Varsities having Ordinance need not follow CCS rules

The Centre has decided that central universities already having an Ordinance of their own need not adopt the Central Civil Services rules. However, new central universities not having an Ordinance have to adopt them.

This comes close on the heels of a UGC letter to all central universities that they should adopt the CCS rules, which led to much controversy on the ground that the freedom of faculty members to criticise any government policy would stand in violation of these rules.

A barrage of criticism of this move that it would have blocked even the writing of books or articles critical of government policy -- as The Hindu had reported -- was followed by Minister of Human Resource Development Prakash Javadekar tweeting that there would be no restriction of speech in DU or JNU at a time when the latter had already adopted the UGC's instruction regarding CCS rules.

A senior MHRD official told The Hindu that since JNU had its own Ordinance, it was not required to impose CCS rules on its faculty.

The Central Civil Services Conduct Rules say: “No government servant shall make any statement of fact or opinion which has the effect of an adverse criticism of any current or recent policy of the Central government or a State government.”

This aspect of the CCS rules had been interpeted as a gag order by various teachers' associations.

However, Aditya Narayan Mishra of Academics for Action and Development told The Hindu, “Institutions follow written orders. Unless the UGC issues a letter to all universities reversing its last order, how does it matter”?

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2021 6:26:39 PM |

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