New Delhi: The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has decided to remove the requirement of minimum educational qualification for driving a transport vehicle. According to Rule 8 of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, a transport vehicle driver needs to have passed class 8. Ministry believes that 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. 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 move will benefit underprivileged”
A press release issued by the ministry said “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. The removal of this requirement will open up employment opportunities for a large number of unemployed persons, especially the youth in the country”.
Not only this, but the decision will also help meet the shortage of nearly 22 lakh drivers in the transport and logistics sector, which is hindering its growth, stated the release.
More emphasis on skill training
However, while removing the requirement of minimum educational qualification, the Ministry has strongly emphasized upon training and skill testing of drivers so that road safety is not compromised in any way. Anyone applying for a driving license will have to mandatorily pass a stringent skill test. The Ministry has emphasized 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.
The Ministry had already proposed the removal of the 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 the Parliament.
In light of the above, the Ministry of Road Transport & highways has initiated the process of amendment to the Rule 8 of Central Motor Vehicles 1989 and the draft notification in this regard will be issued soon.