The government has decided to do away with the requirement of minimum educational qualification for obtaining driving licence to boost employment opportunities, the road transport ministry said Tuesday.
At present, under Rule 8 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, a transport vehicle driver needs to have passed class 8.
"In a move to benefit skilled persons from economically underprivileged sections of the society, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has decided to remove the requirement of minimum educational qualification for driving a transport vehicle," according to an official statement.
The removal of the requirement will open up employment opportunities for a large number of unemployed persons, especially the youth, and the decision will also help meet shortage of nearly 22 lakh drivers in transport and logistics sector, which is hindering its growth, the statement said.
The ministry has initiated process to amend Rule 8 of Central Motor Vehicles 1989 and a draft notification in this regard will be issued soon, it added.
There are large numbers of unemployed persons especially in rural areas of the country, who may not have a formal education, but are otherwise literate and skilled, it said.
"In a recent meeting in the Transport Ministry, the Haryana government had requested for waiver of the educational qualification condition for drivers from the economically backward Mewat region where the population is dependent for livelihood on low-income earning pursuits including driving," the statement said.
The state government had submitted that many people in the region possess the required skill but not the required educational qualification, and were finding it difficult to obtain driving license, it said, adding hence it was felt that driving being more a matter of skill than of educational competence, the condition of minimum educational qualification acts as a hindrance for the otherwise eligible unemployed youth.
"However, while removing the requirement of a minimum educational qualification, the Ministry has strongly emphasised upon training and skill testing of drivers so that road safety is not compromised in any way," the statement said.
Anyone applying for a driving license will have to mandatorily pass a stringent skill test, it said, adding the ministry has emphasised that training imparted by a school or establishment as mentioned in the the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 should ensure that the driver can read signs and perform logistical duty such as maintenance of driver logs, inspection of trucks and trailers, submission of pre-trip and post-trip records, determination of discrepancies in paperwork, effective communication to report safety hazards.
Moreover schools and establishments which are providing vocational training and skilling facilities are subject to regulatory control by the states. Hence, the training imparted should be of high quality, covering all aspects of driving a particular type of motor vehicle.
The ministry had already proposed the removal of requirement for educational qualification in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill that got passed by the previous Lok Sabha. The subject was also deliberated upon by the Standing Committee and Select committee of Parliament.