CONTEXTUALISING THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA INITIATIVES IN GOOD GOVERNANCE: A REFLECTION

Dr. Tarjeet Sabharwal

Abstract


In India, the use of social media for governance is being increasingly recognized. The universally relevant and accepted features and the political dimensions of good governance are about nurturing a healthy society. Governance requires the exercise of legitimate political power by the designated bodies, in a manner that should be equitable, non-discriminatory, socially sensitive, participatory and above all accountable to the people at large.
The theory of communicative action reaffirms the fundamental importance of civil society’s role in determining government’s priorities. Understanding this, is essential to any understanding prospects for change in governance. Public spheres do not exist in a vacuum. There can be no framework between the civil society and the state if there is no state.
The availability of constantly improving technological solutions coupled with innovative managerial tools have given rise to scope and options for improved administrative structures, efficient and effective public service delivery systems and the highest quality of governance. Governments and governance the world over have undergone a ‘paradigm shift’ in their traditional roles and structures of inflexible control and procedure and orientation, towards result orientation, flexibility, facilitation and citizen-centric approach.
The present study explores the adaptation of social media for good governance beginning from the initiatives of the government in the erstwhile planning commission in India with a special focus on the twelfth plan. The study examined the social media platforms of the Delhi Traffic Police, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Tihar Jail, India Post and the Census’ facebook and twitter pages. The strategies adopted by the government institutions and bodies, to engage the citizens by making their websites user-friendly and understanding the challenges of interacting online with the citizens were the key highlights of this study.
The power of social media in initiating government schemes, policies and to make communication inclusive and participatory, is widely recognized today. And the biggest reason for this is that a common man’s view can reach millions today in matter of seconds. While the Government institutions and bodies devise new ways to reach out to the last person in the last village, social media and online initiatives remain one of the key ways of engaging ‘wired’ citizens.


Keywords


Accountability, Citizen-centric, Governance, Inclusive, Participation, Social Media, Transparency,

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