With the launch of the new service Twitter Seva, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs’ extensive use of social media to reach out to citizens got a further boost. Twitter Seva will enable timely, transparent and large-scale response to citizens’ tweets in real time.
Under this new service, a tweet to any Twitter handle of the ministry will directly go to the Twitter Seva platform which will provide for the instant resolution of the grievances. The service will be supported by 198 Twitter accounts of Indian missions abroad, 29 regional passport offices and eight other handles such as @MEAIndia, @Indiandiplomacy and @MEAQuery.
While launching the service Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh said, “We have just launched Twitter Seva which is a project that has come to fruition after quite some time. There was a great need for this as there are already 200 verified (Twitter) handles (under the External Affairs Ministry).”
Twitter Seva is an effective mechanism to respond to public queries and grievances that help process large volumes of tweets, converts these to resolvable tickets and assigns these to the relevant authority for real-time resolution, noted Twitter India Representative, Raheel Khursheed.
Uttar Pradesh became the first state in the country to roll out this ambitious project. Khursheed said that the idea behind the service was to “provide the UP police, among other things, strengthening of its primary relationship with the citizens by providing fast, efficient and real time response to complaints and SoS’s raised by the 220 plus million population in the state”.
“The service will soon be rolled out for the Health Ministry, Home Ministry, Department of Public Grievances, Kolkata, Goa, Mumbai and Delhi police and the Jakarta traffic police in Indonesia,” he said.
Khursheed said that now we have more than 12 partners, MEA was one of our first partners we piloted this product within India. It is an India-first product that is now being exported and recently we launched it in Indonesia with the Central Java Province.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who has 6.8 million followers on Twitter, is known for extensive use of this social media platform to reach out to Indian in distress abroad or people needing anything related to her ministry.
At the launch, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “As you know, the External Affairs Minister herself has earned a global reputation on account of the work she has done through social media. Inspired by her work, we have sought new ways to institutionalise our engagement on social media and to ensure that our help reaches all those who need it.” Swarup also added that Twitter Seva was “a way to harness the power of technology for creative uses within the government”.