National Salary Board for Teachers in Private Sector (NSBT): An urgent need

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A recent news saying the education fee for engineering students is expected to increase, raised our eyebrows. Who will benefit from such a fee hike: students, or parents, or teachers, or the governments, or common public? The sad answer is: none of them. The beneficiaries will be the businessmen and politicians governing the pvt schools & colleges. Private education means profitable business. But for the common people education is becoming a burden. Let us find a solution to this organised loot in the name of education.

There are 3 lakhs private schools and 30 thousands private colleges & universities throughout the nation (UDISE, AISHE data). The private schools and colleges are operated as educational-trusts/ societies. Even though they are registered as trusts, charity & philanthropic organisations these trusts seldom spend their own funds for pupils' education. Instead all these trusts earn ransom from hiking the student fees and deducting the teacher salaries. It is needless to mention that, one in every two schools/ colleges are owned by politicians directly or indirectly.

The private educational institutions normally show a margin of 70% of their income to be spent on teacher salaries alone. But in reality only 20% and less of the expenditure are paid as salary. The balance 50% of expenditure are being hoarded as black money by forging account statements submitted before the income tax department. Since the educational institutions are provided with major relaxations under the Income Tax Act 1961: section 12A, the I.T department do not scrutinise the accounts of pvt schools and colleges, unless in case of specific complaints. In this way a large black-economy is being hidden in the pvt schools & colleges. If one-third of the 3,30,000 private schools and colleges just earns Rs.1 crore as black money by dishonest means, then for every financial year Rs.1 lakh crore is being looted as black money. The fact is indeed true: in the last four months alone IT department seized Rs.1032 crores (150+350+532 crores) from just 3 groups of educational institutions at Tamilnadu. This shows that the government fee-committees failed to monitor and curb the black money.

In a patriotric effort to curb black money menance, and ensure nominal fee collection from students and reasonable and prompt salary payment to teachers, it is necessary to set up a National Salary Board for Teachers in pvt sector (NTSB). The main objective of this board will be to link or map: the teacher salaries paid in banks + account statements submitted by pvt schools/ colleges + TDS/ Form 16/16A of teachers + inspections by the education regulators such as AICTE/ UGC/ NAAC/ NBA/ Universities/ DoTE/ DEO/ Boards/ State Edu Depts + Provident Fund organisation + labour departments (for gratuities).

If a proper 7th-pay commission salary is paid to the teachers, the teachers will in turn pay the income tax to the government. If Rs.1,00,000 crore black money is properly routed to the salary of teachers, then the government would earn Rs.10,000 crores tax per year. Hence the establishment of a NSBT will serve enormous benefits to our nation and its people. In a similar fashion a National Fee Board for Students (NFBS) will erdicate unreasonable (& unbilled/ not accounted) fee collection from students. Let us support the real digital economy in private education sector. For the nation, and its people! If united, we live!!

Social Activist & Founder of AIPCEU
Petitioner in SC: W.P.(C) 573 of 2017