Candidates will get high-quality training at new centres, which will be equipped with simulators and a specialized driving test track.
On Friday (June 11th), the road ministry announced guidelines for approved driver training centres, where candidates will receive high-quality driving instruction and, after drivers pass the exam, will be excused from taking a driving test at the time of getting a driver's licence.
The Ministry of Road Transport & Highways (MoRTH) has "notified rules mandatory for accredited Drivers Training Centres. These rules will come into effect from 1st July, 2021. This will help in imparting proper training and knowledge to candidates who enrol at such centres", according to a statement.
Candidates who pass the exam at these locations will be "exempted from the driving test requirement" while applying for a driver's licence, which is presently being done at regional transportation offices.
"This will help drivers to get a driving licence after completing training from such accredited driving training centres," according to the statement. According to the government, these centres will also be authorized to give industry-specific specialized training. The scarcity of trained drivers is one of the key difficulties in the Indian road sector, and a huge number of road accidents occur due to a lack of awareness of road laws.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act 2019 gives the federal government the authority to establish regulations for the accreditation of driver training centres.
According to the announcement, approved driver training centres will be awarded accreditation for a term of five years, which can be renewed.
The light motor vehicle driving course in recognized driver training centres will last 29 hours over a maximum of four weeks from the date of the course's start, according to the announcement, and will be divided into theory and practice.
In certified driver training centres, the duration of a medium and heavy motor vehicle driving course is 38 hours over the course of six weeks.
The announcement stated, "These are to be divided into two segments, theory and practical," Drivers will also learn the fundamentals of being ethical and respectful of other road users. S P Singh, a senior fellow, and coordinator of the Indian Foundation for Transport Research and Training (IFTRT) praised the road ministry's notification of guidelines for approved driver training centres in a statement.
However, Singh pointed out that the minimal educational requirement for drivers, which was a Class 8th pass, has been removed from the announced norms.
"A well-educated person should have better skills imparted and knowledge of road rules and, therefore... there should be a minimum educational qualification of 12th class pass as the country has millions of educated unemployed and the road transport sector needs educated and skilled drivers for efficient and safe driving," he said.