The government has scrapped the requirement of an educational qualification to get a driving licence. In an official statement, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said the move would benefit skilled people from economically underprivileged sections of the society.
"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, that is Class 8, for driving a transport vehicle," according to the official statement.
The Union government had amended the Central Motor Vehicle Act in 2007. According to Rule 8 of the Act, the minimum educational qualification to obtain a licence to drive a transport vehicle should be Class 8.
The government statement said the removal of the requirement would help meet the shortage of 22 lakh drivers in transport and logistics sectors. The ministry has also initiated a process to amend Rue 8 of Central Motor Vehicles, 1989, and a draft notification in this regard would be issued soon, it added.
Lately, the Haryana government had requested to waive off the educational qualification for drivers from the economically backward Mewat region, where many people pursue driving for livelihood. The government had maintained that driving was more a matter of skill than educational competence.
In contrast to the above direction, a recent ruling by the Rajasthan High Court said that drivers incapable of reading signboards, warning signs and other signals would lose their driving licences.
Hence, while removing the requirement of educational qualification, the ministry has strongly emphasised upon training drivers.
Anyone applying for a driving license will have to mandatory pass a stringent skill test. Besides, as mentioned in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the driver must be able to read signs and perform logistical duty to report safety hazards.
The ministry had already proposed the removal of requirement for educational qualification in the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill that was passed by the previous Lok Sabha. The subject was also deliberated upon by the Standing Committee and Select committee of Parliament.