Plan panel to set up social media cell

A formal communication protocol for using social media is being worked out


Pratap Vikram Singh | April 25, 2013

Enthused by the response of internet users to dialogues on the social media platform, the planning commission is going to set up a social media cell in the next six months to facilitate more such informal interactions with the citizens.
"Taking the help of this cell, members, advisors and secretaries with the commission will be able to post messages on social networking sites and could also engage with public one-on-one  using the platform," a senior official at the office of Sam Pitroda, advisor to the PM on public information infrastructure and innovations, told Governance Now. Pitroda's office is helping out the planning commission in setting up the cell. The office had helped the commission in organising the Google Hangout session with deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Hackathon — an event for app developers where they designed applications that could be used in the implementation of the 12th plan.
"Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Sindhushree Khullar (secretary, planning commission) are all for using social media for reaching out to the citizens and seeking their feedback," the official added.
Pitroda's office and officials with the commission are working out a formal communication protocol in this regard.
The official said that since the commission deals with a large number of areas including agriculture, education, health, industry, infrastructure and rural development, formulating a communication protocol is a complex task and will take some time.
The official said the move signifies a change in the mindset in the government in terms of public engagement.
Initially, the social media cell would comprise of couple of experts, who will be recruited from outside the government.
The commission is also coming up with a special edition on social media in the forthcoming issue of Yojana, a monthly magazine published by the commission, the official said.



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