Friday, April 5, 2013

I& B ministry to create social networking hub

I& B ministry to create social networking hub

By Rohan Venkataramakrishnan in New Delhi

IF THE Gutenberg press freed information from the shackles of authoritarian control, the information and broadcasting ministry is hoping the Internet can do the opposite — give the government the power to once again deliver its message directly.

The ministry seeks to create an entire social media wing that will act as a hub to provide information directly to the citizens.

The idea is to ramp up tools that can put large amounts of government information into the public domain for nothing more than the cost of an Internet connection. A dedicated team will focus on ensuring this information gets out to the public without filters or having to be accessed by the news media first.

Similar initiatives such as data. gov. in already exist but are mostly unnoticed online.

The new wing of the I& B ministry would focus on ensuring that the information is not only posted where people can have access to it, but also be publicised appropriately.

“ In the last five years, the entire communication paradigm has undergone a complete transformation.

Rather than broadcasting being a one- way, top- down syndrome, it has entered a conversational phase, with multiple people having the ability to broadcast. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the govern-

ment and its instrumentalities to use content- agnostic platforms,” said I& B minister Manish Tewari.

As part of the proposal, the ministry has also suggested the idea of an ‘ online newspaper’ — essentially a digitised media arm — that will serve up news of the government to the people.
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