Several officials of the Indian Revenue Service last month received showcause notices from their national training academy in Maharashtra’s Nagpur city for failing to make handmade cards for soldiers on the occasion of Republic Day, ThePrint reported on Friday.

Out of the 150 trainees in the 72nd batch of the IRS, 80 submitted the “assignment” by the January 15 deadline, and the rest were asked to clarify their “utter indifference and lack of respect” towards soldiers.

The Additional Director General of the National Academy of Direct Taxes Nausheen Ansari asked them to submit their replies by January 30, according to the report. The order sheet, which was sent to the faculty at the academy, stated that Principal Director General Alka Tyagi had taken a “serious view” of the matter.

“The Principal Director General has taken a serious view of the fact that out of the 150 Officer Trainees of the 72nd Batch, only 80 OTs have made cards for the soldiers,” the notice said. “This may itself be treated as an act of indiscipline on the part of these OTs for their failure to comply with the instructions issued by the superior authorities.”

An official told ThePrint that the “assignment” came at a time they were preparing for the final training examinations. The official asked how such activities could be forced on them, adding: “We are not school students.”