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Don't skip I-Day meet, babus warned

Senior Union Govt officials have been put on notice that they must either attend I-Day celebrations or face action.

india Updated: Aug 03, 2006 02:50 IST

Senior Union government officials have been put on notice that they must either attend Independence Day celebrations “as an inalienable part of their duty” or face action.

Embarrassed by long rows of empty seats at functions like the Prime Minister's address to the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15, the government's top civil servant has made it incumbent on the head of each ministry to ensure their officials attend.

Cabinet Secretary B.K. Chaturvedi has sent a letter to all secretaries to the Union government making it compulsory for officers invited to the Independence Day celebrations to attend.

In a letter addressed to the secretary of each ministry/department, (dated July 24) marked ‘most immediate’, Chaturvedi said, “there is, clearly, a need to remind the officers that they have to attend the Independence Day Ceremony as an inalienable part of their duty.”

Urging his secretary-level colleagues to “suitably advise all officers of your Ministry/Department who are invited to the Independence Day Ceremony, to compulsorily attend the function,” Chaturvedi advocates action against absentees.

“You might also caution them,” he says to the secretaries, “that you would take a serious view of their absence on this occasion”.

It is unclear what action if any, would be taken, but among the options are departmental action, adverse inputs in the ACR, and a docking of a day’s salary, sources said. Enough to make most groaning officials decide not to play truant.