NEW DELHI: The newly appointed secretary at the ministry of information and broadcasting has asked for purpose behind setting up of ‘social media hub’.
Earlier, the ministry planned to set up a social media hub and recruit social media executives in districts across the country for various activities including spreading positive news of the government and to monitor the activities on social media.
The idea of the social media hub was floated when Smriti Irani was the minister of information of broadcasting and sources claimed that it was actually the minister’s plan to set up a centralized hub.
However, in a recent rejig in the cabinet, Irani was moved from the ministry and minister of state (independent charge) Rajyavardhan Rathore was given the full charge. In the meantime, new secretary Amit Khare also took charge recently. Khare is known for exposing fodder scam.
A source with the ministry claimed that in a recent meeting, the secretary asked the concerned official about the purpose behind setting up of social media hub.
“He asked about proper and elaborate action plan on the initiative. He also asked how the project would be a ‘value for money’ as it involves recruiting a large number of professionals across the country. The official has been asked to come with all these details for further discussion,” added the source.
Meanwhile, the ministry has extended the deadline of submitting the proposals for setting up the social media up till June 18 and it is third extension of the deadline. Officials said that some proposals have come, but, the ministry wanted more proposals to reach on conclusion.
As per the proposal, the project is meant to strengthen the social media division and recruit social media managers to be deployed in 712 districts of the country. Each district will have one social media manager who will be entrusted with the tasks of keeping a close eye on the regional and local media, collecting data of regional media and of local events, providing content for social media and supporting media units at the regional level for social media publicity.
These social media managers will also monitor local editions of newspapers, local cable channels, local audio channels (FM) and key local social media handles for important local developments. They will make a daily analysis report incorporating local sentiments to be sent to region head in the PIB as well as the media hub (command centre).
Broadcast Engineering Consultants India Limited, a PSU under the I&B Ministry, has been given the mandate for the social media hub. As per a Request for Proposals issued by it, the platform needs to support Facebook, Twitter, Google, Linkedin, Play Store, email, news, blogs, forums and complaint websites.