The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh has said that the rise of social media is a part of a global phenomenon and it is there to stay regardless of all other factors. In his inaugural address as chief guest at the two-day National Conclave on “Social Media for Good Governance”, Dr Singh said the question, therefore, is not how the social media and governance can impact each other because the two have the capacity to survive even as independent entities without depending on each other. The actual issue is how best and optimally to use the social media so that it can supplement good governance with a citizen-centric goal, he said.
Dr Singh credited Prime Minister Narendra Modi for having brought the process of e-governance into focus and thus offering a cue for public discourse on the link between social media and governance. Both the governance as well as the social media existed even before, but the futuristic prioritization of the present government during the last 15 months has not only facilitated wider public participation in governance through social media but has also instilled in common man the confidence of being an important stakeholder in governance under the Modi government.
Dr Singh said that in a democratic Parliamentary system like ours, what matters the most is the nature and composition of the political leadership at any given time because it is from the helm of affairs that every other organ of good governance receives its cue for the direction in which to move. Fortunately, he said, the present dispensation under Prime Minister Modi, not only allows absolute freedom to experiment and innovate but is also ready to encourage even revolutionary reforms, which is what provides an opportunity for new tools and new mediums including the social media to participate in the process of governance. As an example, he cited a number of pending cases of pension and service matters which had been resolved online by the Department of Personnel and Training (DOPT) and Department of Administrative Reforms, Pension and Grievances (ARPG).
President NASSCOM and Former Chairman Telecom Commission R Chandrashekhar and Additional Secretary, Ministry of Communications & IT Smt. Aruna Sundararajan also spoke in the inaugural session.