In a bid to discipline the government employees, who are in the habit of posting critical comments on different social media platforms and triggering debates by camouflaging their real identities, the State government on Tuesday cracked its whip by amending the Civil Services Conduct Rules, 1971.
As per the SRO 525, “No Government employee shall engage in any criminal, dishonest, immoral or notoriously disgraceful conduct on social media which may be prejudicial to the Government. They shall also not use their personal social media accounts for any political activity or endorse the posts or tweets or blogs of any political figure and also shall not use their accounts in a manner that could reasonably be construed to imply that the Government endorses or sanctions their personal activities in any matter whatsoever. They shall also not post inflammatory, extraneous messages in an online community with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal, on topic discussion”.
Immediately after the information was made public, mixed reactions followed from different quarters.
Some welcomed it and pointed out it was much needed intervention while others termed, what they called the gag order, unreasonable and farfetched. There were others who simply made fun by posting several messages targeting both the proactive employees and the State government agencies responsible for suggesting such a move to enforce discipline.
On its part, the State government machinery went ahead to introduce amendment in the Service Conduct Rules after receiving representations from different quarters, which highlighted the fact that large number of employees, were regularly indulging in anti-government activities and inciting social media users against the State government by posting inflammatory speeches and messages.