Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu underscored that ” the social media can play important role in governance if used knowledgeably” . He was addressing the inauguration programme of a special training program here this afternoon organized by Department of IT & Communications in association with Facebook.
With an objective to empower government departments and officials to efficiently engage with the citizens, Chief Minister Pema Khandu kick-started this training Programme.
Social Media has taken over the world in the realm of real time dissemination of news, information, live feeds, opinions, observations, etc and has become the strongest tool for connecting people while at work or at leisure. Facebook, with more than 184 million users in India alone, has opened up the horizon to the government to engage with their constituents.
Opening up the technical session, attended by Commissioners, Secretaries, Joint Secretaries and Directors of various state government departments, Khandu asserted that Facebook is an efficient and effective place for governance to engage with their constituents.
“We however have very little knowledge about Facebook and its usage that would benefit us in good governance. It is for this reason that I feel government machineries need to be educated with variety of tools that makes communicating easy,” he said.
He Pointing that the percentage of data consumption is higher in the state capital than the metros like Delhi, however, pointed that the state government and its departments are yet to utilize this medium to the optimum and asked the departments to have dedicated pages on Facebook.
“The fact that we are one of the highest consumers of data shows that our people are on the move digitally. I believe 90 percent of our urban citizens are on Facebook and can avail information on the programs, policies and schemes offered by the government through its departments on Facebook far better than through meetings, seminars, workshops or the traditional media. Through Facebook we can reach individuals who can benefit from such programs and schemes but are not aware of it,” he said.
Khandu expressed optimism that the training will empower and enable departments to leverage their presence on Facebook and meet organizational objectives.
Giving an insight into Facebook and its tools, Nitin Saluja, Facebook Policy Program Manager, India & South Asia, who conducted the technical session, said that it has been Facebook’s mission to make the world more open and connected by providing a platform for direct interactions between governments and its citizens.
He elaborated that success on Facebook means posting contents that are interesting, useful and engaging and doing it on regular basis by way of two-way conversations. Saluja pointed that Facebook can also be an effective channel to share preparedness tips and keep citizens informed with real-time, location-specific information in case of an emergency.
“How people consume information is constantly evolving, and for governments to be successful, they will need to continuously engage with their followers to understand what types of content resonate the most,” he added.
The technical session also dwelt on several issues confronting users of social media like fake accounts, fake profiles, trolls, abusive language, spams, cyber-crime, etc and how to go about these.
It was resolved that similar trainings would be imparted by Facebook officials to businessmen, upcoming entrepreneurs, start-ups, and unemployed youths on using Facebook to grow their businesses and police officials to deal with cyber-crimes, etc.
The training session was also attended by Deputy Chief Minister Chowna Mein, State Council for IT and e-Governance Chairman Gabriel D Wangsu, Chief Secretary Shakuntala D Gamlin and Rajat Arora of Facebook India & South Asia.