A new directive of the Haryana government has increased the problems of the not-so-tech-savvy district information and public relations officers (DIPROs) who will now have to learn to operate smart phones and messaging on WhatsApp.
As per a recent order of the director general of directorate of information, public relations and cultural affairs department, the DIPROs have been told to give hourly updates about their activities on a WhatsApp group, specially created for the public relations department. The district officers have been told to inform the head office about their meetings, visits or any incidents in their respective areas.
As the number of the tech-savvy DIPROs is very less, the new directive has created a problem for most of them, who are now taking help of their other office staff to send their updates to the boss.
"I don't have an android phone. Even my mobile does not have internet connection. How I can send hourly reports to them. Like me, there are many others facing the same problem," lamented a senior DIPRO, without disclosing his name.
"They have just issued the directive, without giving us any training or taking any feedback. Now I am planning to purchase a new WhatsApp-enabled mobile phone, but the problem is how will I operate it?" he wondered.
According to officials in the public relations department, the new directive will also expose the writing skills of the DIPROs as they will have to send hourly updates to the senior officers in the group.
However, joint director (field) of the public relations department Kuldeep Saini said, "The step is very helpful as the officers can take advantage of the latest technology, and it takes a few seconds to send information to every officer of the department".
He said, "The focus of the government is to boost e-governance. Not only the public relations department, but several other departments are also taking the benefit of this facility to get feedback from the officers in the field. Not only information, the DIPROs can also use this facility to get immediate redressal of their problems from senior the officer".
An officer in the department said that the DIPROs get Rs 500 as mobile phone allowance and they can now use the money for Internet packs.