The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways on Tuesday decided to remove the requirement of minimum educational qualification for driving a transport vehicle.
The process of amendment to Rule 8 of Central Motor Vehicles 1989 and the draft notification in this regard will be issued soon, an official statement read.
According to the present 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 society, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has decided to remove the requirement of minimum educational qualification for driving a transport vehicle," the statement said.
The removal of the requirement will open up employment opportunities for a large number of unemployed youth, and the decision will also help to meet the shortage of nearly 22 lakh drivers in transport and logistics sector, which is hindering its growth. There are a 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 added.
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 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 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 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 read.
As per the ministry, anyone applying for a driving license will have to mandatorily pass a stringent skill test.
Also, the 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 and effective communication to report safety hazards.
Moreover, driving schools 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 the requirement for educational qualification in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill and it also got passed by the previous Lok Sabha.