Most educational institutions in India have started the practice of annual educational tours. The scope for such tours span from tours to nearby cities to other provinces of India. To aid such tours, Indian railways offers 50% students concession on train tickets booked for educational trips. But to avail this benefit, the students and their educational institutes have to go through a long and winding process.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Booking Type: The student concessions for educational tours can only be availed for over-the-counter bookings. They are not applicable for online ticket booking.
- Concession Limitations: 50% student concession would be provided only on the basic fare. The concession is not available for any other charges (such as catering charges, reservation charges, Superfast surcharge, taxes, etc.). The concession is only valid for journeys made in 2nd class chair cars and sleeper classes.
- Age Limitation: Only students below 25 years are applicable for this concession.
- Provision for Faculties: Faculty members who are accompanying the students are liable for the same amount of concession. For every 18 students, a maximum of 2 faculty members can avail the concession.
- Time Expectancy: As mentioned before, the process to acquire student concession is long and complicated. So, you should be ready for at least 5 visits to different railway offices and keep in hand at least two weeks of time.
- Note: Do not visit any of the railway offices before 11 AM.
Internal requirements for educational institutions
- Parents’ Authorization: Each student who is willing to go on the educational tour, needs to submit a letter of consent duly signed by parent and addressed to the Principal/Head of the Department. All the letters should be submitted to the concerned faculties.
- Students Booking Form: Collect a travel form from the administrative office of your educational institute. Fill up the details in the form such as: Name, Date of Birth, Gender, Contact number, College ID number and signature of the student. Do not fill more than 18 students and 2 faculty details in a single form.
- Authorized Letter: Procure a recommendation letter from the Principal/Head of the Department, after submitting the Parents’ Authorization letters, on the authorized letterhead of your educational institution. The letter should declare: Purpose of visit, Date of journey commencement, destination station, date of return journey and home station. The letter should be addressed to the Chief Commercial Superintendent requesting permission to book tickets under the student concession.
- Number of Copies: Ideally, create four copies of all these documents. Three should be submitted to the railway authorities and one needs to be kept for your ready reference.
- At Railway Zonal Office: Once the internal requirements have been taken care of, students need to visit the Railway Zonal office and submit three copies of the above mentioned documents to the office of Chief Commercial Superintendent. Always take an acknowledgement while submitting the documents. Once done, the staff might ask you to return back after two days to collect the letter which authorizes your concession.
- At the Booking Station: Return back to the Zonal office after two days and collect the letter. Take this letter to the Chief Booking Supervisor at the reservation office of the station from where you are seeking booking. After submitting the letter, the officials would ask you to return back after 7 working days. Again, while you are submitting the letter, always take an acknowledgement.
- Ticket Booking: Collect the final letter from Chief Booking Supervisor asking the booking clerk to grant you concession. Go on and book the tickets from the reservation counter now.
- Note: You would be asked to book tickets paying cash for such concessions, so do carry adequate cash.
Though, the process explained above is really long and awkward, but it can definitely cut down on the travel expenses significantly.