New Delhi:

Citing the unprecedented rise in COVID cases in the country, the Centre on Wednesday allowed its employees with recognised qualifications to undertake medical practice or teleconsultation.

Such practice is to be undertaken during spare time and on a purely charitable basis, an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) said.

Referring to a 57-year-old order of the Home Ministry, it said the DoPT has been receiving queries/requests from central government servants for providing teleconsultation services during the current pandemic.

“In view of the unprecedented rise in the numbers of COVID-19 cases, and to utilise the in-house capabilities available in the government to contain the spread of COVID-19 virus and to provide relief to the public, it has been decided that the central government employees holding recognised qualifications in any system of medicine requires no permission from the Head of Departments (HoDs) concerned to undertake practice/provide teleconsultation,” it said.

This would be subject to the condition that such practice/teleconsultation is undertaken during spare time, on a purely charitable basis, without detriment to the official duties to the government servant concerned, said the order issued to all the central government department, the order said.

“However, it is desirable that the government servants should keep their departments concerned informed for record purposes only,” it said, adding that this guideline will come into force with immediate effect.

The DoPT referred to the Home Ministry order of February 29, 1964 that stipulates that the HOD may grant permission to central government servants holding recognised qualifications in any system of medicine to undertake practice.