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DST denies moral policing in foregrounding bigamy clause

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) has denied highlighting a clause, in its recruitment rules for a particular post that disqualifies an applicant on grounds of bigamy. Such a clause was standard in recruitment rules and, as per government format, was mentioned before specifying eligibility criteria, an official told The Hindu in an email, refuting suggestions of ‘moral policing’.

The Hindu, on November 27, reported on a notification by the DST prescribing the recruitment method and selection criteria for appointing a ‘Mission Director’ for one of its programmes that prominently highlighted bigamy as a disqualification. The Hindu in its report noted that the clause was routine in the ‘conduct rules’ for government job-recruits.

In response, Rabindra K. Panigrahy, a DST official said the Recruitment Rules (RR) notification was issued “...after being vetted by the Department of Personnel & Training, Union Public Service Commission and Ministry of Law & Justice as required under the guidelines.”

The official also cited instances of similar recruitment rule notices issued by various ministries. For instance, 2014 recruitment rules notices for the posts of 'Proof Reader' and 'Copy Holder' in the Law Ministry also highlights the bigamy clause as does a notice by the Home Ministry detailing rules for several ‘Inspector’ grade posts in the Indo-Tibetian Border Police Force.

“A perusal of these would reveal that the bigamy clause in all such RRs appears in the main body of the RR. The eligibility criteria for the post always appears in the Schedule which is annexed to the Rules,” the official noted.

The Hindu had quoted a serving bureaucrat anonymously who said such a prominent mention of the bigamy clause smacked of “moral policing.”

However, the DST official said, “The contention that the clause in question is being given prominence by the DST is incorrect and misleading. Further the contention that it is never explicitly mentioned in recruitment notifications and that the department is engaged in moral policing is far from the truth.”

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 9:21:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dst-denies-moral-policing-in-foregrounding-bigamy-clause/article33221850.ece

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