Learner’s Submission: Role of Social Media in India

“An informal survey conducted by the National Innovation Council (NInC) showed that among the 50 respondents (under30 demographic, working professionals) only 8% knew that the 12th Five Year Plan has been unveiled1. The planning commission (now NITI AYOG), realizing the need for better communication and decided to begin with social media in march 2013. To harness the opportunity of social media, Government of India had organized Hackathons on the 12th Five Year Plan. In addition, The Commissionerate of Municipal Administration, Tamil Nadu and ThoughtWorks organized the first CMA Hackathon –Code for Urban Governance on Dec 14 and 15, 2014 and 5 key themes of the Hackathon were education, health, sanitation, birth and death registration, and roads2. Two press conferences were carried out by government of India via twitter for better communication with journalist, student and people3. In another development, President of India and Prime Minister Office make facebook and twitter account, goes on social media to give update about their activities. Most of the ministries and other government offices are being linked to social media, gradually. In a marvelous step, Ministry of External Affairs has initiated Indian Diplomacy page on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social media sites to foster a greater understanding of India and its foreign policy concerns4 and, also divulge its presence on social media to update their followers about Indian Foreign Policy viz. visits of the foreign diplomats and overseas visits of the Indian diplomats. Asia and world have 34.7% and 42.3% internet penetration respectively5. To exploit this resource, High commissioners and consulate generals of India have also been linked to social media to reach out the citizens of their respective niche, to introduce with fabulous Indian culture, heritage and political system. Tourism ministry has also launched its social media campaign about Incredible India to allure the tourist and trap the tourism economy.

National broadcaster Prasar Bharti has launched real time update about programs and news through social media. It has also started blogs to bring the innovative ideas on to one platform and Prasar Bharti had managed to live broadcast of Republic Day Parade on Youtube to provide real time streaming. Further, to provide holistic update about government initiation, India portal has also been linked to different social media channels. Army, Navy, Air force, Paramilitary forces and, states police have also launched their facebook page and social media campaign to engage with civilians, aware and trap young intelligent mind to nurture the nation and check the crimes as well. State Governments has also used this communication medium to provide good governance in their respective states for eg. NCT Delhi has started Facebook page to check corrupt practices in Public Distribution system. Basic unit of Indian Civil Services DM and civil servants are also linked to social media, for eg. Facebook account of DM, Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh.

NPTEL- National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning6, funded by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, is a massive online open courses which provides comprehensive knowledge and opportunity to citizen of all age group to nurture their intelligence. Along with this, Community Participation is the key feature of this program. Social media has been used remarkably as Google Hangouts for discussion and for communication with instructor, YouTube is the official partner which provide online videos.

Open Government Data- OGD is a platform for supporting Open Data initiative of Government of India. The portal is intended to be used by Government of India Ministries/ Departments their organizations to publish datasets, documents, services, tools and applications collected by them for public use. Open Government Data Platform India has singificant module as Communities – Module for community users to interact and share their zeal and views with others, who share common interests as that of theirs. For eg. Agriculture community, health community, developer community7.

MyGov(Good Governance with your Partnership)-8 On 26 July 2014, the Hon`ble Prime Minister of India launched MyGov- a platform for citizen engagement for good governance, which presents a wonderful opportunity for citizens, experts and government authorities to collectively achieve the Surajya. MyGov welcomes government institutions to collaborate with citizens through this platform. Institutions can form or create interest groups based on various causes and initiatives taken in each sector the government. Within each group, discussions on relevant and significant topics can be initiated. The discussions can help government institutions understand viewpoints of citizens and gather feedback on policy. 1st MyGov Samvaad had been organized on 29 Nov, 2014. A Group on Digital India was created on MyGov to take inputs from users on critical topics.

Social media is a globe of opportunities, it depends on ourself, how would we tackle it? Indian Government has initiated so many programmes but still, we have to go a long distance. We have to change our mindset to achieve the MDG through use of ICT and, social media can play a significant role in it. It is a strong medium which can influence a mass collectively. If we use it in a constructive manner, definitely it will be fruitful and prosperous. I hope through this government make India a prosperous and leading country in the world.” – Saurabh Yadav – Uttar Pradesh, India

References:

Yojana May, 2013 ISSN-0971-8400
data.gov.in
Yojana May, 2013 ISSN-0971-8400
facebook.com/indiandiplomacy
Internetworldstats.com/stats3.htm
nptel.ac.in
data.gov.in
mygov.in

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