Representative image of a wedding ceremony. Credit: Unsplash/Sourabh Virdi
New Delhi: Moving away from the norm, a notification issed by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) for the appointment of mission director for the National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems includes a disqualification clause on marital grounds.
The clause on bigamy, uploaded on the DST website on November 10, has been listed above all the other eligibility criteria actually required to fill the post, according to The Hindu.
The paragraph in the notification reportedly said: “No person –
- Who, has entered into or contracted a marriage with a person having a spouse living; or
- Who, having a spouse living, has entered into or contracted a marriage with any person, shall be eligible for appointment of 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, being a part of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, anyway applies to all government employees since 1964. According to The Hindu, “However, it’s never explicitly mentioned in government recruitment notices or notifications.”
A senior serving bureaucrat told the newspaper, ‘For it to be prominently highlighted looks like moral policing. 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 have never seen it explicitly cited in any government recruitment notice.”
The conduct rules set for government employees also include disqualification parameters such as consuming intoxicating drinks and drugs in public places or misusing their power and position to get jobs for relatives in private concerns.
The news report stated that though Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, DST, didn’t say why the clause was particularly highlighted in the notification above all the other eligibility criteria for the post. However, Sharma said officers of his department had informed him that it was a “standard clause followed by all departments of government”.