New Delhi, Jan. 7: Work for 12 months, get paid for 13.
That’s the gift for over a thousand employees of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) across India for whom 2013 brought 13 months of salary, with the promise that the boon will continue.
The additional month’s salary is an incentive for “good work”, board officials said. Retired employees will be rewarded with a once-a-year LTA.
The board makes the payments from its own resources, raised through affiliation charges and fees from a variety of tests such as the board exams, JEE Main, Central Teachers’ Eligibility Test, All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) and others. The funds are over Rs 500 crore.
“We used to give a ‘late sitting allowance’ to employees for additional hours of work. But there were complaints of irregularity and nepotism. Now that has been replaced with a month’s additional salary across the board,” a senior board official said.
The additional salary includes basic and DA, but not house rent or medical allowances.
Sources in the human resource development (HRD) ministry said the CBSE was the only organisation under its administrative control to give such extra salary to employees.
While the sources said they would not interfere in the matter as the board was dipping into its own coffers, a ministry official said the money should have been spent on development and improvements in exam quality.
A CBSE official said the extra pay could end up “de-motivating employees”. “Earlier, only those putting in extra time were being rewarded. Now it will be across the board. Why will people put in the extra effort?” the official asked.
Former CBSE chairman Ashok Ganguly warned against burdening students and parents. “If CBSE decides to pay 13 months’ salary for 12 months’ work to encourage employees, it is free to do so. But this should not burden parents and candidates (through higher fees and charges).”
“Another concern is that employees of other organisations may make similar demands. That should have been kept in mind,” Ganguly added.
But a CBSE official backing the move said most employees stayed six to eight extra hours at the time of exams and compiling results. “It is legitimate to recognise their work and reward them.”
The official said the CBSE had taken many steps for expansion and quality improvement. It has drawn schools in foreign countries.
“As the largest board, we are a pioneer in starting reforms in examination and academic affairs. We have introduced continuous and comprehensive evaluation.”
Started in 1962, the CBSE has emerged the largest with about 14,000 schools affiliated to it.
Apart from the Class X and Class XII board exams, the CBSE conducts JEE-Main, the main national entrance for admissions to engineering colleges, including the IITs. Around 13.5 lakh students have signed up for it this year. The other exams also attract a large number of candidates.