The Indian government on Wednesday allowed officials, who are medically certified, to practice or provide tele-consultations in their spare time purely on a charitable basis for "relief to the public" as cases of Covid-19 continue to rise.
In a memorandum, the Department of Personnel and Training said that such officials could provide medical services as long as they did not impact their duties.
"Central government employees holding recognised qualifications in any system of medicine and registered under the relevant law in force in the states or UTs [Union territories] concerned can undertake the practice/provide teleconsultation, subject to the condition that such practice is undertaken during spare time, purely on a charitable basis, and without detrimental to the official duties of the government servant concerned," the department said.
The instructions come amid queries about whether central government employees could provide such services.
The department cited the precedent of a ministry of home affairs memorandum dated 2 February, 1964, wherein heads of department may grant permission to employees with recognised qualifications to undertake practice without impacting official duties.
"The Department has been receiving queries/requests from central government servants for providing teleconsultation services during the current pandemic," the department said. It added the permission has been granted keeping in "view the unprecedented rise in numbers of Covid-19 cases and to utilize in-house capabilities of the spread of the virus and provide relief to the public".