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Sushma Swaraj among 15 global thinkers for novel Twitter diplomacy

india Updated: Dec 14, 2016 23:32 IST
Sushma Swaraj

Minister of external affairs Sushma Swaraj.(Reuters file photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated external Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on being named in the Global Thinkers of 2016 list compiled by the Foreign Policy magazine.

Swaraj was named in the ‘decision makers’ category along with the Democratic Party US presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon, German chancellor Angela Merkel and US attorney general Loretta Lynch among others.

“Very proud to see our hardworking EAM @SushmaSwaraj part of the @ForeignPolicy Global Thinkers list 2016! Congrats,” Modi tweeted.

The magazine recalled how, when around 10,000 Indian workers in Saudi Arabia faced a “food crisis” earlier this year due to job losses, Swaraj tweeted about the issue to six million followers on the social media website.

“What followed was a week-long social media operation in which Swaraj posted information for migrants about rations provided by the Indian embassy, claims for unpaid wages and government-organised transportation home,” it said.

Stating that this was not the first time that the minister used the internet to reach out to the people abroad, the online post by the magazine said: “From evacuating Indians from Yemen to helping replace lost passports, Swaraj has earned the nickname ‘the common tweeple’s leader’ for her aggressive use of Twitter.”

Apart from Swaraj, who was also featured in Financial Times’ women of the year, the other Indians in the Foreign Policy list are immunologist Gursaram Prasad Talwar who has developed a vaccine for leprosy, and Anupama and Vineet Nayar, co-founders of Sampark Foundation for their work on improving India’s primary education system in rural areas.

“Through their Sampark Foundation, the former HCL Technologies executive and his wife are on a mission to revamp rural India’s primary education system with low-tech teaching tools. They’ve created ‘smart class kits’, which include various frugal innovations, such as a plastic audio device that introduces English words and lasts 15 days without a charge,” the Foreign Policy magazine said.

(With inputs from agencies)