The Maharashtra government on Friday asked its employees to restrict the use of mobile phones to a minimum during office hours, saying that landlines are more preferable amid the Pegasus snooping scandal.
An order issued by the General Administration Department (GAD) said mobile phones should be used only if necessary for official work.
Indiscriminate use of mobile phones in office maligns the government’s image, the order said, without any reference to the spyware developed by an Israeli firm.
The order encouraged communications through text messages in cases mobile phones are to be used at all, adding that conversation through these devices should be as little as possible.
The use of social media through mobile devices during office hours should be limited, the government said.
Personal calls on mobile phones should be answered by stepping out of office, the “code of conduct” further said.
The order also said that conversations on mobile phones should be “polite” and “in low voice”, keeping in mind people in the vicinity.
But calls from elected representatives and senior officials must be answered without delay.
Mobile phones should be on silent mode during official meetings or inside the chambers of senior officials. Similarly, browsing the internet, checking messages, and use of earphones should be avoided on such occasions, the government advised.