India’s Social Media Star, Struggles To Get Government Online

After Narendra Modi was elected in the early part of 2014. The media declared Narendra Modi India’s first social media prime minister and the way. He approached technology to the the former US President Barack Obama. In 2016 Time magazine named Modi one of the top 30 influential internet users.

He is currently the most followed person in the world on social media, having over 40 million Facebook fans. It is no surprise that with a superstar of social media in the top position of the Indian government. It was expected that the Indian administration was expected to grow on the internet.

However, this notion should be considered with caution, as certain facts disprove the idea. Based on the Pew Research Center, 87% of American. Adults are on the internet and only 27 percent of Indians use it. Only two out of ten Indians often utilize social media 7 in 10 Americans use them.

Digital India To Bring All Citizens Online Media

One of the priorities of the government principally is getting greater Indians online and connected with the internet. New Delhi’s latest program, Digital India, brings together the information as well as communication technologies (ICT) programs under one roof.

The process of integrating ICTs into governance requires the automation of routine administrative. Jobs like online registration for passports or school applications. Providing required information to citizens and citizen participation in policy-making.

The Digital India initiative has seen several significant achievements. It has connected the 250,000 Gram Panchayats (local administrative villages that are clusters) via fibre optic cables, created wifi villages as well as smart cities and established an ecosystem to support Aadhaar the country’s Biometric Identification System. It has also pushed for the use of mobile banking for electronic banking.

The government has also created a special citizen engagement platform called It currently has 4 million registered users, 1.8 million submissions across 599 tasks , and 35 million user comments. With India’s inadequate infrastructure and weak public-private partnerships, these are admirable initiatives.

Ministries Are Letting Modi Down Media

Modi has encouraged his ministers to use the social media platform as element of their work. Many agencies have invited experts and representatives of Facebook, Twitter and Google to participate in consultations (some I’ve attended) and have also submitted requests for data.

In the present, the Election Commission of India uses Facebook to connect new and existing voters with the democratic process. the majority of agencies and ministries’ websites are linked to various digital platforms. It is also typical for government organizations to be admonish to recruit social media companies in the national press.

Social media platforms are a part of the larger effort to govern e-government. At most they allow the government for providing details to citizens, and, in a more gradual manner they are able to incorporate user-generated content into the governance. However, at the moment despite all these different actions social media is primarily as an extension of websites of agencies. There are numerous departments and ministries aren’t keen on using the accounts and pages they’ve set up.

The real-time updates are very few. The ones that do happen are due to a handful of smart ministers, such as Sushma Swaraj minister of External affairs, Piyush Goyal, Minster of Power, and Suresh Prabhu minister of Railways. A few of the Twitter’s interactions have been awe-inspiring. For instance the occasion when Sushma Swaraj helped one Indian citizen robbed in Tanzania.

However, social media use begins to fall off when the ministers are criticize or questioned by the users. It took Modi who typically tweets on Twitter regularly ten working days to post a tweet about the violence that took place in Dadri the city where there was a Muslim man was brutally kill by the Hindu crowd on suspicion of killing the cow.

Incredibility Issues

Rapidly communicating complaints to other users and trading genuine, uncensored content are the main features on social media. If these actions are disrupt or shatter, whether through blocking criticisms or by a lack of responsiveness or inaction, trust and credibility disappear.

If a minister replies to, for example tweets regarding the shortage of baby diapers on railway platforms, but doesn’t immediately respond to questions regarding a recent incident or does not speak out about violence even when she’s expect to speak up on the issue, the value social media can contribute to the governance of the country is lost. People may not be following ministers, or even harass them. Both of these can affect the effectiveness of e-government.

Despite its presence on social media Modi’s government has not been able to go beyond communicating information. In 2015 the Chennai floods affected thousands of people and killed more than 500. Before the government acted civil society groups and people made use of social media to develop real-time maps of affected areas and inform residents about safe housing as well as transportation.

In Censorship And Trolls, And Bhakts

Also, the government has been worry about its own employees expressing displeasure with policies and liking anti-government views. Recently civil servants were instruct to adhere to a social media code of behavior (though this code of conduct appears to to be outdate and insufficient).

Social media usage by the government is also use by supporters of political parties. Also known as bhakts, or henchmen These ardent supporters of Modi or other right-wing political groups have blocked any possibility of constructive debate. They are also match by their liberal rivals.

Bhakts are not official public servants. However, their social media activities have blurred lines between the roles of the head of a political party and the premier, degrading the positive potential of the government’s social media strategies