As the Prime Minister marks two years in office, his vision of “minimum government, maximum governance” has been implemented via Twitter - from the Prime Minister himself to his ministers and their ministries to connect with Indian citizens writes Raheel Khursheed, Head of News, Government and Politics Partnerships, Twitter India.
The NDA government led by Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) came into power in May 2014, pioneering a new wave in digital governance. As the Prime Minister marks two years in office, we look back at how his vision of “minimum government, maximum governance” has been implemented via Twitter - from the Prime Minister himself to his ministers and their ministries to connect with Indian citizens through our live communications platform.
In these two years, PM Modi’s following on Twitter has grown by 400% from 4 million to 20 million followers, a milestone he crossed recently, making him the most-followed political leader in India and second in the world after Barack Obama (@barackobama). PM Modi’s most Retweeted Tweet remains his victory Tweet when he won the Lok Sabha election in 2014.
PM Modi has used Twitter extensively to make public announcements for flagship government campaigns, and to address citizens and their needs throughout the country. All 7 of his flagship programs such as #MakeInIndia, #MannKiBaat, #SwachhBharat, #SelfieWithDaughter,
#MyCleanIndia, and #TransformingIndia have been widely discussed by millions of people on
Twitter over the past two years.
PM Modi has also been active in communicating and maintaining a dialogue with international leaders on Twitter. During his international visits, he Tweets greetings and wishes, and extends invitations to leaders to explore the Indian shores for business opportunities. He has used the platform extensively to make governance transparent and open for the public.
Twitter for Digital Governance
For the first time in the political history of the country, 95% of ministers in the ruling Government are active on Twitter with 22 of his Cabinet ministers and 42 of his 50 ministries actively using Twitter to engage with citizens, update them on government policies, and connect with them through live conversations. Over the last two years, the NDA government has used Twitter effectively for transparent & accountable governance.
The ministries leading this charge are doing so using Twitter Seva, a customised e-governance delivery service developed for the Indian government. As an India-first innovation, Twitter Seva is currently being used by the the Ministry of Commerce (@DIPPGOI), the Ministry of External Affairs (@MEAIndia), the Ministry of Railways (@RailMinIndia), with more ministries and government agencies to follow. These ministries have changed how the government and citizens interact and have redefined the customer service culture in the public sectors.
Twitter Seva helps process large volume of Tweets, converts them into resolvable tickets and assigns them to the relevant authority for real-time resolution. The service is driving efficient and effective customer service as well as collation of real-time citizen feedback. Along with the personal accounts of ministers, the ministries are providing live assistance via a range of official handles (@CimGOI, @ctopassportseva, @eesl_india) and hashtags (#mociseva, #passportseva).
Here’s how ministers in the NDA are using Twitter
Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) has been actively using Twitter to help citizens during hours of crisis. She has been personally connecting with stranded Indians abroad and has been providing instant support in times of need. Powered by Twitter Seva, the MEA and its 130 Twitter accounts across the world help the Ministry with amplifying its outreach and effectiveness.
On Twitter, Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman), Minister of State for the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, is one of the most interactive ministers in the NDA government. She launched Twitter Seva to power a real-time support ecosystem for the startup community in India with the service now consistently responding to queries that pour in on various subjects including entrepreneurship, policies for NRIs, and investment opportunities. The government’s #MakeInIndia initiative became the first non-US brand to get a Twitter emoji and it was launched in the presence of Sitharaman at Twitter Headquarters in San Francisco.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s (@sureshpprabhu) response to Tweets from passengers has been refreshingly swift. The minister’s Twitter account coupled with the @RailMinIndia account has been a one-stop redressal mechanism for passengers of Indian Railways.
In summary, Modi’s Government has empowered citizens with a voice to speak up on policy-making, provide feedback on services, and get real-time responses - all through Twitter’s live communications platform, one they can use with ease and efficiency. Users across the country feel heard today, and we look forward to working with the NDA government for more digital governance partnerships in the years ahead.