The Delhi government will train its staff to be social media-savvy, an effort to improve communication between the bureaucracy and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ministers.
The information and technology department has been directed to prepare a training module that will make all staff members — clerks to secretaries — proficient users of platforms such as WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook.
The need for such a drill arose because all ministers in the AAP government are active on social media, and often tweet or post important announcements.
Arvind Kejriwal is the most-followed chief minister on Twitter with 9.15 million followers. He announced the sacking of his social welfare minister, Sandeep Kumar, over a sex tape through a series of tweets. CBI raids on the CM’s office, regular inspection drives, and suspension of officials have also been announced on social media.
A handful of government departments are using WhatsApp for internal communication. But the administration wants the entire staff to be comfortable with these tools, especially smartphone apps which are increasingly used for delivery of services.
“Besides smooth communication, social media is critical in appreciating public opinion. All these aspects will be included in the training module,” an official said.
All officials have internet access in the Delhi secretariat, which have been offering free wifi since 2015.
But the current IT training is still restricted to use of software such as MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
“The government functions through a computerized system. But many staff members are not active on social media,” a senior official said.
There were reported cases of embarrassment and annoyance when officers were unable to keep pace with the Twitter or Facebook-savvy AAP ministers.