PM gets abuses, ideas on Twitter for 12th Plan

Written by Nistula Hebbar | Nistula Hebbar | New Delhi | Updated: Feb 22 2012, 07:01am hrs
On Day One of the Prime Ministers Twitter avatar becoming interactive, inviting suggestions for the 12th plan, with the hashtag#12thplan, the internet proved to be a mixed blessing for the PMO.

While some suggestions were a little serious, the PMO was also deluged by a mass of right-wing hate tweets which offered sarcastic suggestions on the 12th plan. Suggestions ranged from banning Facebook to offering Bharat Ratna to Congress president Sonia Gandhi to suggesting mental health care options for senior ministers. On an average, only one serious suggestion amid five frivolous and vitriolic ones could be found.

PMO officials said they received over a 1,000 suggestions. We haven't looked into them yet. We will be examining suggestions along with members of the Planning Commission in two or three days, said an official from the PMO.

A run through of suggestions on the PMO twitter handle would be enough, officials say, to convince the government it needs serious help in handling new media.

Ever since the Janlokpal agitation, the government has woken up to the potentialities of new media, with several government officials now being dispatched to media and communications departments in institutions in India and abroad to gain expertise in the same.

Some suggestions which could be gleaned from the deluge of hate tweets ranged from standardising school fees both for CBSE and ICSE schools to investing more in research and development to replacing cooked meals in the mid-day meals schemes in government schools with biscuits and nutrition powders. An innovative suggestion was to give incentive to government servants who use public transport, hardly the stuff of genius but better than abuse. The experiment with new media, PMO officials add, will continue.