RailTel, the ₹1,025-crore railway PSU, is set to compete with cloud service providing giants such as Amazon and Microsoft.

With RailCloud, the PSU is set to join the list of 14 cloud service providers empanelled by the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeITy). The Ministry has advised its departments to store data in the data centres of firms on the empanelled list.

“We have already applied to be empanelled with MeITy, and it is expected to be finalised in two months,” RailTel CMD Puneet Chawla told BusinessLine .

India’s huge population and vast middle-class make it a lucrative market for global companies including those in e-commerce, electronic payment mechanisms like credit card, social media and other enterprises trying to monetise its data.

In this background, there is a rising call for data localisation. The e-commerce draft policy also noted that the data of Indian consumers should be stored within the country.

The EU has already brought in data storage norms to protect the privacy and other rights of its people.

RailTel has a data centre in Gurugram, with a back-up facility in Secunderabad.

The PSU has 1,000 terabytes of storage space, enough to store about 10 lakh good-quality movies of 1 GB each.

The MeITy’s list of cloud service providers include Amazon Internet Services, BSNL, IBM India, Microsoft Corporation (India), Reliance Corporate IT Park and Tata Communications.

Others firms that are empanelled include CtrlS Data Centers, Cyfuture India, Net Magic IT Services, Nxtra Data, Sify Technologies and Web Werks India.

These centres are periodically audited by the government to ensure that they are safe, secure and adhere to the norms.