Family Welfare Directorate issues social media guidelines for its employees

Srinagar, Sep 26: In a bid to regulate the conduct of its employees on social media platforms, the Directorate of Family Welfare, Maternal and Child Health (MCH), and Immunization in Jammu and Kashmir has issued a set of stringent guidelines. 

These guidelines prohibit government employees from engaging in the criticism of government policies, posting political content, or sharing materials with political, anti-secular, or communal undertones.
An official order issued by Dr. Tabassum Jabeen, Director of Family Welfare, MCH, and Immunization, Jammu and Kashmir, emphatically states, “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, make any statement of fact or opinion.” The order further clarifies that this restriction extends to any communication to the press or any public utterance.
Additionally, the guidelines strictly prohibit employees from publishing, posting, or releasing any confidential information on social media platforms. Such information is not meant for public dissemination, and employees are forbidden from sharing official documents or any part thereof with unauthorized individuals.
The order continues, “No government employee 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/microblogs.”
Dr Tabassum Jabeen, in the official order, cited the misuse of social media platforms by some employees within the Department of Family Welfare, MCH & Immunization in Jammu and Kashmir. She expressed concern over the posting of vulgar, obscene, and defamatory content against the department, which has been tarnishing its reputation.
The guidelines also make it clear that both the administrators of the relevant social media platforms and the employees themselves will be held accountable for any violations, subject to disciplinary action under the relevant rules.
All employees working in the Department of Family Welfare, MCH, and Immunization in Jammu and Kashmir have been instructed to adhere strictly to the newly issued guidelines and legal principles. Violations of these guidelines and rules are considered misconduct and can result in disciplinary actions against the delinquent officials. Penalties for non-compliance include censure, fines, withholding of increments and promotions, reduction to lower positions, and the 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.
These guidelines have been put in place to maintain decorum, professionalism, and adherence to government policies in the online presence of government employees in Jammu and Kashmir. It remains to be seen how these directives will be implemented and enforced across various departments and employees in the region.

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