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Govt mulls using FB, Twitter to know public views on decision

Last updated on: September 23, 2011 20:02 IST

Govt mulls using FB, Twitter to know public views on decision

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With social networking sites Facebook and Twitter getting popular among masses, the Centre is creating a framework for "Citizen Engagement" to use social media for eliciting public views, an official said on Friday.

The department of information technology, under the ministry of communications and information technology is creating a framework for "Citizen Engagement" to use social media for eliciting public views. "Social media like Facebook, Twitter have become a very powerful media...but government has been unable to make use of it as we do not have any framework," Department of IT, Additional Secretary, Shankar Aggarwal told reporters in Chandigarh on the sidelines of IT conclave 'E-Revolution'.

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'Must consult with civil society in a meaningful manner'

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"Government officials are not sure whether to make use of social media... if yes, then what should be the 'dos and don'ts for the same," he said. He stressed that for implementation of any scheme, programme or any project, the government must have consultation with the civil society in a meaningful manner.

He informed that the approval of various ministries like home, information and broadcasting would be required for implementing the new framework. In another move to bring transparency in government functioning, the Centre is creating a policy whereby all government data created with public money except sensitive data be put in public domain.

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'Data in public forum will bring transparency'

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"With data in public domain, people for example can come to know about how much money was spent in National Rural Employment Guarantee Act scheme or how many students got scholarships," he said. Public or civil societies can use this data for value addition, transparency and accountability, he informed.

He said the mandate has been given to the department of Science and Technology for putting data of all government departments in public domain. On Electronic Services Delivery Bill, he said that this bill was expected to be tabled in next session of Parliament for its approval.

Once this bill turns into act, all the government departments in Centre and states would have to provide public services in electronic mode only, he said. "It is whims and wishes of the department to deliver public services in electronic mode. If we make it mandatory then all government departments and services will be duty bound to provide services in e-mode in next 5 years," he said.


Image: NREGA workers

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