With the shortage of drivers all over the country, the government is working to set up Driver Training Centres in tribal areas and in the 115 poorest districts in India. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari pointed all those who come from economically or socially backward classes could benefit from this programme.
At present, India has a shortage of up to 22 lakh drivers. At a webinar organised by the Swedish Embassy and the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) on Wednesday, Gadkari said that they want to open driving training centres, particularly in the tribal area.
He further informed that the National Road Safety Board had been cleared by the Law Ministry and the ministry will appoint persons on the Board soon.
He also said that quite often, the conductor of the truck becomes the driver without any official training. Just by watching the driver for some time, the person thinks that he can also drive, and then becomes a driver. This is another reason why more driving training centres are required.
Under an existing scheme in districts, the Centre assists private players in public-private partnership mode to set up driving training centres. According to official data, around 84 per cent of road accidents take place due to faults of drivers.
A ministry data shows that the total number of accident cases involving drivers without a valid driving licence in the calendar year 2017 is 48,503 (around 10% of total accidents).
While the Ministry and Road Transport and Highways has not carried out any specific study related to the shortage of drivers, many other transport organisations have highlighted the issue.
Gadkari also remarked that corporates as well as vehicle manufacturing companies, should come forward to set up such centres for road safety and prevention of accidents in the country.