Dress code for govt employees in Maharashtra

A dress code is a set of rules, often written, with regards to clothing. Dress codes are created out of social perceptions and norms, and vary based on purpose, circumstances, and occasions. Different societies and cultures are likely to have different dress codes, Western dress codes being a prominent example. Dress codes are symbolic indications of different social ideas, including social class, cultural identity, and attitude towards comfort, tradition, and political or religious affiliations.
Recently, Maharashtra Government has imposed a ban on wearing of T-shirts and jeans by the employees in the state secretariat and government offices. The state government wants its employees’ attire “Proper and Clean”. And for it, the state government has issued an order on Friday, asking its employees and contractual staff to come to offices wearing appropriate formal clothes.  No doubt, fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events. You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything about clothes. Jeans and t-shirt may mean stress-free wear for some, but they are no longer suitable `office attire’ for government employees in Maharashtra.
According to an order issued by the Maharashtra government, all government employees must wear khadi clothes at least on Fridays to encourage the use of handspun. The circular read, "Maharashtra Government asks State Government employees and contractual staff to not wear jeans or t-shirt in the Secretariat and Government offices; instruct them to wear appropriate formal clothes, to appear professional. It has been observed that several officials/staff (mainly contractual staff and advisers engaged for government work) do not wear attire suitable for government employees. Hence, the image of government staff gets sullied among people."

The circular also said that people expect "good behaviour and personality" from all government officials and employees. The government notice further said that women employees can wear sarees, salwars/chudidars kurtas, trouser pants and shirts alongwith dupattas if necessary, it said.
For men, there is less choice: they can wear shirts and “pants or trouser pants”. Moreover, it further said, “Clothes with deep colours and strange embroidery patterns or pictures should not be worn.
The step taken by Government of Maharashtra is good but can it be implemented with the spirit.  Such decisions have been taken by several state government in past too. Last year, the Bihar Government had issued a dress code for all its employees, apparently to ensure discipline and office decorum. The Tamil Nadu Government had also asked its employees to avoid casual attire and wear clothes that reflect Indian and Tamil culture. The Rajasthan labour department had in June 2018, banned its employees from wearing jeans and T-shirts. Karnataka and Himachal government had also introduced a dress code for its employees. While female employees were barred from attending office work by wearing skirts, T-shirts and pants, Male employees were told to not wear T-shirts.
Employees are sometimes required to wear a uniform or certain standards of dress. This may depend on particular situations. Let’s see how the order issued by the government of Maharashtra works?

- Prabhakar Purandare

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