In a bid to deliver the government’s message to the voters faster and monitor the content that goes online, the I&B ministry had decided to deploy a team of a social media experts across each of India’s 716 districts. Reports said that the primary job of these executives will be to analyse local news media and help the government modify the message according to the responses to it. “Monitor local editions of newspapers, local cable channels, local audio channels and important local social media handles for important local developments,” a report quoted a ministry official as saying.

According to reports, I&B ministry’s broadcast engineering arm, BECIL, has structured the entire campaign. To underline the achievement’s of Modi government, the team social media executives will be expected to run a structured campaign. In a press release, the I&B ministry was asking several agencies to set up operations for the maintenance of a ‘Social Media Communication Hub’.

“A technology platform” that would “collect digital media chatter from all core social media platforms as well as digital platforms like news, blogs and forums along with a proprietary mobile insights platform in a single system.” Apart from designing this integrated platform, the vendor/agency is also to ensure that the platform provides “real-time insights, metrics and other valuable data,” said a BECIL’s press release while defining the scope of work.

The initiative will also help the government to assess whether its message was received positively or negatively by the voters. “Till now, the government has largely reacted to opinions based out of the capital, giving a very lopsided view. It is a first-time effort to hear closely what people are saying on the ground beyond the big cities,” a senior Information and Broadcasting official explained.

A report in the Hindu earlier reported that the decision to hire the social media expert was taken February this year.