the efficiency. It has been approved by a large number of countries, including the US, the UK, the European Union, and many African and South Asian countries. It shows very rare side-effects of blood clotting, for which it is being considered to be banned in some European countries like Denmark, the reason being unknown. However, it is otherwise very effective and is widely available all across India, with Indian people hardly receiving any side effects.

4)Pfizer-BioNTech :
This is one of the best vaccines to prevent Covid-19 treatment with efficacy reaching 95%, developed jointly by Pfizer and BioNTech. It is also the first vaccine approved by WHO for emergency use on December 31, 2020. It is approved in developed countries like the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, the European Union, Switzerland and Singapore. It is a nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding a mutated form of the full-length spike protein of the Covid-19 virus. It is a two-dose vaccine with a gap of 21 days. Despite its popularity, minimal side-effects and availability, its main drawback is the storage facility. This vaccine should work only when stored and handled at a shallow temperature of -60℃ to -90℃. Unfortunately, no such super-cold storage facilities are available in India, nor do the supply chains. Thus it is not approved by the Indian Government at the present scenario.

5)Moderna :
Moderna is another high-efficiency vaccine invented by Moderna, the United States Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. Similar to Pfizer-BioNTech, it involves nucleoside-modified mRNA encoding a mutated form of the spike protein of Covid-19. It is given in 2 doses at a gap of 28 days. It also required ultra-cold storage facilities, which are not available in India at present. Hence the vaccine is yet to be approved by the Indian Government. It also has around 95% efficiency.

6)Sinopharm :
Sinopharm just got its approval from WHO on May 7, 2021, and it became the first non-Western approved vaccine. Sinopharm is developed in a traditional way as an inactivated vaccine similar to Covaxin. Sinopharm is developed in China, the country from where the virus originated. Sinopharm shows overall efficiency of 79%, while some countries like UAE and Bahrain reported 86% efficiency in their phase 3 trials. It is authorized for general use in Bahrain, UAE and Seychelles apart from China, while it is approved for emergency use in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Maldives. It is also a two-dose vaccine with an interval of around 21 to 28 days in between. It is not yet approved in India.

So which vaccine is available in your area? The vaccine in your area most likely to be safe for you as it is been approved by your country. Mention in the comment section how you feel after taking a vaccine dose.

Don’t forget that exercise is a good way to increase the efficacy of the vaccine. A few days after taking the vaccine dose you can start off with light exercises and yoga which is shown to boost antibody development. You can buy a yoga mat for your daily exercises by clicking here.

All the information is sourced from reliable sources on the internet and is not the author’s personal views.

Written by – Himadri Paul