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Govt’s first press meet on Twitter today

Source: Times of India, September 24, 2012

NEW DELHI: In a bid to tap social media in a big way to disseminate information, the government will hold its maiden press conference on the micro-blogging site, Twitter, on Tuesday, where Sam Pitroda, adviser to the PM on public information, infrastructure and innovation, will respond to journalists' queries using the virtual platform on "democratization of information".

Though Pitroda will restrict himself on the subject, the move is seen as a beginning of the government's attempts to embrace social media, where Central ministers or bureaucrats can hold similar press conferences in future using various social media networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and others.

The move comes days after Gujarat CM Narendra Modi took part in a live chat with people from across the globe via Google Plus Hangout. Modi was the first Indian politician, who responded to netizens' queries in a one-on-one chat session on August 31.

Although few central ministers and chief ministers, including West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee, have been using social media to share information, none of them except Modi have experimented with the different facets of cyber networks to touch base with general public.

Jammu & Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah and Union sports and youth affairs minister Ajay Maken are among others who regularly use social media. Prime Minister's Office (PMO), Press Information Bureau (PIB) and ministry of external affairs (MEA) have also been using twitter to disseminate information. These offices have, however, largely restricted themselves to one-way information sharing.

Terming it as "first ever press conference on Twitter", Pitroda's office on Monday said that the PM's advisor would take questions and respond between 3.30 and 4.15 pm through his Twitter handle @sampitroda on Tuesday.

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