The Government of India has approved a proposal to use Rs. 22.5 Crore to fund its social media projects. Of course there is no reason for an outrage yet. In comparison to Government spend on print and television advertising, Rs 22.5 cr is chump change.
The newly established ‘New Media Wing’ under the Ministry of Informations and Broadcasting intends to use this money to publicise the Government’s initiatives through social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Earlier this year the Information and Broadcasting division of the Government had started its MyIndia campaign to recruit digital volunteers to “talk about government schemes and programs” across social media.
As the general elections near, political parties in India have been trying to tap into social media to spread its propaganda and awareness for sometime now. With every move of the government being criticized about instantly on social media, it has realised that the platform can also be utilised to market itself (when it doesn’t backfire).
The Government was also soon to realise the threat social media might cause damage to its image and hence was quick to set up cyber media cells to keep a watch on its netizens. In March this year, the Mumbai police Department had setup The Social Media Lab to monitor social media activities of its citizens.
A recent global study of world leaders in Twitter had revealed that the Prime Minister’s twitter account, @PMOIndia, is not actively involved on the social media platform.