The ‘babus’ in the Union Information and Broadcasting(I&B) Ministry have now been forced to get into high-octane mode, thanks to the persevering ways of I&B Minister Manish Tewari.
And the mandarins in the ministry begin their daily routine by checking for any new tweets from Manishtewari08. The young minister might have sent a tweet on why he wants to reform the Cinematograph Act or may be the recipient himself is on the transfer list.
Or else, it may be something like this: “Instrumentalities of information dissemination proliferating & discourse being circumscribed by extreme views -- Paradox of the short fuse” (sic). And which ever way you look at it, the ‘babus’ need to be on their toes.
Simply put, Tewari is trying to create a new work culture in the I&B Ministry, which is more in tune with the times. And the brief for the ministry officials is to make the optimum use of the platforms like the Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in order to reach out.
Tewari has also found that sending tweets is the best possible way to air his views on issues other than politics. He also chooses to tweet at 6 am so that his target audience, which includes journalists knows what would be the buzz during the day.
Also, as a result of his efforts, the I&B Ministry has launched its own channel on YouTube, which carries live streaming of the minister’s news conferences among other things.
Besides,the webcast includes a compilation of speeches by Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad and Indira Gandhi, which were sourced from the ministry’s vast archival collection. In a span of just three months, the web channel has been able to register 96,234 hits and it has more than 1,200 subscribers. An android app has also been developed to provide live streaming on mobile handsets.
“This was done after he interacted with the latest batch of the Indian Information Service (IIS) probationers and is based on their feedback,” said a ministry official.
The minister is apparently convinced that the influence of the social media is not limited to the urban centres. And to test this, he put the Kila Raipur games in his Ludhiana constituency on the twitter. The same day it gained as many as 880 followers.
Rhetoric apart, the true test for Tewari would come when he transfers a ministry official and whether he would use the same Twitter platform to announce it.