Babus in Rajasthan beware: What you say and do on social media will be used against you
The department of personnel in Rajasthan has proposed disciplinary action against those employees who “tarnish the government’s image” through their social media posts.jaipur Updated: Oct 10, 2017 15:27 IST
Complaining and cribbing about the officials or criticising the government and its policies on social media, including on text messaging app WhatsApp, would soon invite action against state employees in Rajasthan.
The department of personnel (DOP) in Rajasthan has proposed disciplinary action against those employees who “tarnish the government’s image” through their posts. The DOP will soon issue a circular in this regard.
Source said many employees spend a lot of time on WhatsApp and Facebook and post comments obliquely directed at senior officials or the functioning of the government. This action, they said, vitiates the atmosphere and leads to inter-departmental rivalry. Government officials have always been barred from criticising government policy or making statements that embarrass the government on the traditional media.
“The existing rules primarily address the criticism made by officials in the traditional media (television, radio and print), not the new media. The new rules seek to clarify the situation with regards to the expected behaviour on social media so that there is no room for misrepresentation,” an official familiar with the development said.
While there has not been any big controversy regarding posts on social media in Rajasthan bureaucracy, the officials have been receiving complaints on minor issues.
The draft of the circular is ready and awaiting approval at the highest level. “The circular will be directed at those who indulge in unnecessary social conduct rule violation,” joint secretary (DOP) Arvind Kumar Poswal told HT.
In July 2016, a controversy had erupted in Madhya Pradesh when an IAS officer, Ajay Gangwar ‘liked’ a Facebook post critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and praised first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Gangwar, who was Barwani collector, was transferred to the secretariat in Bhopal by the Madhya Pradesh’s BJP government and told to give an explanation.
While Centre has framed rules for three all India services – Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service – the Rajasthan government’s guidelines will be directed at state services officials.