MHRD declines to sponsor entire salary component for SSA

MHRD declines to sponsor entire salary component for SSA
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Approves less than 40 percent because of ‘over recruitment’ in JK

IRSHAD KHAN

SRINAGAR: Amid the Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) teachers’ demand to delink their salary from the centre, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has approved around 37 percent of the salary component proposed by the state for the 2018-19 financial.
In the much awaited Project Approval Board (PAB) meeting of the now merged schemes of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) held in New Delhi on Wednesday (June 20), only Rs 977 crore out of the proposed Rs 2624 crore were approved for the salary component of the SSA teachers for this year, State Project Director SSA JK, A R War told Kashmir Reader.
The PAB meeting was deferred after the centre merged the centrally sponsored schemes from this year.
Joint Secretary MHRD, Maneesh Garg chaired the Wednesday’s meeting, also attended by Secretary School Education, Directors of School Education Kashmir and Jammu and State Project Directors, SSA and RMSA attended the meeting from the state as per an official.
War said the MHRD did not approve the entire proposed salary amount, as it argued that “There is no separate cadre of teachers under the scheme.”
“The scheme is same in every state across the country,” he added.
“They are not providing the entire salary per se. They are providing support of the salary component. The basic mistake has been done at the time of regularisation of the teachers, which was done without having the available posts.”
War said that the committee set up by the government recently would meet on Tuesday.
“Hopefully they will devise a roadmap to solve this issue,” he said.
An official privy to the meeting said that the MHRD “denied the proposed salary component for the teachers because the state government has recruited more than the required number of teachers”.
“They said that they will support only part of the salary component and the state government has to itself take a call on the salary of the teachers,” the official said.
Although the MHRD, in the meeting, asked the state to “take up other entitlements for the students, but they categorically said that the state should take care of the salary component itself,” added the official.
While the MHRD denied the entire salary component of the ReTs in the PAB meet, they however “approved the routine components” as per the official.
“Textbooks, uniform and teacher training and devices for Inclusive Education were approved,” he said.
The MHRD increased the unit cost of uniform from Rs 400 to Rs 600, the official said that amount provided for for textbooks in primary and upper primary schools has been increased to Rs 250 and Rs 450 from this year from the earlier Rs 150 and Rs 250.
While the state government has been appointing the ReTs right from 2002, an official said that the “burden of salaries of these teachers was later on put on the SSA scheme” since its inception in 2003-04.
“The MHRD would grant a calculated salary component for the ReTs. It had approved 2 ReTs for a primary school and 3 for upper primary school, but the state government would present exaggerated figures to MHRD for extra funds,” said the official.
The official said that the concerned RMSA officer was “reprimanded in the meeting for failing to set up even a single girls’ hostel during the last 4 years.”
The girls’ hostels are being set up under RMSA for the Economically Backward Blocks (EBBs).
State Project Director RMSA, Tufail Matoo however said that they have given a “commitment” to the MHRD that “by July 2019, all of them will be completed”.
Matoo said that 29 more girls’ hostels had been approved for the state this year.
The ReTs’ salaries, Matoo said, would be taken care in a “supplementary PAB meeting”, which as per him would be held in “another month or two”.
Secretary School Education, Farooq Ahmad Shah declined to comment over the MHRD’s denial to provide the entire salary component of the ReTs.