New Delhi: The Centre has framed strict rules prohibiting government employees from criticizing the government on various social media platforms.
According to a report in the Hindustan Times, 'Babus' will now need to be very careful in what they say, or draw, on social media.
As per the report, the Centre has proposed changes to the rulebook to explicitly treat criticism of government policies on social media as a violation of conduct rules.
And the threat of disciplinary action is not just limited to the written word. It includes caricatures that are uncharitable to the government too.
The move comes days after an IAS officer Ajay Gangwar ‘liked’ a Facebook post critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and praised first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
“Let me know the mistakes that Nehru should not have committed...Is it his mistake that he prevented all of us from becoming Hindu Talibani Rashtra in 1947?...” he wrote in the post, an oblique rebuttal to continuing attacks on Nehru by BJP leaders.
Gangwar, who was Barwani collector, was transferred to the secretariat in Bhopal by the BJP’s Madhya Pradesh government and told to give an explanation.
Under the existing conduct rules, the government officials are barred from criticising government policy or making statements that embarrass the Centre’s relations with a state government or a foreign country.
But the provision only spoke about criticism made in a radio broadcast, public media (such as television) or documents and excluded social media, which has now been included under the new rules
“The member of service shall also not make any such statement on television, social media or any other communication application,” the draft rule, sent by the Centre’s Department of Personnel & Training to state governments for their views, said.