Driving can be an appealing career: Sunil K Chaturvedi, CEO, ASDC

The first council created three years ago under the National Skills Development Corporation, ASDC plans to create India’s largest driver training system. Its CEO tells Sopan Joshi how.

Sopan Joshi | February 2, 2015




So many people unemployed, yet an estimated driver shortage of 20 lakh. What explains this?

India is full of such paradoxes. There are several reasons for this, but I’d like to point out a couple. One, there is no connect between academia and industry. Mostly, people go through an education for the sake of a degree. It is non-specific and does not prepare them for any vocation. Two, there is no aspirational value attached to jobs that require working with your hands. Which parents will want their child to become a commercial driver?

How does this play out?

I was in Kerala with the state’s labour minister. I proposed that Kerala can become a hub for training drivers in the same way that it is a hub for nurses. He said, “No, no. No drivers from Kerala.” He said Keralites consider themselves as having gone up the value chain of skills. So while service technician or design engineer may be okay in terms of popular appeal, driving is not. Even people who are not well off don’t want to get into this occupation, because a driver’s life is very uninspiring. Bad food, no on-road amenities, poor salaries, staying up at odd hours, loneliness, constantly dealing with poor road conditions, a lot of paperwork and, worst, no possibility of a promotion or better future. And yet everybody wants a driver.

How do other countries manage?

Australia has a shortage of drivers. Drivers demand very high wages. In India, that doesn’t happen because of our large population. If you do not find a well-trained driver, you can always make do with a semi-skilled person who is desperate for a job.

How do you deal with this?

Attach aspirations to blue-collar jobs. Drivers in India typically begin as ‘cleaner’ or ‘khalasi’, which is a life full of humiliation. We are trying to attach some dignity to it. Call them drivers’ assistants.

Isn’t that just an effort to make it sound better? Cosmetic?

That is just the starting point to take out the menial connotation. We are talking about upgrading the job itself. Cleaning a vehicle is merely a part of an assistant’s job, which is about maintaining the roadworthiness of the vehicle. With a little training, they can handle the paperwork and can be trained to inspect the vehicle regularly. We now have trucks with GPS systems, so knowing how to use that will be an added skill. We are also developing ways to counsel those getting into driving to know the career prospects.

What are these prospects?

There is a great demand for personal chauffeurs today, for whom driving is merely one of the duties, as they work like personal assistants. They are paid very well, anything from '30,000 upwards, depending on the person’s skill and personality. Well trained drivers who man the newer, more sophisticated buses and trucks are the highest paid category of drivers (there are reports of salaries as high as '70,000 a month). Urban taxi services are mushrooming in all our cities (notwithstanding a few unfortunate incidents recently). With effective training and certification, this is an area of opportunities.

Who are your clients?

There is no clientèle. We are addressing an ecosystem. We have several stakeholders, including the government, automobile manufacturers, automotive parts manufacturers and transport companies. We have more than 2,400 centres of 170 certified training delivery partners across the country. Their skills are tested by about 500 independent assessment partners, who certify those who clear the tests.

What is the demand for such certificates?

It will take a little more time to say anything with certainty. The initial feedback is positive. There are cases of drivers getting a raise after undergoing training, or getting a better-paying job. A person having a service technician certificate from ASDC can land a job at an automobile dealership or service centre. n

feedback@governancenow.com

Comments

 

Other News

3% of medicines are of poor quality: Survey

 More than three percent of medicines in India are ‘Not of Standard Quality’ (NSQ) and 0.0245 percent spurious, reveals a survey report on drugs quality by the ministry of health.  The survey carried out by National Institute of Biologicals (NIB), Noida found that out of the

BEL unveils new weapon system for MBT Arjun tank

 Bharat electronics limited (BEL) has launched a new weapon control system — Remote Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS) / Air Defence Weapon Station (ADWS) for 12.7 mm gun of MBT Arjun Mk II battle tank during recently concluded Aero India 2017 in Bengaluru. The new weapon control system

Sasikala camp in talks with OPS faction

 The Sasikala camp is in talks with the O Panneerselvam (OPS) faction and they are trying to win them over, says an AIADMK insider. Negotiation have started between the main AIADMK, which is with Sasikala, and the splinter group that is supporting former chief minister OPS. The party insider

Stories to read over the weekend

On October 1 last year, Mehtab Alam Ansari, 30, who worked as a tailor in Delhi, had arrived in his village, Chepa Khurd in Barkagaon tehsil of Harazibagh district, to celebrate Eid with his family. That morning, he was nearing Dadi Kalan, a neighbouring village, to meet an acquaintance when he hea

ONGC to invest of Rs 7,327 cr for five projects

  State run enterprise oil and natural gas corporation limited (ONGC) has decided to invest Rs 7,327 crore to develop five projects to produce oil and gas. The decision was taken in its 290th board meeting held on February 23. The projects include development of R-Series fields, incl

Shiv Sena may again ally with BJP

The civic election results could well have long term implications in Maharashtra’s politics, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) doing dramatically well and the Shiv Sena failing to get a simple majority.   The Shiv Sena won 84 seats, while the BJP bagged 82 seats. Th

Video

Digital Transformation Summit

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter