Published On: Sun, Apr 19th, 2020

Deputy secretaries and above level officers to join offices from Monday

New Delhi: All deputy secretary level officers and above will join office from Monday, nearly a month after working from home due to the lockdown to check the spread of coronavirus, a senior official said.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla

Joint secretaries, additional secretaries, special secretaries and secretaries had joined central government departments on April 13.

In its revised guidelines related to the ongoing lockdown, the Home Ministry had on Wednesday said that “all the ministries and departments and offices under their control are to function with 100 per cent attendance of deputy secretary and levels above that”.

“Remaining officers and staff to attend up to 33 per cent as per requirement,” according to the guidelines.

All central government departments have been working with skeletal staff after the lockdown was imposed on March 25.

“There has to be 100 per cent attendance of deputy secretaries and director level officers from Monday as per the Home Ministry guidelines,” the officer said.

According to the revised guidelines, all work places shall have adequate arrangements for temperature screening and provide sanitizers at convenient places.

“Persons above 65 years of age and persons with co-morbidities and parents of children below the age of 5 may be encouraged to work from home,” the Home Ministry had said in the guidelines for “work spaces”.

All work places must have a gap of one hour between shifts and should stagger the lunch breaks of staff to ensure social distancing, it instructed.

All organisations shall sanitize their workplaces between shifts and large meetings to be prohibited, the guidelines said, adding that “use of ‘Arogya setu’ app will be encouraged for all employees, both private and public.

“Use of staircase for climbing should be encouraged,” it said.

Besides these, defence, Central Armed Police Forces, Health and Family Welfare, disaster management and early warning agencies, National Informatics Centre, Food Corporation of India, NCC, Nehru Yuva Kendras and customs to function without any restrictions, the guidelines said.

With respect to offices of the state and union territories, the Home Ministry has asked district administrations and treasury, including field offices of the accountant general, to function with restricted staff.

“However, delivery of public services shall be ensured, and necessary staff will be deployed for such states,” it said.

All other departments of state and UTs will work with restricted staff, the guidelines said.

“Group A and B officers may attend as required. Group C and levels below that may attend up to 33 per cent of strength, as per requirement to ensure social distancing,” it said.

Police, home guards, civil defence, fire and emergency services, disaster management, prisons and municipal services will function without any restrictions, it said.

“Resident Commissioner of states/UTs in New Delhi will remain open only to the extent of coordinating COVID-19 related activities and internal kitchen operations,” it added.

PTI

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