Mumbai: Faced with unemployment, many graduates and post-graduates can be seen pulling rickshaws or driving taxis which is considered demeaning. But now this will be treated as a special talent and degrees will be conferred to such people.

The Yashwantrao Chavan Open University in Nashik has launched a degree course in this field. Film actor Kadar Khan will inaugurate the first batch of this course on Tuesday. Khan has himself played the role of a taxi driver in several films.

Observing the global significance of the course, Chairman of the Commonwealth of Learning, Sir John Daniel will fly down to Mumbai and attend the event. Daniel along with university Vice Chancellor Dr R Krishnakumar will inaugurate the tutorials to be used in this course. The students will be taught with the help of CDs and FM radio programmes.

According to University spokesman Srinivas, nearly two million drivers are expected to benefit from the course. Although the course is being launched for rickshaw pullers and taxi drivers, truck and bus drivers can also enroll in the course especially those who were unable to complete their studies.

Srinivas said the students will be provided a certificate diploma after completing first year of BA in Road Transportation and an advanced diploma after two years and degree at the completion of the course. The university administration is in contact with the unions and organizations of the drivers and rickshaw pullers to execute the programme efficiently.