Few days back we talked about How much social media has changed society and 5 tips to become social media cool kid. In past few years, concept of governance has changed dramatically. Indian citizens are now more curious and they want to stay in thick of things with changes and policies of Government. Understanding this changing trend, Governments has become responsive towards the issues of general public and we have few instances of Government services on social media. This is certainly a big positive step followed by many Government departments.
Government is always responsible for educating citizen about new changes and policies. Earlier this aspect of information sharing was taken care by print or press media, however, growing popularity of social media inspired Government and its departments to adopt it.
Indian postal department came up with the big breakthrough, when they created a Twitter account @PostOfficeIndia (account no more active) and started updating its achievement and historical landmarks. After some time, postal department started responding to the queries of people through this account. That was just the beginning of Indian government sector presence in Social-media platforms.
I would like to recall an election campaign event here. During 2013 Delhi Assembly elections, most of us know a new party came to existence with the name of “Aam Aadmi Party”. They went viral over various social media platform with their campaigns and it was surprising that, they formed Government.
The prospect of social media as a governance tool has been recognized by the Government of India, and social media wing is coming up soon, as intimated by I&B Minister Shri Manish Tewari in an interview to NDTV.
Recently I found a Twitter account with the name of Government of India (@govofindia), however authority and authenticity of this account can’t be confirmed, and this account doesn’t looked to used any more as last tweet dated back to 9th April 2012.
I will mention five such Government departments or services on the social media, which are doing a great job to get connected with people:-
1. Indian Public Diplomacy Division of Ministry of External Affairs
@IndianDiplomacy, This is an active Twitter account of Public Diplomacy Division of Ministry of External Affairs. This twitter profile is dedicated for providing updates from the Department in terms of India’s relationship with any other countries. This page seems to be quite popular, with 1,38,004 Followers and more than 4,158 tweets posted till date. Last tweet on this account is regarding a documentary film showing relationship between India and Republic of Korea.
2. Planning Commission of India
www.fb.com/planComIndia, Planning Commission of India is maintaining this Facebook page. Most of the posts are related to updates of daily events of the commission. This Facebook page of Planning Commission have 57, 360 likes, which testifies the fact of citizen’s awareness for Government works. Recently, Planning Commission of India is seeking suggestions or ideas for countries 12th Five year Plan for the period 2012-2017. Planning Commission also operates through Twitter with @PlanComIndia (handler) and this profile has 1, 64,227 followers now.
3. Delhi Traffic Police
@dtptraffic, This is a great initiative by Delhi Traffic Police. This account has 83,404 followers. Delhi’s traffic is really congested and busy during all day long and specially in office hours. This Twitter account regularly updates about the traffic conditions of the Delhi region. It has turned out be a very helpful source of information, as Delhi roads have of history of blockages due to work or accidents. Control Room helpline number is also provided in the account, in case you need help. Delhi traffic police also extended their social media involvement by creating a Facebook page with a remarkable response. This page has got 1, 77, 956 likes as of now and can be found at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delhi-Traffic-Police/117817371573308.
4. State Bank of India
This Government owned multinational banking service is biggest in India in terms of the net worth and number of branches. The bank is managing a Facebook page, which is dedicated to educate customers about new banking schemes and policies that State Bank of India is launching from time to time. This is also a great initiative by country’s largest banking network. Total number of likes this page has is 46,648. Web address of this page is www.fb.com/StateBankofIndiaOfficial.
5. Aam Aadmi Party Initiative
This instance is not a Government initiative; however, they used social media networks for reaching out to the people during elections for their campaigns. This really was the biggest such campaign ever witnessed in the history of India. Apart from the party’s social media accounts and pages, key members of party also created their personal accounts for campaigning. Aam Aadmi Party has formed the Delhi Government after elections in December 2013. There are many accounts managed by Aam Aadmi Party and their members, few of them are mentioned below :
- Party’s twitter Handle @AamAadmiParty
- Party’s Facebook Page www.fb.com/AamAadmiParty
- Arvind Kejriwal’s (CM Delhi) Twitter Handle @ArvindKejriwal
- Arvind Kejriwal’s Facebook Page www.fb.com/AAPkaArvind
Special case of Mr Narendra Modi
Gujarat CM and country’s opposition party Prime Ministerial Candidate Mr Narendra Modi has used social media platforms quite successfully for providing information of his forthcoming policies and his day to day activity through Facebook and Twitter. His activities on social media channels are not limited to Facebook and Twitter. He has gone even an inch more than other politicians.
Details of Mr Narendra Modi’s social media account:-
- Facebook – www.fb.com/narendramodi. This page have 8.1 m likes.
- Twitter – @narendramodi, with 3.1 m followers.
- YouTube – youtube.com/user/narendramodi. He has uploaded over 2700 videos and has a subscriber’s count of 1, 15,667.
- Google+ – Address for his Google+ account is +narendramodi and account have over 1.1 m people in his circle.
These are five (excluding the one special case mentioned in the end) such fusion of Government, its departments or political parties with social media networking, which have set the trend for other Government institutions to follow. Social media really is becoming a great podium for educating people of India.
Please add your experiences of such examples in the comments box.