Getting more social with the media

Getting more social with the media
Getting more social with the media

@PiyushGoyal is among India's most active ministers on the social media circuit. The minister for power, coal, new and renewable energy says he wants to have an app for just about everything his ministry can be held accountable for. We explore what drives this media buzz. He has often been described as one of the most energetic ministers in the Narendra Modi Cabinet for his uncanny ability to meet renewable energy targets before time. Piyush Goyal recently announced that the government's target to electrify every village in India by 2018 will be met a year in advance. But what stands out is not just the achievement but also the communication of it to the wider public through his very active use of social media. The Garv Grameen Vidyutikaran mobile app lets anyone and everyone track the progress in the field of rural electrification in India through a real-time dashboard. A 'Milestones' tab displays the percentage achieved against the number of days left, while a progress bar shows the number of villages electrified on a weekly basis. “I believe transparency is the best way to bring down corruption and it's the best way to share with the people whatever work is going on so that they can monitor your performance and hold you accountable for it,” he says, explaining why he believes in having as many apps as possible for the general public. “If a person is unhappy with an aspect of a project, he or she can just logon to the app to my office and give me feedback on work happening even on a small lane outside his home somewhere in the country. This ensures real time feedback and response.” And, he should know. As the former head of the BJP′s Information Communication Campaign Committee, Goyal spearheaded the entire social media outreach for the Indian General Elections in 2014. The Modi election campaign has since gone down in history for its effective use of social media. “I believe open government is the way to go,” says Goyal, who is widely seen as a future prime ministerial candidate for the ruling BJP. But meanwhile he is busy setting and beating his own targets: 100 GW solar power, 60 GW wind energy, 10 GW small hydro power, and 5 GW biomass-based power projects to be operational in India by March 2022. “I sometimes seem to pluck figures out of my head but I am determined to make it happen,” he says.

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