Indian Government Studying Social Media Sentiments On Its Policy Announcements

Daily trend reports from social media sites on key issues are being fetched by officials from Narendra Modi's government and it could soon be the norm.

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The Narendra Modi led Indian government has already shown its keen interest towards technology and social media. Taking it further, the government is closely watching the reactions of people related to policy announcements. TNN reports that daily trend reports from social media sites on key issues are being fetched by officials and it could soon be the norm.

Setting the trend, I&B minister Prakash Javadekar already receives a customized report every day on how social media is reacting to his policy announcements and tweets and other ministers have been encouraged to follow suit.

Besides the Ministry of External Affairs sought a trend report on Indian reaction to the Modi government’s invitation to Saarc leaders. The report caught people by surprise because 55% of the conversations tracked were neutral. About 25-30% of the views presented on social media were positive while only 15% was negative.

The report prepared by the I&B ministry’s social media unit was done on May 24, when the Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif accepted Modi’s invitation to attend his swearing-in ceremony. Out of the 91,667 snippets taken for the analysis, Sharif occupied 62% of the space in conversations on various social networking sites and other websites followed by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa who engaged 38% of the space.

The analysis has prompted MEA to seek more such trend reports from the I&B ministry. Besides the ministry has offered to facilitate Twitter and Facebook accounts of other ministries as well.

The latest development comes as no surprise when the government has clearly told its officials and bureaucrats to effectively use social media for governance. Ministers have been asked to put all policy initiatives in the public domain through these platforms, initiate discussions, seek feedback and incorporate valuable suggestions, besides maintaining a constant dialogue with people.

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