Top civil servants who find the time to pick up the pen can now officially retain the fruits of their labour.
The government on Friday allowed senior civil servants to retain two-thirds of the royalty from books on work-related issues. The other one-third would go into the government’s kitty.
The concession is a departure from a 1959 rule that let them retain only Rs 250. The rest had to go into the government’s coffers. The only exception was if the money came from literary, cultural or artistic efforts unrelated to their official business.
The idea was that members of the three All India Services -- Indian Police Service, Indian Administrative Service and Indian Forest Service -- should not profit from knowledge accessed by them in the course of their duties.
Friday’s order continued to allow the officers to retain the proceeds from their literary, artistic and cultural efforts.
“In other cases... one-third of any fees in excess of Rs 1,500 paid to a member of Service in a financial year shall be credited to the Consolidated Fund of India/State,” Rajesh Kumar Yadav, under secretary at the department of personnel & training said in the order.
An official said there was anecdotal evidence to suggest that civil servants who authored books were not always as diligent to surrender the entire royalty. “But it was unfair to them,” the official said.