Maharashtra Government Grants Maternity Leave to Shikshan Sevaks
Shikshan Sevaks are temporary teachers who are appointed by the Maharashtra government for a period of three years on a fixed salary. They are eligible for regularisation after completing their service tenure and passing a qualifying examination. However, they have been facing several issues regarding their service conditions, such as low pay, lack of job security, and denial of maternity leave.
In a recent development, the Maharashtra government has issued a Government Resolution (GR) dated 25/11/2005[^1^], which grants maternity leave to female Shikshan Sevaks as per the provisions of the Maharashtra Employees of Private Schools (Conditions of Service) Rules, 1981. According to the GR, a female Shikshan Sevak who has completed one year of continuous service is entitled to maternity leave for a period of 135 days with full pay. The GR also states that the maternity leave will not affect the regularisation process of the Shikshan Sevak.
This is a welcome move by the government, as it recognises the rights and needs of female Shikshan Sevaks, who constitute a significant proportion of the teaching workforce in Maharashtra. The GR will benefit thousands of Shikshan Sevaks who work in various schools across the state, especially in rural and tribal areas. It will also encourage more women to join the teaching profession and contribute to the quality of education in Maharashtra.
However, the GR on maternity leave is not the only issue that Shikshan Sevaks have been facing. They have also been demanding regularisation of their services after completing three years of working, as per the original resolution that introduced the concept of Shikshan Sevaks. But many of them have been denied regularisation due to various reasons, such as lack of funds, excess staff, or non-availability of vacancies. Some of them have also been declared as surplus and transferred to other schools without their consent.
In 2013, the state government informed the Bombay High Court that it has brought in an amendment to the MEPS Act, which will confirm Shikshan Sevaks as permanent teachers after three years of service, without probation[^2^]. This was supposed to benefit thousands of Shikshan Sevaks who were waiting for regularisation. However, the implementation of the amendment has been slow and inconsistent, and many Shikshan Sevaks are still struggling to get their due rights.
In 2016, the state government issued another GR, which put the excess Shikshan Sevaks on a waiting list for regularisation[^3^]. The GR stated that these Shikshan Sevaks will be absorbed as regular teachers whenever vacancies arise in their respective districts. The GR also assured that their seniority and salary will be protected. However, this GR has also faced criticism from some quarters, who argue that it is unfair to keep Shikshan Sevaks on hold for an indefinite period and deprive them of their rightful status and benefits. 061ffe29dd
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