NEW DELHI: The BJP government at the Centre is doing micro-level planning to unleash its propaganda machinery ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting plans to deploy social media managers in all the districts of the country soon to identify positive stories regarding various initiatives launched by the Narendra Modi government and appraise the ministry to disseminate the success stories through various platforms. The people entrusted with the task will also check the spread of fake and incorrect news or information and bring them to the notice of the ministry.
As part of the initiative, the I&B Ministry plans to strengthen its 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.
An official said the initiative is part of a plan to develop a social media hub that will work under the direct monitoring of the ministry. “Internet penetration has been continuously going up and more and more people have started using social media platforms for news consumption,” added the official. 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).
Officials said the aim was to create awareness about the government’s initiatives by identifying positive stories. Such stories can be disseminated through various social media platforms. “Millions of people have benefitted through various government schemes in the last four years. Their stories should come out. It will also benefit others who have been left out,” said an official. The social media managers will also do perception analysis on various events, initiatives and schemes of the government. Knowledge about what people think of an initiative or scheme will help plug gaps and improve it further, added the official.
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. “The tool should act as the guiding tool for Ministry of Information & Broadcasting to understand the impact of various social media campaigns conducted on various schemes run by the Government of India,” read the proposal.
Managing social media
One social media manager will be deployed in each of the 712 districts of the country
The social media manager will identify positive stories regarding various initiatives launched by the government and apprise the I&B Ministry to disseminate the success stories through various platforms