In recent news concerning the Central Government employees, it has been stated that members of the All India Services are prohibited from receiving awards that include monetary components like cash or facilities. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) issued this directive.
The DoPT has also outlined guidelines regarding accepting awards from government bodies and private organisations by All India Services (AIS) members. These guidelines emphasise the importance of ensuring that the awarding bodies possess unquestionable credentials.
The DoPT recently released an Office Memorandum on June 22, providing clarifications and restrictions regarding the acceptance of awards by All India Services (AIS) members. The memorandum outlines the following points:
According to the DoPT’s Office Memorandum, awards presented by private bodies, institutions, or organisations can only be accepted by All India Services (AIS) members if prior approval is obtained from the Competent Authority.
The Competent Authority would be the State Government for AIS officers serving in the State. They are responsible for approving and accepting awards from private bodies.
On the other hand, for AIS officers serving in the Central Government, the Competent Authority would be the Secretary of the respective Ministry or Department. In the case of Secretaries to the Government of India, the Competent Authority would be the Cabinet Secretary.
According to the Office Memorandum, the Competent Authority may approve accepting awards under exceptional circumstances based on the following conditions:
Non-Monetary Nature: The award should not involve monetary components, including cash or facilities.
Credibility of Awarding Bodies: Private bodies, institutions, or organisations presenting the award should have unimpeachable credentials, ensuring their integrity and credibility.
The recent clarification issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) was prompted by the observation that All India Services (AIS) members were accepting awards and recognition from private bodies, institutions, or organisations without adhering to the prescribed guidelines in their intended spirit.
It is important to note that AIS members are considered Central Government Employees and receive their salaries and allowances as per the recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. The clarification aims to ensure that the acceptance of awards by AIS members follows the designated instructions and maintains the system’s integrity.
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