Nation
Social Media, Not by Remote Control
PMOIndia twitter handle goof up shows cannot do social media by Remote Control
 
A social media presence, especially on twitter, is considered essential for political success these days. It started with Barak Obama making history in America and has only been strengthened by Narendra Modi’s roaring success. Unsurprisingly, the Congress Party simply does not get it. The prime minister’s office (PMO) did the fashionable thing by hiring a broadcast journalist, Pankaj Pachauri, as a ‘communications advisor’, who promptly set up a twitter account @PMOIndia, a facebook page and a YouTube account.
 
Now, a prime minister (PM), who does not tweet or communicate personally, must ensure that his account remains formal and maintains the decorum expected from the head of state. But the PM’s communication advisor quickly proceeded to operate the twitter account like it was a personal one. 
 
He used it to plug new entrants to social media, planning commission hangouts and other conferences. Social media is abuzz with tweets that he also used the direct messaging (DM) facility to send private messages to friendly media, while blocking hostile ones. When the Congress Party crashed out of power, came the embarrassing realisation that the account will have to be handed over to someone who was seen as a public enemy. Worse, passing on the account and password with 1.4 million followers, would entail access to all messages including DMs. 
 
An unorthodox solution was found by abandoning the @PMOIndia twitter handle and renaming it as @PMOIndiaArchive to store the records under the provisions of the Right to Information Act. This has triggered a twitter-war with the BJP social media cell claiming it was a ‘national digital asset’ that should have been formally handed over to the new prime minister. 
 
As luck would have it, a 19-year-old, called Qaiser Ali, discovered that the @PMOIndia handle was suddenly available and secured it for himself. Half an hour later, Twitter India apparently reclaimed the account and reverted Qaisar to his old handle without explanation. The BJP claims that Twitter India acted at its instance to take charge of the account. 
 
While gaffes are natural while using a new medium, the acrimony could have been avoided if the outgoing government had chosen to act with grace and civility. However, the bigger lesson here, for politicians, corporate leaders or even television anchors, is that social media works only if you want to engage with people personally. 
 
It is perhaps telling that Rahul or Sonia Gandhi and the core team that handled their election campaign have no social media presence. They clearly don’t believe in listening or interacting. Almost all other politicians, of any significance, are now on twitter or facebook; most use it as a broadcast tool which is handled by a ‘social media team’. They pretend to communicate but are unlikely to be listening to feedback or interacting with people. Fortunately, the medium is such that it exposes fake sociability very quickly.  

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Narendra Modi takes the charge with 44 ministers
The Narendra Modi government will have 23 cabinet ministers, 10 MoS with independent charge and 11 ministers of state
 
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Narendra Modi on Monday sworn in as the new prime minister of India. His ministry includes 23 cabinet ministers, 10 ministers of state (MoS) with independent charge and 11 MoS. Modi took oath as India's 15th Prime Minister in the presence of SAARC leaders at Rashtrapati Bhavan. President Pranab Mukherjee administered oath of office and oath of secrecy to Prime Minister Modi. 
 
Immediately after Narendra Modi took the oath, his new website, http://www.pmindia.nic.in/ became LIVE.  
Prominent names, who took the oath along with Modi as cabinet ministers are BJP president Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari, Sadananda Gowda, Uma Bharti, Najma Heptullah, Gopinath Munde, Ram Vilas Paswan, Kalraj Mishra, Maneka Gandhi, Ananth Kumar and Ravi Shankar Prasad. 
 
Others who took oath were TDP's Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Shiv Sena's Ananth Geete, Shiromani Akali Dal's Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Narendra Singh Tomar, Jual Oram, Radha Mohan Singh, Thavarchand Gehlot, Smriti Irani and Dr Harsh Vardhan. 
 
Ministers of State with Independent Charge are Gen (Retd) VK Singh, Rao Inderjit Singh, Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Jitendra Singh, Nirmala Sitharaman, Dharmendra Pradhan, Sarbananda Sonowal, Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goel and Shripad Naik from Goa. 
 
GM Siddeshwara, Manoj Sinha, Upendra Kushwaha, Radhakrishnan P, Kiren Rijiju, Krishan Pal Gujar, Sanjeev Kumar, Balyan Mansukhbhai Baswa, Raosaheb Danwe, Vishnudev and Sudarshan Bhagat took oath as ministers of state. 
 
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Mauritius Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, Bhutan Prime Minister Lyonchen Tshering Tobgay and Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom were present during the ceremony in the capital. Speaker of Bangladesh Shirin Chaudhry represented the country’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. 
 
