NEW DELHI: Social media will be used as a tool for participative governance, directly engaging people in policy making and administration and “fully realizing our softpower potential,” said President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday, 9 June.
He also acknowledged the fact that there is a need to integrate emerging technologies like social media into “external interchange, with particular emphasis on the country’s rich spiritual, cultural and philosophical heritage.” According to Mukherjee, the government will revive ‘Brand India’ riding on the strengths of 5T’s: Tradition, Talent, Tourism, Trade and Technology.
He added that e-governance brings empowerment, equity and efficiency and has the power to transform peoples’ lives.
In his first address to the joint sitting of the 16th Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, he said: “The backbone of my government’s new ways of working will be a Digital India. IT will be used to drive re-engineering of government processes to improve service delivery and programme implementation. We will strive to provide Wi-Fi zones in critical public areas in the next five years.”
He added: “My government will rollout broad band highway to reach every village and make all schools e-enabled in a phased manner. Technology will be used to prepare our children for a knowledge society. The National e-governance plan will be expanded to cover every government office from the centre to the Panchayat; to provide a wide variety of services to citizens.”
He noted: “Our rich cultural heritage is the very foundation on which rests the unity of our diverse nation. Indian languages are repositories of our rich literature, history, culture, art and other achievements. My government will launch a national mission ‘e-Bhasha’ that will develop digital vernacular content and disseminate our classic literature in different languages. My government will also provide the required resources for the maintenance and restoration of national heritage sites.”
FICCI president Siddharth Birla has welcomed the announcements relating to national e-governance plans and usage of social media for participative governance, as that "would help restore the credibility of institutions, improve investor confidence and reignite investment inflow in the country," he said.