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Govt issues social media guidelines for its employees

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Srinagar: The Directorate of Family Welfare, MCH & Immunization, Jammu and Kashmir, has issued new social media guidelines for its employees, prohibiting them from criticizing government policies or actions on social media, posting content that is political, anti-secular, or communal in nature.

“No government employee shall, in any radio broadcast or in any document published in his own name or anonymously, pseudonymously or in the name of any other person or in any communication to the press or in any public utterance make any statement of fact or opinion,” reads an official order.

Besides that, employees, directly or indirectly, shall not publish, post or release any information on social media that is considered confidential or that is not meant for public dissemination nor shall they pass any official documents or any part thereof to any government employee or any such person to whom he is not authorized to communicate such document or information.

“No government employees shall, through any post, tweet or otherwise discuss or criticize on social media, any policy pursued or action taken by the Government, nor shall he/she, in any manner, participate in any such discussion or criticism on social media pages/communities/micro blogs,” reads an order.

As per the order issued by Dr Tabassum Jabeen, Director, Family Welfare, MCH & Immunization, J&K, “It has been observed that in the Department of Family Welfare, MCH & Immunization J&K, some employees are misusing the social media platform by posting vulgar, obscene and un-necessary tweets/contents/ comments against the department which defames the working/reputation of the department.”

The “Administrator” of the said social media platform as well as concerned employees if they are serving in the department are liable for disciplinary action under the relevant rules.

“All employees working in the Department of Family MCH & Immunization J&K have been enjoined to strictly adhere to the guidelines and legal principles reproduced in the order and issued vide Government order and refrain from indulging in unwarranted debates/discussions and sharing/commenting. Posting inappropriate posts/content on social media platforms. Violation of these guidelines/rules shall tantamount to misconduct and invite disciplinary action against the delinquent official under the relevant rules.”

The penalties for non-compliance outlined in the guidelines include censure, fines, withholding of increments and promotions, reduction to lower positions, and recovery of pecuniary losses incurred by the government due to negligence or breach of orders. In severe cases, employees could face premature retirement or even dismissal from government service, which may disqualify them from future employment.


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