App-based cab service Uber in partnership with the Telangana government, today flagged off the first 100 cars under the Driver Empowerment Programme. The programme was launched by the Departments of SC, ST, Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare to enhance livelihood opportunities in the driving profession, a press release from Uber said. Each Department has identified 500 candidates who have been given skill enhancement training and financial assistance for vehicle purchase, it said. At the end of the programme, they are also given an opportunity to be on-boarded as an Uber driver partner to provide a market linkage for income generation, it said,adding the remaining vehicles will be grounded through the course of the year. The programme was launched on a pilot basis in August 2017 where 31 applicants from the ST and BC communities were identified by the respective welfare departments, who assisted them with the vehicle purchase and post training were on-boarded on Uber as Driver Partners. Based on it's success, the Telangana government decided to extend this programme to all districts of the state and to the SC and minority communities as well, it said. All 100 applicants were then given financial assistance for vehicle purchase by the Government and were later onboarded as Driver Partners who can drive using the Uber app.