DUBAI: India and the UAE will launch a pilot project in a few Indian states to provide left-hand driving lessons to Indians who wish to migrate to the Gulf countries which will reduce the time and cost for aspiring drivers to acquire licences, according to a media report.
Vehicles in the UAE have the steering wheel on the left and they drive on the right-hand side of the road whereas in India the steering wheel is on the right.
Indians completing these classes will be issued a certificate and when they arrive in the UAE, this will qualify them to go for a "tailor-made" course before taking tests and secure a license by saving time and money, officials involved were quoted as saying by the Khaleej Times.
Driving institutes complying with regulations in the UAE will be established in various parts of India to facilitate the project.
For this, India's National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) has collaborated with the Emirates Driving Institute (EDI), UAE, and the Youth Chamber of Commerce (YCC), UAE.
"We are aiming to reduce time and cost for aspiring drivers to acquire driver licences," Manish Kumar, MD and CEO of NSDC, said.
"Hence we are working to create a system, so as the mandatory training is delivered at Driver Training Institutes (DTI) established in India through a technical collaboration with Emirates Driving Institute." He said the project will help skill drivers in India and create job opportunities for thousands of young Indians who wish to migrate to the UAE and the Middle East for employment.
"This collaboration will create an ecosystem of partnerships between relevant stakeholders and fast-track employment prospects." Amer Belhasa, chairman of Emirates Driving Institute and Vice-Chairman of Belhasa Group of Companies, said: "This collaboration with NSDC and YCC has given us a path to set up driving institutes in different parts of India."
"Estimating a huge demand for drivers in the UAE during Expo 2020, and other initiatives across the region, EDI is aiming at providing job solutions to Indian youth in the Gulf," Kumar said the pilot programme will be launched by collaborating with existing institutes.
"These will be upgraded to meet the requirements of EDI and regulatory agencies. We aim to roll out the first set of batches by July." The initial plan is to establish 15 to 20 DTIs across migratory pockets in India, including UP, Kerala, Punjab, Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh. To facilitate left-hand driving, institutes in India will be equipped with left-hand drive cars.
"The tracks at DTIs in India will be equipped for left-hand driving practice. As part of the quick training programme at EDI campus in the UAE or other GCC countries, they will be acquainted with driving on the main roads also," said Kumar.
EDI will send instructors to India for training the instructors over there and also for supervising the whole project.
Kumar said training shall also focus on developing basic soft skills, cultural sensitivities and making the candidates feel comfortable in speaking English.