Uber unveils plan for training women cabbies

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New Delhi, Mar 12: Cab aggregator service Uber on Thursday announced that it had tied up with a Singapore-based company to train women drivers even as it continues to be under a Delhi government ban after a driver enlisted with it allegedly raped a 25-year-old woman executive inside a taxi.

Asked whether it was taking the step in a bid to improve its image, the company, whose application for a licence under the transport department's modified radio taxi scheme is pending, said that the initiative was part of its global tie- up with UN Women to create safe job opportunities for women. The vision is to create 50,000 jobs for women in India by 2020, Uber added.

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iCare Life, the Singapore-based social enterprise which has tied up with Uber, said the cab aggregator company had "come up with the proposal" to train women drivers following which they decided to offer the course.

Asked how Uber would ensure the safety of the women drivers, Gagan Bhatia, the company's Delhi head, said at a press conference here, "There is an element of flexibility. The best part is they (women drivers) can choose their working hours."

iCare senior executive Revathi Roy said that the course duration is four months and a batch of 15 women have been inducted. She added that they are not charging any fees as Uber is financing the training.

Roy said that the specially-designed certification programme includes extensive classroom training and assessment on simulators and practicals on road training.

Bhatia added that Uber was poised to expand in India, which is already one of their "fastest-growing markets", with Kolkata being the fastest-growing city.

Meanwhile, Bhatia refused to comment on the Delhi government's recent move to seek the law department's suggestion to block its app and website.

"We have submitted all the requisite documents to the government after applying for the licence and are awaiting their decision," he said.

PTI

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