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Transport ministry gets rid of minimum class VIII educational qualification clause for drivers of heavy-duty vehicles

The Transport Ministry has now decided to get rid of a clause that says a minimum qualification of Class VIII is required to get a licence to drive heavy vehicles such as trucks and buses. Drivers involved in about 70 percent of the road accidents in India in 2016 had educational qualifications of Class VIII and above. The Ministry argues that there is no data to support the fact that road accidents are linked to uneducated drivers. Transport officials said the provision to end the minimum Class VIII qualification to drive heavy vehicles had already been proposed in the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill.

According to officials, the Haryana CM ML Khattar raised the issue with the Union Transport Minister, Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday, stating that the requirement to have a minimum Class VIII educational qualification was proving to be a barrier for many trained drivers from backward regions of the country.

However, road safety activists have been asking for the restoration of the minimum qualification clause in the Motor Vehicle Amendment Bill saying that doing away with the provision is detrimental to road safety and the safety of pedestrians.

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