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KU bars employees from uploading ‘official material’ on social media

KU bars employees from uploading ‘official material’ on social media
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Move draws flak as employees resent

Muhammad Adnan
Srinagar: Authorities at Kashmir University (KU) have threatened to take “appropriate action” against its employees who do not “refrain from uploading official documents” on social media, drawing flak from employees who have called the move as “an attempt to shoot the messenger.”
The circular instructions come a day after the University authorities were left embarrassed by a video that showed a dog inside a girls’ hostel mess.
“It has been observed that some employees are habitual of uploading/sharing official documents/material/video/video clips/pictures related to daily business of the University on social media which is against social media policy issued by Commissioner/Secretary to Government, General Administration Department vide order No.1646-GAD of 2017 dated 26-12-2017,” reads a circular issued by Assistant Registrar, General Administration.
“Such being the position (sic), it is impressed upon all employees of the University of Kashmir to refrain from uploading any official documents/material on social media without proper permission,” the circular reads, adding that “in case any employee(s) is found to repeat such practice in future, an appropriate action shall be taken under cyber law and social media policy of the Government as well as the University.”
The circular however, has drawn criticism from teachers who said that it was issued after the viral dog video embarrassed the University authorities.
“Official documents if any issued by the University will only be uploaded by any employee on his/her social media page when it is already on the University website. When such documents are already in public domain, what is the harm in sharing them if they are meant for providing information to students and teachers,” said a KU administration employee, wishing anonymity.
Another employee said the University of Kashmir has not adopted the Government’s social media policy or cyber laws that the circular has mentioned.
“There are scores of orders related to appointments and promotions which the University has issued and not made public to hide information from teachers and students. Instead of promoting transparency, this circular is against transparency,” alleged the employee.
One teacher said the University must specify which official documents cannot be uploaded on social media.
“If someone shares a date-sheet on social media, will he be liable for punishment? Such circulars are without any logic and are being deliberately issued to target some employees who are voicing their concerns about university issues on social media,” he said.

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