How can an illiterate get a driving license as per the new rule?: A few weeks after Rajasthan HC ordered the state to scrap driving licenses of the uneducated, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways have now decided to remove the requirement of minimum educational qualifications for driving a transport vehicle.
“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.
The Ministry confirmed that the process of amendment to Rule 8 of Central Motor Vehicles 1989 and the draft notification will be issued soon. A recent ruling by the Rajasthan high court has directed that Drivers incapable of reading signboards, warning signs and other signals will lose their driving licenses. The High Court ruled that an illiterate person is “virtually a menace for pedestrians” on the road and has directed the transport authorities to issue appropriate instructions, lay down guidelines and take necessary actions in cases where licenses were issued to people unable to read and write.
Speaking on the issue, Central Government officials have argued that the Central Motor Vehicle Rules (CMVR) have no provision of a minimum qualification to obtain a driving license. However, every applicant has to pass the test which comprises of reading road and traffic signs and a few objective questions. It is only for a driving license for a commercial vehicle that an applicant must have a Class-VIII pass certificate.
In 2018, following a Supreme Court order, the road transport ministry had done away with the requirement of a commercial license for driving taxis, three-wheelers, e-rickshaws and two-wheelers (food delivery, etc). Interestingly, road accidents data of 2016 shows that close to 70 per cent of the total number of accidents that took place in the country was educated till Class VIII and above.
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.