Raipur. Social media is the new digital change agents that have empowered the Indian bureaucracy to deliver social goods more effectively than before, said a distinguished panel comprising IAS, IPS officers during a webinar on Saturday organized by Bureaucrats India, a news portal dedicated to celebrating the good works of bureaucrats.
Dipanshu Kabra, senior IPS officer and Additional Transport Commissioner, Chhattisgarh said that social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter brought people closer to bureaucracy. He added that we should have the compassion to help the people from weaker sections of society.
Dr Nilesh Deore, District Magistrate of Saran, Bihar, said: The advent of social media enabled better publicity of the bureaucrat's work. It created an effective system for citizens feedback. Social media have changed the dynamics of governance. He cited the example of his recent visit to a Dutch Cemetery in Chhapra and the message he posted about the same on his Twitter handle. An organization working on conservation approached him, which led to a chain reaction and now; the state government is in the process of sanctioning funds for its restoration.
Prem Prakash Meena, joint magistrate of Basti with his DM launched a unique crowdsourcing initiative and raised fourteen-lakhs for the Basti Mahotsav. Now posted as Joint Magistrate of Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, Meena said: Social media has improved interface between people and bureaucracy. We are under constant scrutiny now. People are using social media platforms to stay connected with the administration and vice versa. Talking about how the District administration was integrating social media into the governance framework, Meena said: We have created Twitter handles for different departments and services. As and when we get any complaint or query, officers concerned to respond to that immediately. This is a significant shift from days of the past when people’s complaints would often get buried in files. Today we are far more responsive.
Dr Navneet Anand of Bureaucrats India also announced that they are compiling all such effective intervention of bureaucrats for further use and information. Santosh Singh, IPS officer and SP, Raigarh, Chhattisgarh, said: We have effectively used social media as tools to help the needy. During Covid, social media proved quite effective in mobilizing essential items to help the needy. People responded to our requests and donated generously. Raigarh district sourced fourteen-lakh masks and distributed the same in one day.
Pratik Dattani, an Advisor, Bridge India, said, "Social media can make citizens voice much more powerful." He also shared his insights on misinformation and disinformation campaigns and why we must equip ourselves with this menace.
Ankita Sharma, IPS, Assistant SP, Raipur, while responding to a query from the audience, said that traditional policing is very important. “Social media is becoming effective in dealing with cybercrime, and in delivering social goods.”