Government asks civil servants to steer clear of awards from private bodies

The government has allowed AIS members to accept awards after obtaining prior approval from the relevant department’s competent authority.
Image used for representational purposes (Photo | PTI)
Image used for representational purposes (Photo | PTI)

NEW DELHI:  The Central government has issued a directive prohibiting civil servants, including officers of the All India Services (AIS) such as the Indian Administrative Service, Indian Police Service, and Indian Forest Service from accepting awards or recognition from private bodies, institutions or organisations in defiance of government guidelines. 

The Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension have instructed the chief secretaries of all states, secretaries to various government departments, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to ensure the proper implementation of these instructions, which were issued on June 22.

The ministry, in an office memorandum, highlighted that it had observed members of the AIS accepting awards or recognitions from private bodies in disregard of the government’s established guidelines. 
The government order stated that the practice of granting awards by private bodies and institutes to members of the AIS should not be encouraged, as the government itself has various methods to recognise the merits and services of these officers. Accepting an award from a private body would not be appropriate, it said.

However, the government has allowed AIS members to accept awards after obtaining prior approval from the relevant department’s competent authority or the state government, following verification of the award-giving body’s credentials. 

The directive emphasized that such approval should be granted in exceptional circumstances, such as recognising an officer’s merit for work done outside their government duties or when the government deems an individual officer deserving of a particular award. The Centre clarified that any approved award should not have a monetary component.

For civil service officers serving in state governments, the approval should come from the respective state government’s competent authority. Approval may only be granted in exceptional circumstances after the verification of the credentials of private bodies.

Approval to be granted in special circumstances
The government has allowed AIS members to accept awards after obtaining prior approval from the relevant department’s competent authority. Such approval should be granted in exceptional circumstances; for instance, recognising an officer’s merit for work done outside their government duties. 

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