Retirement Age Rumour spread in Whatsapp – Govt initiates inquiry and clarifies no such move is taken up
The Government on Thursday was left in a tizzy over what its officials described as a “deliberate mischief” in form of a widely circulated message on Whatsapp that the Union Government had decided to reduce the retirement age of central government employees from 60 to 58 years.
The message also cited a purported answer given by the Ministry of Personnel in Parliament on December 11 to say that the government will bring a bill in Parliament in February-March 2015 to reduce the retirement age to 58.
The government has now begun an inquiry to trace the person who circulated this wrong message as it caused considerable confusion among the bureaucracy and the political class as the purported move to reduce the retirement age was reported by some television channels as well as posted widely on social networking websites.
Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu had to get up in Parliament on Thursday afternoon to deny any such move to reduce the retirement age and posted the same on his Twitter account. Minister of State for Personnel, Jitendra Singh, who had answered a question in Parliament on Thursday saying there was no move to reduce the retirement age, had to make a statement to Doordarshan and ANI in the evening to set the record straight. The Press Information Bureau (PIB) sent out multiple messages and also issued an official statement in the night saying there was no such proposal.
A senior government official said a probe has been necessitated to trace out the offender as a parliament reply given earlier by the Ministry of Personnel on December 11 had been twisted and a wrong picture painted of the contents of the said reply in the widely circulated WhatsApp message.
On December 11, the Ministry of Personnel was in fact asked if there was a move to increase the retirement age from 60 to 62. The Ministry replied that there was no such move.
But the said Whatsapp message said the Ministry was asked on December 11 was whether the retirement age would be reduced from 60 to 58 and claimed the government had answered in the affirmative and also said a bill will be brought to Parliament in February-March 2015 for the same. “This is a completely wrong message and a deliberate mischief by someone,” a senior government official said, adding that an inquiry has been started to trace out the said person.
Source: Economic Times