Science Ministry recruitment notice highlights bigamy disqualification clause

A notification by the Department of Science and Technology, prescribing the recruitment method and selection criteria for appointing a ‘Mission Director’ for one of its programmes highlights a disqualification clause on marital grounds very prominently and even before listing out the actual eligibility criteria. The said clause highlights governmental disapproval of bigamy.

The paragraph in the notification reads:

“No person, -

(a) who, has entered into or contracted a marriage with a person having a spouse living; or

(b) who, having a spouse living, has entered into or contracted a marriage with any person, shall be eligible for appointment to the said post:

Provided that the Central Government may, if satisfied that such marriage is permissible under the personal law applicable to such person and the other party to the marriage and that there are other grounds for so doing, exempt any person from the operation of this rule.”

The clause isn’t unusual in itself and is part of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules that applies to all government employees since 1964. However, it’s never explicitly mentioned in government recruitment notices or notifications.

“For it to be prominently highlighted looks like moral policing,” a serving bureaucrat of over two decades told The Hindu on condition of anonymity, “There are several such clauses which are implicit, like being a citizen of India [to apply for a post] or not having criminal cases but I’ve never seen it explicitly cited in any government recruitment notice.”

Other conduct rules include strictures against government servants from consuming “intoxicating drink or drug” in public places or using their influence to secure jobs for relatives in companies or firms.

Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, DST, didn’t explain why this clause was highlighted but said officers from the department told him it was a “standard clause followed by all departments of government.”

The November 10 DST notice was uploaded on the government’s website that lists important notifications and orders from various departments. The post in question is that of Mission Director, National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 6:04:32 AM |

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