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High Court says cancel driving license of illiterates

Written by Nizam Shaikh

In India, any person above the age of seven years who can read and write with understanding in any language is considered literate. As per the UNESCO statistical data, as of 2011, the literacy rate in India between the age of 15 to 24 years is 86.14% and for the age 15 years and above, 69.30%. India hopes to achieve 100% literacy by 2022 through Government initiatives like “School Chalo Abhiyan” and “Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan”.

Any particular job requires a distinct degree and commercial drivers who come from a poor background, especially those working in difficult circumstances, lack an education degree. Some of them are unable to read and understand road signs which in particular makes them dangerous to other road users and pedestrians increasing the road accident and fatality rate.

India accounts for 11% of the global road-accident fatalities and in 2018 the country has registered 1,50,785 deaths on its roads. Annually, 1.47 lakh people die as a result of road accidents and keeping this in mind the Rajasthan High Court has ordered the cancellation of all LMV (Light Motor Vehicle) driving licences issued to illiterate persons.

In India, many people earn their bread and butter by driving commercial vehicles and the new court order, to be comprehended on 15th July 2019, could have tremendous consequences for this action. The honourable court has also asked the state authorities to submit a report within a month. 

The new Motor Vehicle Rules, which will allow only literate drivers to obtain and retain their driving license will benefit the pedestrians and other road users as illiterate drivers pose a risk for human safety on public roads.