April 22, 2015

Modi Launches Twitter Samvad: A Fillip to Digital India

We are living in an ‘information age’ where importance of staying connected and staying informed with regards to the happenings around us are becoming increasingly important. Giving a fillip to his digital India campaign, the Narendra Modi government unveiled a platform called “Twitter Samvad”. The service is “aimed at boosting the nation’s e-governance” plans by helping government bodies and leaders communicate directly with citizens on a daily basis via tweets and SMS on their mobile devices”, said a company press statement on Tuesday.
"Based on Indian technological innovation, Twitter Samvad is dedicated and specially built for the largest democracy of the world," said Mr. Costolo, Global CEO Twitter. 

Why Modi is so Technology Centered
Though India and its engineers have made news the world over with their skills and achievements but India is yet to produce a Microsoft or a Facebook. It doesn’t augur well for the country, a relook at history would tell you that whichever country has been able to assert itself globally has almost always been a giant in the field of Science and technology, including India…think of Number system, geometry, astronomy, algebra; India has contributed a lot in these areas. We have produced Scientists like C. V. Raman, Bose, Meghnad Saha at a time when the world viewed us a land of snake charmers.
Despite producing lakhs of engineers every year we lag behind in technology innovations and fare poorly in Innovation Indices. It doesn’t suit our country which has given so much to this world in the past.
Technology can solve many of India’s woes, ranging from corruption to flat growth in agriculture. From Ecological hazards to earning foreign exchange and defense as well.

Why need for a Twitter Samvad like Initiative
Information has a time dimension too, it’s not just facts and figures but has a time limit attached to it. Information Technology can be defined as a science which makes sure that the information reaches its intended recipients in a specified time. Beyond that it may lose its importance.
Noting the importance that Narendra Modi attaches to transparency of communication, this new initiative of Twitter Samvad makes ample sense. He uses tweets almost on a daily basis. Modi, who joined Twitter in January 2009 is the second most followed politician in the world with 10.9 million followers after US President Barack Obama .In the recent “Operation Rahat” evacuation drive in Yemen, he and the ministry of external affairs tweeted at regular intervals to keep us informed. Similarly in an emergency situation, say a cyclone or flood relief operation, he can directly communicate with the concerned officials and also inform us as to what steps have been taken so far.
Under this service, the tweets of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several state chief ministers (7 at the time of launch) and some government departments, can now reach mobile users free of cost as text messages
The Twitter Samvad initiative was launched by Twitter’s Global CEO Dick Costolo, as a part of the government's Digital India campaign. In a meeting with Narendra Modi he also discussed various areas where there can be collaboration to give a push to the Digital India campaign. The micro-blogging network said the new service has already been joined by 16 Twitter handles, including that of PM Modi, the External Affairs Ministry, Bangalore City Police and Chief Ministers of Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar.
The service is powered by ZipDial, which was recently acquired by Twitter.

"Based on Indian technological innovation, Twitter Samvad is dedicated and specially built for the largest democracy of the world," Mr. Costolo informed. Elaborating further on this initiative Twitter’s marketing directors informed "This can eventually give every political leader and every government organization a mobile microphone to connect with each Indian.”

Here’s how Twitter Samvad will work for users:
●     Users will have to give a missed call to each of the numbers listed above to follow each of their Twitter accounts. For example, for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the number is 011 3006 3006.
●     Immediately after placing the missed call, users will start to receive a curated set of Tweets throughout the day keeping them in touch with leaders and government agencies.

Modi’s Push for Digital India working well
Modi often uses examples from his long tenure as the Gujarat to explain technology can help find solutions to India’s ever present problems in governance. Software lobby body Nasscom said in its Strategic Review 2015 report published in February that a  stable government with a technology-focused growth agenda is boosting technology adoption in the domestic market, It added that government investments in technology of $26 billion in financial year 2014-15 is driving demand in the domestic market.
Digital India Campaign of the government is making news worldwide and is proving to be a magnet for the global technology companies like, Google, Microsoft and Twitter. Digital India, nevertheless, is proving to be a magnet for global technology companies. It is Modi’s ambitious programme that clubs e-governance, Internet access for all and electronics manufacturing.

 Sundar Pichai, senior vice-president at Google Inc. was in India in September last year. He handles the company’s Chrome, apps and Android business.
A couple of weeks later, Jeff Bezos, president, chief executive and chairman of the board of the world’s largest online retailer Amazon.com Inc., visited the country on 28 September.
This was followed by the visit of Satya Nadella, chief executive of Microsoft Corp., on 30 September.
On 9 October, Facebook Inc. chief executive Mark Zuckerberg hinted at ways his company could take the Internet to the “more than billion people who are still not connected”.
Facebook has close to 110 million of its 1.32 billion users in India, and more than 50 million Indian users are on its messaging service WhatsApp.

Let’s be clear on one thing no country would be very willing to share with India, a Technology that earns it a lot of foreign exchange, from cryogenic engines to climate change solution based technologies. We have to invest in it and find our own solutions. Modi had to take the leadership and the negotiation was done in govt. to Govt. format on Rafale deal and agreed to purchase 36 Rafael in a fly away condition, because the French company negotiated hard.
Digital India, which is an umbrella program to find technology based solution, of which this Twitter Samvad is a part attempts to use the technology to solve many of our problems and also unleash the potential of our people. Writers of this team work on Cloud based platform, saving on time and resources, if it can help us it can sure help the people in government and colleges as well. With help of a fiber optics cable network the lectures of IIT professors can be delivered simultaneously at many other colleges, think of it…such a lecture may ignite a mind, hitherto not at an IIT but still as bright…a Satya Nadela. It can help farmers. Technology is a big enabler, it empowers like nothing can. Under Modi’s visionary leadership, our technocrats can help bridge many a gaps in India, Digital India campaign think in that direction.  

Twitter Samvad Numbers
Phone Number
Personal account of Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi
011 3006 3006
Official account of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi
011 3006 3007
Official account of Additional Directorate General of Public Information, IHQ of Ministry of Defence
011 3049 6116
Official account of the Ministry of Railways
011 3049 6222
Personal account of Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister of Gujarat
011 3049 6050
Official account for the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah
011 3049 4737
Official account for Mr. M N Reddi, IPS, Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru City
011 3049 5141
Official account for Bengaluru City Police
011 3049 5242
Official account for Bengaluru City Traffic Police
011 3049 5464
Personal account of N Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh,
011 3049 5767
Official account of Chief Minister of Telangana, Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao
011 3049 5868
Personal account of Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh
011 3008 3380
Official account for the Government of Uttar Pradesh
011 3049 6353
Personal account of Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar
011 3008 2828
Personal account of Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister, West Bengal
011 3008 3333
Official account of Ministry of External Affairs, India, Syed Akbaruddin
011 3049

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