The Centre on Tuesday proposed changes in the conduct rules of government employees to make them accountable for criticising government policies on social media, reported Hindustan Times. The government has proposed disciplinary action against its employees who are found voicing negative views on the internet about its decisions.

“The member of service shall also not make any such statement on television, social media or any other communication application,” the draft rule said. The Department of Personnel & Training has sent the document to the state governments for their opinion.

The new rules will, however, allow officials to use social media when needed for their duties. The change is meant to include social media in the rule book, which already bars government officials from criticising the government on television, radio or print media.

In May, an IAS officer was demoted allegedly for a post he put up on Facebook praising Jawaharlal Nehru while being subtly sceptical of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. "Let me know the mistakes that Nehru should not have committed...Is it his mistake that he prevented all of us from becoming Hindu Talibani Rashtra in 1947? Is it his mistake to open IIT, ISRO, BARC, IISB, IIM, BHEL steel plant, dams, thermal power? Is it his mistake that he honoured Sarabhai, Homi Jehangir in place of intellectuals like Asaram and Ramdev?" Ajay Singh Gangwar had written on the social networking website.