After asking employees to avoid 'anti-govt' posts on social media, TIFR says wording led to 'misinterpretation
Days after TIFR issued notice to its employees, asking them to refrain from making anti-govt statements on social media, the institute said notice's wording created "great deal of misinterpretation"
Days after the city-based Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) issued a notice to its employees, asking them to refrain from making anti-government statements on social media, the institute on Saturday said the wording of its notice was such that it created a "great deal of misinterpretation".
TIFR, an autonomous institution under the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), also said that making public criticism against the institution or the government has always required prior permission.
It added that the rules mentioned in its notice already existed and the fresh communication was meant only to clarify that they are applied to social media as well as electronic media, such as TV, and print media.
It said it had issued instructions to its employees on April 13, imposing restrictions to them, following a notice to that effect by the DAE.
"On April 13, 2022, consequent to a notice issued by the DAE, the Registrar of TIFR had issued a notice to all TIFR employees, imposing restrictions on (1) posting pictures or videos of the Institute premises, and (2) making anti-government statements in posts on social media, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, etc," the TIFR said.
It said the registrar's notice also requested the staff to apprise their family members of the same.
The notice also said that sharing photographs and videos of the institute will have serious security consequences.
"Unfortunately, the wording of the notice was such that it has become subject to a great deal of misinterpretation," the TIFR said.
It said photography on the TIFR premises (not in the residential part) has always been forbidden, and for government employees, making public criticisms against the institution or the government has always required prior permission.
"The purpose of the notice was to clarify that both the above pre-existing rules also apply to social media as well as to other media, such as TV, or print media.
"No new restrictions on family members and visitors of staff members are being imposed or are intended to be imposed. This note is being issued to clarify this point," it added.
"...Making public criticisms against the institution or the government has always required prior permission," it said.