New Delhi, Dec 23 The External Affairs Ministry's extensive use of social media to reach out to citizens got a further boost on Friday with the launch of a new service called Twitter Seva that will enable timely, transparent and large-scale response to citizens' tweets in real time.
"We have just launched Twitter Seva which is a project that has come to fruition after quite some time," Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh said while launching the service.
"There was a great need for this as there are already 200 verified (Twitter) handles (under the External Affairs Ministry)," Singh stated. The Twitter Seva service will be supported by 198 Twitter accounts of Indian missions abroad and 29 regional passport offices.
According to Raheel Khursheed, Head of News and Government Partnerships in Twitter India, Twitter Seva is an effective mechanism to respond to public queries and grievances that helps process large volumes of tweets, converts these to resolvable tickets and assigns these to the relevant authority for real-time resolution.
Khursheed said the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the UP police were among those who were already using this service. "The service will soon be rolled out for the Health Ministry, Home Ministry, Department of Public Grievances, Kolkata, Goa, Mumbai and Delhi police and the Jakarta traffic police in Indonesia," he said.
Khursheed said Twitter Seva is an India-first product and is now being exported to central Java province in Indonesia. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who has 6.8 million followers on Twitter, is known for extensive use of this social media platform to reach out to Indian in distress abroad or people needing anything related to her ministry.
"As you know, the External Affairs Minister herself has earned a global reputation on account of the work she has done through social media," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said at the launch function. "Even despite her recent illness, she has continued to reach out and provide help to Indians in distress in any part of the world," he said.
"Inspired by her work, we have sought new ways to institutionalise our engagement on social media and to ensure that our help reaches all those who need it." Swarup said that Twitter Seva was "a way to harness the power of technology for creative uses within the government".