Home Cities TIFR rescinds circular asking employees not to make anti-govt comments

TIFR rescinds circular asking employees not to make anti-govt comments

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The directive from one of the country’s leading research institutes under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) provoked outrage

Mumbai: The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) has withdrawn the April 13 circular asking its employees and their families to refrain from sharing photos of the institute or making anti-government statements on social media. The directive from one of the country’s leading research institutes under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) provoked outrage.

In a fresh circular on Monday evening, TIFR registrar George Anthony said the previous one stands withdrawn. It was sent to all TIFR employees via email titled “Use of Social Media”. It highlighted the institute received a communication from DAE that employees and their family members have been posting photographs/videos of DAE offices and facilities on Facebook/WhatsApp and other social media platforms.

The email referred to “certain disgruntled employees” sharing anti-government content over social media and said they have also been red flagged by the agencies and the department.

Employees were earlier asked to refrain from sharing photos or anti-government comments and were asked to inform their families as well. The institute clarified this has been a pre-existing rule.

Some employees objected to “repeated interference” from the institute as well as DAE. They told HT the new circular was released after TIFR director S Ramakrishnan received calls and emails from the employees against the April 13 circular.

“We were assured the circular will be withdrawn, and we are glad the administration did so. Such unnecessary interference by the government is another sign of the increasing intolerance of the government against any form of criticism. What is happening in the bargain is that they are stifling academic freedom, which is unfair,” said a TIFR professor, requesting anonymity.

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