Design a mascot and name the bullet train, and get ₹50,000 prize
Citizens are getting a chance to name India’s first bullet train and design a mascot for it. The National High Speed Rail Corporation Ltd (NHSRCL), which is executing the project, has invited the public to suggest names for the train that will make its inaugural run between Ahmedabad and Mumbai in 2022, offering a Rs.50,000 cash prize for the winning entry.
A spokesperson for NHSRCL said a name will provide an identity to the Japanese-made bullet train and help people to establish a connect with it.
“To encourage people’s participation, an open online competition has been organized on www.mygov.in, where participants can submit their entries till 25th March 2019,” the spokesperson said.
The corporation has also invited designs for a mascot that will represent the train -- like Air India’s Maharaja or Indian Railways’s Bholu, the train manager elephant. The winner stands to win Rs. 1 lakh.
“The mascot essentially should be a well designed character that will personify the value system of NHSRCL and will also be able to communicate effectively,” the NHSRCL spokesperson said.
Of the 508.17-km-long bullet train corridor, 155.76 km will be in Maharashtra, 348.04 km in Gujarat and 4.3 km in Dadra and Nagar Haveli. The Narendra Modi government has set an ambitious deadline of completing the project by August 15, 2022, when India marks 75 years of Independence.
The name of the train and the mascot will be shortlisted by a nominated committee and the winners will be awarded a cash prize and a certificate of their participation in the contest. There will be five consolation prizes of Rs.50,000 in each category for entries that are deemed as good as the winning entry but may miss out because of minor details.
The bullet train project will save passengers travel time, help reduce pollution and offer enhanced safety. The introduction of the country’s first bullet train, known as the Shinkansen in Japan and expected to be operational in 2022, will mark India’s shift to an era of high-speed trains capable of hitting speeds of up to 350 kilometres per hour.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe laid the foundation stone for the project in Ahmedabad in 2014.