Within days of taking charge as the Chief Minister of Karnataka, H D Kumaraswamy has banned state government officials from carrying mobiles to his meetings. The state government said that this was done to enforce discipline and avoid diversions.
"The Chief Minister has directed to ensure that the officials do not carry mobile phones to the meetings to avoid distractions and to enforce discipline," state's Chief Secretary K. Ratna Prabha told IANS in Bengaluru.
Calling it a welcome move, the Chief Secretary said the decision to ban mobile phones will ensure that the officials contribute effectively to the meetings.
"It is a welcome step by the Chief Minister as distractions through mobile phones will be removed during crucial meetings," she added.
The Chief Minister's decision came 10 days after he took charge on May 23 and held only a few meetings with the officials.
A senior officer of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) rank in the state, however, declined to comment on Kumaraswamy's order.
This development also comes days after the Department of Public Instruction issued a circular calling for a ban on the use of mobile phones by government school teachers in the state during school hours.
"We have observed that teachers and workers using mobile phones while working has caused problems. Hence, we have decided that to create an ideal atmosphere in schools, the use of mobile phones should be banned. In this regard, the use of mobile phones in schools will be strictly banned," reads the circular.
The circular further puts the onus on school headmasters and headmistresses to discipline teachers if they are found using mobile phones in school hours.
"Any teacher who is observed using mobile phones will be disciplined. The headmistress will be tasked with taking appropriate action to ensure that no teacher uses mobile phones in schools", the circular states.