The 1990's technological revolution called the “Internet” has truly transformed the world and its connectivity. We are now a digitally connected world of networking people across borders & boundaries, cast & creeds, races & ethnicities.
Having said that, one of the most scrupulous usages of the Internet is “Social Media”. But, let’s face it; it would have been almost impossible to think about making a public announcement or asking for citizens’ participation through the Internet, let alone using a tool like social media.
But, times have changed. With the advent of information and communications technology and the growing broadband penetration in both the urban as well as in the rural areas, has connected the masses like never before just with a mere “click” of the mouse.
The “Open Government” initiative, by the Government of India focuses on bringing “Transparency” in various processes and systems. This includes sharing information with the public, improve the quality of Government services and enable greater citizen engagement, elevate public services and much more. Government 2.0 is sometimes used to describe how social media is changing the relationship between Government institutions and citizens.
Governments, like businesses, are realizing that it is essential to use the communication tools that citizens and stakeholders themselves use. To meet these objectives, the Governments are increasingly using the publicly available social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.
But, why Social Media? Well, the answer is simple. It asks almost nothing but delivers pretty much. Social media offers interactive capabilities without substantial costs apart from offering a wide range of audio, video and other in-built services and all it needs is a working internet connection.
To help Government organisations engage more fruitfully with stakeholders using the various social media platforms, Department of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) has drafted a document titled "Framework and Guidelines for Use of Social Media by Government Organisations".
In the past one year, some excellent examples of Government agencies engaging social media tools to great benefit have emerged. MyGov, an Indian Government initiative, is world’s one of the biggest crowd sourcing and citizen engagement platform. Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri. Narendra Modi is one of the most active world leaders on social media and how AP Government used social media for disaster management during cyclone HudHud has become a classic case study.
Citizen participation and engagement is at the foundation of democratic values. Additionally, citizen engagement initiatives have the ability to build community, grow leaders, and introduce a more collaborative style of Government. Some of the iconic logos of flagship programmes like the Digital India, taglines for schemes have been crowd-sourced through MyGov.
Digital India Social Media Channels:
In past few years, concept of governance has changed dramatically. Citizens are now more curious and they want to stay in thick of things with changes and policies of Government. In order to engage with citizens, share information and deliver services more quickly and effectively, government agencies are increasingly using social media. With a purpose to create awareness and promote various e-Governance schemes and programmes in the country, Digital India social media team was set up in July 2014. In a short time, the social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn) of Digital India have gained a massive following. Online Quizzes, News Updates, Tip of the Day, Did You Know and a host of other interesting activities are a part of the elaborate Digital India content strategy.