Anyone who has booked tickets using the IRCTC app or website will say the process can be faster, the whole experience smoother, and the service more reliable. Indian railways continue to try to improve it, but more can be done. Apparently this was done more by S Yuvaraja, an IIT graduate from Kharagpur, who created an app called Super Tatkal and its Pro version, which made booking train tickets slightly faster. Yuvaraja, however, was arrested last month by the Railway Protection Force.
Yuvaraja was reportedly arrested for creating an online platform that allowed customers to book train tickets by bypassing some of the steps used by the IRCTC ticket booking system. It is not clear what exactly was bypassed, because the money spent by the app users to book the ticket was paid directly to IRCTC.
Although within the app, Yuvaraja had a coin-based payment system similar to that of games that required users to purchase some coins to use the app and make the reservation. In a way, this is similar to how ticket agents charge money on ticket reservations.
There are reports that the apps created by Yuvaraja have helped users bypass the CAPTCHA system used by the IRCTC train ticket service to speed up the process.
A coin pack consisting of 10 coins was available for Rs 20. Each time a user booked a ticket, five coins were deducted from the pack. The coin system reportedly earned Yuvaraja close to Rs 20 lakh before its apps were withdrawn from the Google Play Store. While the app’s APKs remain available, it’s unclear whether these are real or fake apps that could scam users.
The payment for the coins on the app was made through the Instamojo gateway and the money was credited to Yuvaraja’s bank account.
Apparently Indian Railways did not like Super Tatkal and Super Tatkal Pro. According to reports, Yuvaraja was tracked down by Cyber Cell of Railway Protection Force (RPF) in Chennai with the help of server source code, source code of the application, the list of end users and its bank statements. The RPF registered a case under section 143 (2) of the Railway Act.
Sources familiar with the matter told some newspapers that IITian has been making apps since 2016. It found the IRCTC app to be very slow, so it created a alternative app for that.
Southern Railway Chief Safety Commissioner Birendra Kumar told the media: “He created software to book tickets faster and was not even an IRCTC licensed agent.” Kumar further claimed that IITian was arrested for bypassing the IRCTC system and making money illegally through it.
“It is disheartening to note that a highly skilled person like Yuvaraja, who did BE (Aeronautics) at the University of Anna and MTech (Aerospace) of IIT Kharagpur, engages in such illegal activities,” a press note published by Southern said. Railway.
Yuvaraja’s friend named @ Akilan27 Twitter wrote: “A classmate of mine in college was arrested by the police for creating an app that would auto-fill @RailMinIndia’s ticket booking web pages. He didn’t even auto-fill the captchas and obviously payment is happened directly to the railways and yet was accused of creating a fake app Even mild innovation is a crime in India. “
He further wrote that the IITian comes from a poor family and is the only member to earn. “This reeks of bad faith accusation by the railway police at the behest of ticket booking app competitors, who have agreements with the railways and manage money. The life of a brilliant engineer and entrepreneur is destroyed. “
Yuvaraja is originally from Tirupur in Tamil Nadu. The Super Tatkal and Super Tatkal Pro were shot down after his arrest. He also apparently created a Chrome extension for Super Tatkal, which has also been removed.
Many social media users are taking sides in defense of IITian. For example, Shashi Tharoor said: “This story of an IIT graduate arrested for developing an innovative app that automatically fills in Tatkal Railway ticket forms is a national embarrassment. I can’t imagine @PiyushGoyal would have authorized such an absurd accusation. Encourage the boy, don’t punish him! “
An IITian from Kharagpur created a file alternative IRCTC train booking app. The app called Super Tatakal has made the process easier and faster. Now, he was arrested after the Railway Protection Force.
- An IITian has created an app called Super Tatkal which makes booking IRCTC train tickets faster.
- The man would have earned some money through the Pro version of the app.
- He was arrested although it is unclear what rules Super Tatkal was breaking.