Digital Democracy: Tracking trends, the Modi way

modi-socialThe new government’s vision of using the social media to bridge the gap between the government and the common man looks poised to become a reality with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s exhortation to officers to closely track trends on social media platforms in India. In order to keep a “finger on the pulse of the nation,” the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) Ministry has been asked by Modi to send detailed reports on topics trending on Twitter, Facebook and blogging platforms every eight hours.

The responsibility of analysing and studying trends on the social media has been given to a team of 20 people in the ministry, who have been sending eight-hourly reports to the Prime Minister since June 25. “These professionals are doing content-analysis and trend-analysis on issues that are being talked about by people on platforms like Twitter and Facebook. For instance, they monitor tweets on issues like rail fare hike and prepare a detailed report on the kind of reactions the move is eliciting from the masses. Subject-specific reports are then being prepared to be sent to the PMO,” said an official in the I&B ministry to The Indian Express. The official also added that thought-provoking messages/posts/tweets are also included in the reports.

The tech-savvy prime minister is quite active on social media platforms himself and his office, too, has a vibrant presence on Twitter.  The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) website also has a section called “Interact with Hon’ble PM” where citizens can send in a mail to the prime minister directly over a wide array of issues like, economy, agriculture, infrastructure, education, foreign affairs, women’s issues etc. One can also address their grievances to Prime Minister Modi through this section of the website.

Like all the other initiatives started by the new government on the World Wide Web, this one, too, aims at building a digital democracy by making people a part of the decision-making process and  creating greater transparency in governance.

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