“India is the second most populated country in the world and a country with the highest youth population. Therefore, in this age of technology, the best way to reach the population is through social media channels.
According to a study by research firm IMRB International and Internet and Mobile Association of India, around 60percent of Social media access happens from small towns. The info- graphic image released as part of the study reveals that out of the 111 million Internet users in the country, the active Internet users consist of 89 million and the total social media users are 66 million. This means that 2 out of 3 active internet users use the internet for social media. In terms of mobile Internet, the active mobile internet user base in India is of 39.7 million and the active social media user base is 32.5 million. Besides, it also reveals the leading social websites in the country where Facebook tops the list by 97%, followed by Google+ of 34%, LinkedIn 17%, Twitter 17%, Orkut 14% and finally Ibibo 6%. India ranks third in the world in terms of active Facebook users.
All these statistics point out that the best way to reach the masses is through social media channels. The Government of India is actively participating in the channelizing information through social media channels like Facebook, Twitters, etc. Several ministries under the government have their own official Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn accounts through which official information is passed out to the masses. One can simply follow these pages/accounts to stay updated with the latest updates. Also, various ministries also post information related to Job openings, Campaigns, awareness through these channels.
Government Sites in India, sometimes, are too complicated to navigate and find exact information. However, if the same information when transferred through social media channels, which are people are used to navigating, makes people’s job easier. India’s Ministry of External Affairs is very active on Facebook and Twitter. Being a follower of the ministry, I see new posts every day regarding India’s external affairs and this actually enhances people’s knowledge regarding the country relations with other countries. “We know where the country is heading.”
As per recent news, the government of India is planning to have special social media departments in all ministries to communicate directly with the youth. The Planning Commission is the first in the line as it has already submitted a proposal for creating a separate wing of young professionals who will promote the Planning Commission and its schemes on social media tools, like Facebook, Twitter and Google hangout.
However, with a country with 1.25 billion people, it is difficult to manage these accounts and that’s the challenge these ministries are facing at the moment. Hundreds of questions are asked everyday and most of the time; none of these are reverted back. It is a challenge to communicate with people on social media. While various ministries are already on the social networking sites, it is becoming difficult to manage the flow of communication with the public. The government will have to expand its infrastructure to fully utilise the social media platform. Therefore, the Government is now seeking for professional who will manage the social media departments of these ministries; generating job opportunities in turn.
(For example: At least 12 young professional will be needed to manage the social media department in the Planning Commission itself, who will generate/modify content to advertise about the Commission’s plans and schemes with the public. Currently, Planning Commission has around 5,000 followers on Twitter and 10,000 on Facebook.)” – Kiran Ashok Apsunde – Maharashtra, India.