In a recent announcement, the Indian government gave approval for the establishment of a ‘New Media Wing’ in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting for publicizing Government’s Initiatives through Multiple Social Media platforms. A total of approx. INR 22.5 crore funds have been allocated for the same by the CCEA under Development Communication & Information Dissemination plan scheme of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
The New Media wing, to be known as “Bureau of New and Concurrent Media” will be headed by a senior officer of JS level and the administrative and operational support will be provided by a Media Unit under the Ministry.
The decision has been drawn on the basis of the experience of the initiative undertaken by the Ministry recently, on a pilot basis to position itself on the social media platforms such as Youtube, Facebook and Twitter.
According to The Union minister for information and broadcasting Manish Tewari, Social media is being used by several citizens to consume news and in the recent scenario, this is a way to increase the government’s presence online, officially. Also, the ministry is planning to appoint IIM C graduates for establishing the process and might outsource the services from expert social agencies, if required.
At present, many top government departments are having their accounts on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Some of these include Press Information Bureau, Ministry of information and broadcasting, Planning commission of India, etc.
Till date, the Indian government effort to make itself an active social media participant has been all in vain due to poor displays on sites, non-responded queries and lack of user friendly interactions. Also, at the time when the country is going through a severe economic crisis, an allotment of INR 22.5 crore budget over the next five years for increasing its social media presence, doesn’t seem worth. However, the move is welcomed, and who knows, might be this is the way, the aam janta can be heard and actually place its thoughts democratically.