The approval, the Personnel Ministry said, may be granted ”only in exceptional circumstances”.
It further said that the award should not have any monetary component in th The move comes after it noticed that existing instructions in this regard were not being adhered to in true spirit. ”Accordingly, it is, hereby, clarified that: awards given by private bodies/ institutions/organisations may be accepted only with prior approval of competent authority,” said an order issued by the Personnel Ministry.
The competent authority for acceptance of awards by a government servant would be secretary of the concerned ministry/department, it said in the order issued to all central government ministries/departments. ”The competent authority for acceptance of awards by secretaries to govt of India and secretary rank officers would be cabinet secretary,” the order said, adding that the approval may be granted ”only in exceptional circumstances”.
It further said that the award should not have any monetary component in the form of cash and/or facilities. ”Credentials of the private bodies/institutions/ organisations should be unimpeachable,” the order said. Rule 14 of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) rules, 1964 provides that ”no Government servant shall, except with the previous sanction of the government, receive any complimentary or valedictory address or accept any testimonial or attend any meeting or entertainment held in his honour; or in the honour of any other government servant”.
The personnel ministry had in 1999, issued another order saying that, ”in general, awards sought to be given by private bodies and institutes to government servants do not need to be encouraged” as there are various methods open to government itself to recognise their merit and service. Further, another order issued in 2000 by the ministry said, that ”it was emphasised that the government servants should not be allowed to accept awards of monetary benefits instituted by private trusts/foundations, etc.”
”It has, however, been observed that these instructions are not being adhered to in their true spirit,” reads the latest order by the ministry, seeking strict adherence to the fresh guidelines.
Source : (Agencies)