Twitter launches e-governance initiative #TwitterSamvad

First digital governance service as part of Digital India initiative launched by Narendra Modi on Twitter

Published: Mar 25, 2015

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With a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) launched #TwitterSamvad, a service where 16 government accounts (including that of PM and various chief ministers, Indian Railways, The Indian Army, etc) will now be able to send their tweets as an SMS to Indian citizens. It is aimed to boost the nation’s e-governance plans by helping government bodies and leaders communicate directly with citizens on a daily basis via tweets and SMS on their mobile devices. With Twitter Samvad, every day, a set of curated tweets will be delivered from the government and leaders’ accounts to mobile users across the country as SMSes. 

Updates on government services, policies and activities will be delivered to any user with a mobile device who signs up for the service with each of the 16 launch partners. Anyone with a mobile phone, with or without an internet data plan, can register for the service by giving a missed call to a unique number for each of the 16 partners. Twitter Samvad can also be used during emergency with the ability to deliver live updates by government bodies, including time sensitive information like law and order situations as well as details about any rescue efforts.

Twitter, launched 9 years ago, was invented on SMS to begin with. So, in a way, it’s going back to its roots in India with the launch of Twitter Samvad.

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Image: Naresh Sharma
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo speaking at the launch of #TwitterSamvad

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, said, “Based on Indian technological innovation, Twitter Samvad is dedicated and specially built for the largest democracy of the world. The 2014 Lok Sabha elections were the first-ever ‘Twitter Elections’ in India and we want to continue contributing to the development of digital governance in India. As part of the Prime Minister’s Digital India initiative, this tweet-powered service enables citizens to be the first to know about the government’s actions by receiving political content real-time on their mobile devices anywhere in the country.” Twitter Samvad will act as a mobile microphone for people using it, believes Costolo. 

In his first-ever visit to India, he said India is the fastest growing market for Twitter and he is ready to take the acquisition route to ramp up innovation for the platform. Twitter had recently acquired an Indian company ZipDial which has led to the Twitter Samvad initiative launched yesterday. Rishi Jaitly, Twitter’s Market Director for India and Southeast Asia, said, “We are proud to have launched a service here that is for the people and of the people. This can eventually give every political leader and every government organisation a mobile microphone to connect with each Indian, whether in Imphal or in Diu or in Leh or in Puducherry.”
 
Here is a list of a 16 government partners who have participated in the launch of Twitter Samvad:

Accounts

Description

Phone Number

@NarendraModi

Personal account of Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi

011 3006 3006

@PMOIndia

Official account of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi

011 3006 3007

@adgpi

Official account of Additional Directorate General of Public Information, IHQ of Ministry of Defence

011 3049 6116

@RailMinIndia

Official account of the Ministry of Railways

011 3049 6222

@anandibenpatel

Personal account of Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister of Gujarat

011 3049 6050

@CMofKarnataka

Official account for the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah

011 3049 4737

@CPBLR

Official account for Mr. M N Reddi, IPS, Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru City

011 3049 5141

@BlrCityPolice

Official account for Bengaluru City Police

011 3049 5242

@blrcitytraffic

Official account for Bengaluru City Traffic Police

011 3049 5464

@ncbn

Personal account of N Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh,

011 3049 5767

@TelanganaCMO

Official account of Chief Minister of Telangana, Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao

011 3049 5868

@YadavAkhilesh

Personal account of Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh

011 3008 3380

@UPGovt

Official account for the Government of Uttar Pradesh

011 3049 6353

@NitishKumarJDU

Personal account of Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar

011 3008 2828

@MamataOfficial

Personal account of Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister, West Bengal

011 3008 3333

@MeaIndia

Official account of Ministry of External Affairs, India, Syed Akbaruddin

011 3049 5969


 
How Twitter Samvad will work for users:
  • Users will have to give a missed call to each of the numbers listed above to follow each of their Twitter accounts. For example, for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the number is 011 3006 3006.
  • Immediately after placing the missed call, users will start to receive a curated set of Tweets throughout the day keeping them in touch with leaders and government agencies.
  • In case of emergency or urgent public announcements, account owners (leaders, government agencies, disaster management cell) can instantly send an update on a given situation to all registered users.

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  • Mayank

    Good initiative indeed but this owing to the fact that this feature is open for everyone without any account check, does this not pose potential threat to the security of the country?

    on Mar 29, 2015
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