Published: 02nd September 2020
IIT Bhubaneswar tells faculty no more anonymous comments that can embarrass them, sour relations with government
The IIT-Bhubaneswar directed its faculties and staff not to interact with print or electronic media without prior approval of the competent authority
The staff and faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar have been asked not to talk to the media, even anonymously, for news stories that could embarrass the institute or sour their relationship with the government. They have asked that teachers not contribute towards the publishing of any criticism of the institute or its policies or something which could be capable of "embarrassing the relations between the institute and the Central Government or any State government or any other institute or organisation or members of the public."
The circular, which was issued on August 19, and has been signed by the Registrar states, "No employee shall, except with the previous sanction of the competent authority or any other authority empowered by it in this behalf, or in the bona fide discharge of duties, participate in any media activity or contribute any article or write any letter either anonymously or in own name or in the name of any other person to any newspaper or periodical."
This circular apparently came after the institute came to know that a few members of the faculty had been interacting with the media directly or anonymously. "It is found that some of the Faculty/Staff are interacting with the print/electronic media without any prior approval of the Competent Authority, which is capable of creating embarrassment to the Institute in various matters," it said.
In the circular, IIT Bhubaneswar clearly stated that their employees should not give their opinion "in any media activity or in any document published anonymously or in own name or in the name of any other person or in any communication to the media or in any public utterance" that could act as an adverse criticism of any current or recent policy or action of the Institute. Or "which is capable of embarrassing the relations between the Institute and of the Central Government or any State Government or any other institute or organisation or members of the public," the circular added.
The IIT-Bhubaneswar administration, however, pointed out that the staff can contribute to the media in terms of literary, artistic or scientific work. "The staff is at liberty, without any sanction, to publish their original scientific, literary or artistic works," the circular said.
We tried contacting the IIT Bhubaneswar administration, the story will be updated once they respond.