Source: The Hindu, September 24, 2012
Weeks after the Union government incurred heavy criticism from a section of the web users by blocking web sites and Twitter handles, Sam Pitroda, adviser to the Prime Minister, has called for an interaction on microblogging site Twitter on Tuesday.
In his tweet from his Twitter handle @sampitroda on Monday, the policymaker had said: “Looking forward to our Twitter session tomorrow on ‘democratisation of Information.’ The session will be live from 3.30 p.m. to 4.15 p.m. IST. Mr. Pitroda has welcomed Twitter users to connect to the session using the tag #DoI.”
In an earlier tweet, he had termed it the first ever “press conference” in the country on Twitter but had subsequently changed it to just “Twitter session” after a few people who followed up on his message said such distinctions as ‘press’ did not apply to the non-traditional medium that is Twitter.
This is not the first time that a policymaker in the country has used social networks. In the past, the Ministry of External Affairs had used social networks on a few occasions, most popularly last year, to reach out to stranded Indian citizens in the Middle-Eastern countries that faced civil unrest.
Among the political parties, the BJP has been the most proactive in using the Internet. On August 31, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi interacted with 10 selected web users via a Google Hangout live video session on the theme ‘Strong and Glorious India Long Cherished by Swami Vivekananda’. The Chief Minister’s team received close to 20,000 questions over three weeks in the run-up to the event. The live interaction was watched by over 82,000 users from 116 countries, according to the official Google blog (http://googleindia.blogspot.in).