One of the key features in Narendra Modi’s governance model is peoples’ participation in policy making and nation building. After the Modi government took the reins, it founded the portal MyGov.In for crowd-sourcing of ideas by citizens on the matters of governance and development.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, on various occasions, has used Twitter as a means for grievance redressal of citizens. From rescuing 168 Indians trapped in Iraq by promptly acting on a video tweeted to her to helping an Indian citizen who lost her passport and money in Berlin, Swaraj has done what no other Foreign Minister has ever done in the past.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu is yet another example of using twitter as a medium of governance. The citizens are directly registering their complaints regarding safety, cleanliness, quality of food with the Railway Minister’s personal Twitter handle and the Ministry’s official handle. The Railway Ministry is quick in taking actions and addressing the grievances of the people.
In the run up to Budget 2017, Finance Ministry asked Twitterati to give suggestions on what should be the focus of the Budget.
In a nutshell, from Swaraj to Prabhu to Arun Jaitley, Modi’s Ministers are smartly turning Twitter into a tool of governance. In the recent past, various Union Ministers have participated in ‘Talkathon Sessions’ where they answered questions related to governance matters posted on Twitter in a real time basis.
The latest initiative of peoples’ participation in policy and governance has come from Ministry of Commerce. The Ministry is again using Twitter and other social media platforms as means to that end.
According to this report, the Commerce Ministry will soon accept public suggestions and provide clarifications related to policy making on Twitter. Citizens can make the suggestions under the hashtag #mociseva.
“In coming days #mociseva would take a huge leap forward and would act as an interactive platform to provide information about the Ministry’s work. For this, various divisions of the Ministry would organise Twitter chat sessions to engage with people and take suggestions from them in policy making process,” a person in the know of the development was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
There is also a plan for periscope live video sessions and Facebook chat sessions in the days to come. One such session to be held by Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), scheduled for 28 April, would take suggestions and provide clarifications on the mid-term review of Foreign Trade Policy.
It could be noted that a year ago, the Ministry of Commerce had set up a team to work for its Twitter Cell. Named ‘Central Desk’, the Twitter Cell is located at Udyog Bhawan, the Ministry’s headquarters.
Besides the Twitter handles of Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the Commence Ministry, there are five additional twitter handles – one dedicated to Special Economic Zones (SEZ), one meant for broad Commerce related issues, one for foreign trade, one for farm exports and the other related to miscellaneous matters.