The Union Cabinet on Thursday approved the proposal for establishing a ‘New Media Wing’ that will address the communication and dissemination requirements of the government on social media. The proposal for its establishment was drawn on the basis of the experience of its pilot program on the social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Also Read - FIR filed against Twitter India again, now over child pornography content
The new media wing anointed as the “Bureau of New and Concurrent Media”’ will be headed by a senior officer of joint secretary rank with the administrative and operational support provided by a media unit under the ministry—the research reference & training division. Also Read - Your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram account can get deleted if you do this
The expenditure to set up and run the New Media Wing will cost a whopping Rs 22.5 crore which was allocated during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17) and approved by the CCEA under Development Communication & Information Dissemination plan scheme of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The Union minister for information and broadcasting Manish Tewari says, “Social media is being used by several citizens to consume news. This is a way to increase the government’s presence online, officially.”
On manpower needed he comments, “We have IIM C graduates to help but we might outsource it to expert social media agencies if required.”
Top Government of India accounts on Twitter and Facebook along with their bios/descriptions:
1. https://twitter.com/PIB_India – This is the official Twitter account of Press Information Bureau. PIB is the nodal agency for dissemination of information on Government of India
2. https://twitter.com/MIB_India – This is the official twitter account of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India
6. https://twitter.com/DataPortalIndia – Data Portal, India is a platform for single-point access to datasets/applications published by Government Ministries/Department/Organizations (https://www.facebook.com/dataportalofindia)
7. President of India – President of India’s Facebook page
Indian government officials to follow on Twitter: Handles and bios
1. Manmohan Singh https://twitter.com/PMOIndia – Official Twitter account of the Prime Minister’s office, New Delhi. Pages may be archived under IT Act
2. Sam Pitroda https://twitter.com/pitrodasam – Adviser to the Indian Prime Minister on Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation
3. Ajay Maken https://twitter.com/ajaymaken – General Secretary AICC & In charge Communication Department, Ex-Union Cabinet Minister HUPA, Ex-Minister Sports and Youth
4. Pankaj Pachauri https://twitter.com/PankajPachauri – Communications Adviser to the Prime Minister’s Office
5. Syed Akbaruddin https://twitter.com/AkbarMEA – Official Spokesperson, Ministry of External Affairs, India
While it’s a great move to have our sarkar on social media… Rs 22.5 crore for 5 years! Is it really worth spending so much on social media? How did the government arrive at this figure?
So far, the Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and YouTube accounts of government offices and officials have not been interactive. They do not reply to comments and do not follow the aam junta.
Besides, the governments own websites are a mess. Hope networking sites help it to disseminate information in a better, more user-friendly way.