Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth has instructed all officials invited to the Independence Day flag-hoisting ceremony to be present at Red Fort, warning that a “serious view” would be taken of their absence.
Poor attendance of officials on this occasion of “great national importance” is “unacceptable”, Seth has said.
Sources said the cabinet secretary has issued a circular to the secretaries of several ministries and government departments, asking them to “suitably advise all officers… who are invited to the Independence Day ceremony, to attend the function.
“You might also caution them that a serious view would be taken of their absence on this occasion,” the circular is learnt to have added.
“It has been observed that there is, at times, low attendance of the official invitees to the ceremony. This is unacceptable considering that the occasion is of great national importance. There is, clearly, a need to remind the officers that it is their duty to attend the Independence Day ceremony.”
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Separately, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a circular seeking strict compliance of the provisions of the Flag Code of India, 2002, and Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971, and asked that the use of flags made of plastic be aggressively discouraged, including through advertisements in newspapers.
“…The National Flag made of plastic are being used in place of paper Flags. Since plastic Flags are not biodegradable these do not get destroyed for a long time. This affects the dignity of the Flag. Also plastic, not being biodegradable, is harmful to the environment,” the ministry has said.
Flags made of paper must not be discarded or thrown on the ground, and must be disposed of in a manner that is “consistent with the dignity of the Flag”, says the circular.