In a statement, Ajay Shriram, president of CII, said, "At the current juncture, it is vital to revive the pace of GDP growth, bring down inflation, and create new jobs on a large scale. CII anticipates a quick and proactive agenda of economic and governance policies, including fiscal consolidation, fast-tracking of stranded projects, and sectoral initiatives for infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and mining."
 
This is the much smaller ministry in comparison to the last three union governments, including the previous National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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COMMENTS

MG Warrier

3 years ago

We need to follow ‘WE THE PEOPLE’(Ref: Preamble of India’s CONSTITUTION) AND BE PRACTICAL AND PRAGMATIC. We should, as a beginning has been made on May 26,2014, think beyond sectoral and ‘political’ interests. Let us understand the INCLUSIVE SECTOR comprising public sector, private sector and the one billion Indians who were given denominations and classifications so far. Modi, Raghuram Rajan, Kejriwal, Medha Patkar, APJ Abdul Kalam, Bimal Jalan, Nehru, Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Bajpayee, Sreedharan…the list can go on and on…all have/had dreams about INDIA…The recent awakening has shown that CHANGE IS POSSIBLE…

S.S.A.Zaidi

3 years ago

master stroke was inviting SARC leaders-it augurs well
zaidi

Sensex, Nifty to move sideways: Monday closing report
Nifty will consolidate at the current level and move up only on strong policy impetus
 
The Indian market opened Monday sharply higher and moved in a narrow range until 2pm. However, it then started giving up gains and suffered a major plunge in the last hour when it crashed giving all the intra-day gains. The benchmark indices tried recovering and although BSE 30-share Sensex managed to close marginally higher, NSE 50-share Nifty closed in the negative.
 
The Sensex opened at 24,914, 221 points higher while Nifty opened 62 points higher at 7,429. Sensex moved from the high of 25,175 to hit a low of24,434 and closed at 24,717 (up 24 points or 0.10%) while Nifty hit a high of 7,504 and moved lower to hit a low of 7,269 and closed at 7,359 (down8 points or 0.11%). The NSE recorded a huge volume of 210.60 crore shares. India VIX rose 12.06% to close at 19.84.
 
Except for IT (1.34%) and Auto (1.06%) all the other indices on the NSE closed in the red. The top five loser were Realty (5.45%),Smallcap(2.99%),Nifty Midcap 50 (2.56%), PSU Bank (2.49%) and Midcap (1.99%).
 
Of the 50 stocks on the Nifty, 18 ended in the green. The top five gainers were M&M (7.37%), Sesa Sterlite (4.34%), HCL Technologies (3.93%), Wipro (3.89%) and Tata Motors (2.86%). The top five losers were DLF (6.03%), Bhel (5.84%), IDFC (5.34%), Bank of Baroda (4.58%) and Tata Power (3.92%).
 
Of the 1,601 companies on the NSE, 512 closed in the green, 1,050 companies closed in the red while 39 companies closed flat.
 
BJP leader Narendra Modi took oath as the Prime Minister on Monday evening. As per reports, the Modi-led government will have smaller cabinet, with one cabinet member heading a cluster of merged ministries. The focus is to increase coordination between different government departments and facilitate rapid decision-making.
 
Mahindra & Mahindra (6.23%) was the top gainer in the Sensex 30 pack and top gainer in ‘A’ group on the BSE. The company was in the news for it investing about Rs 40 billion ($684 million) in a new factory as it readies new models for an anticipated pickup in sales.
Tata Power (4.11%), among the top loser among the Sensex 30 stock, was in news for its plans to focusing on overseas opportunities including regions of South East Asia and SAARC, Africa and Middle East.
 
Housing Development and Infrastructure plans to raise up to Rs 1,800 crore this fiscal by selling stakes in some of its assets to partly repay its debt by around Rs 600-700 crore in FY15. The company plans to sell off its 100-acre land parcel in Hyderabad and some of its commercial projects in Mumbai this fiscal. The stock (9.16%) was among the top two losers in ‘A’ group on the BSE.
 
US indices closed in the green in Friday. Today the markets remain closed on account of Memorial Day.
 
Data from the Commerce Department showed sales of new US single-family homes rose more than expected in April and the supply of houses on the market hit a 3-1/2 year high.
 
Asian indices closed mostly in the green. Nikkei 225 (0.97%) was the top gainer while top losers, KLSE Composite and Seoul Composite, fell 0.34% each.
 
European indices were showing mixed performance. German consumer confidence is due to stabilise at a high level in June, suggesting that the continuing tension in Ukraine has yet to have a noticeable impact on German consumer sentiment. The Nuremberg-based GfK institute's forward-looking indicator is due to be 8.5 in June, the group reported Monday, matching the previous month.

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