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Carrot and stick policy for schools

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 23: The Odisha government today decided to introduce an incentive policy to encourage better performance by high schools receiving government grants.

High schools that achieve more than 50 per cent of the state average in the matriculation examination will get 60 per cent grants. The better the performance, the higher the percentage of grant (80 per cent grant for above 100 per cent state average and 100 per cent grant for above 120 per cent state average). On the other hand, there will be disincentives for such schools if they fare badly in subsequent years. The grant will be reduced to base level (60 per cent).

The government will bear an additional financial burden of Rs 20 crore to 25 crore per annum for this incentive scheme.

A proposal to this effect was approved by the state cabinet, chaired by chief minister Naveen Patnaik here today.

The move was taken in the backdrop of poor performance by several schools in the matriculation examination. As many as 139 high schools had drawn a blank in the last matriculation examination.

In a related move, the government decided to increase grant to 60 per cent to 1,594 block grant high schools and 916 upgraded upper primary schools and 100 per cent in case of 92 girls’ high schools with retrospective effect from April this year. The grant was hiked to pay salary at revised rates to teaching and non-teaching employees of these institutions as per the recommendation of the 6th Pay Commission. The state will have an additional financial burden of Rs 65.58 crore per annum on this account.

The cabinet also decided to reward government engineers by elevating the entry level post for degree engineers to junior class-I rank and raising the promotion quota of diploma engineers from 33 per cent to 100 per cent.

Earlier, engineering graduates were being appointed as assistant engineers (class-II rank) at the entry level. Henceforth, they will be appointed as assistant executive engineers (junior class I rank) on entry into government service. A new category of posts (deputy executive engineer) will be created for their next promotion. In the next stage, they will get elevated to executive engineers, said chief secretary Bijay Patnaik.

Engineering diploma holders, who are appointed as junior engineers at the entry level, will now have 100 per cent quota for promotion to assistant engineer (class-II rank) as against the existing 33 per cent quota. They will be eligible for promotion to assistant engineer after 10 years of experience.

Lack of promotional avenues had been a long-standing grievance of degree and diploma engineers.

The government also relaxed the experience criteria for lawyers for appointment as public prosecutors and additional public prosecutors. The 20-year experience norm for the public prosecutor’s post will be reduced by half, while the experience criterion for additional public prosecutors will be slashed from 15 years to seven years.