The Modi government came to power two years ago in 2014, thanks to an aggressive campaign done by Modi himself and his party Bhartiya Janta Party(BJP). There is no denying the fact that a considerate amount of BJP’s success goes to the digital and social media campaigning route that it adopted back in the year 2014 and the amazing way in which it used the big data. Well, even after two years of being elected one thing is absolutely clear, Modi and his party’s fondness for social media (and Photoshop) has only gained by heaps and bounds with time.
Once such example is the Prime Minster’s Office (PMO) using big data analytics to process the citizen’s sentiments and ideas through the mygov.in crowdsourcing platform. Along with this, the Modi government is also quite active on social media as it helps them get an overall picture of the citizen’s concerns and expectations on government work.
According to information disclosed by a news piece, the Modi government is making use of quite a large professional data analytics team to filter and process all the key points that rise in debate on the platform mygov.in and also assesses popular public mood about important issues from social media networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. All the key findings from the mygov.in platform and the social media networking sites is then put together in special reports, along with concrete actionable measures. The Ministers are then requested to take into account all the findings of the report and take actions accordingly, especially on 19 key policy challenges that include job creation, energy conservation, expenditure reforms, skill development and famous government initiatives such as Clean Ganga, Clean India, and Digital India.
It is but natural that as the platform will gain more and more traction, scalability will be become a central issue. India currently occupies the second position in terms of world population and is most probably going to jump to first position by surpassing China by the year 2050. In fact, Modi has been politely asking and pursuing the Indian communities in Australia and America to make their contributions to mygov.in. According to experts, seeing the pace with which the platform is flourishing, a couple of years down the line, the platform will see an active contribution of about 30-50 million people.
Some experts see the PMO’s use of big data in the project as a roadmap for democracy in the 21st century world. One of the biggest challenges that the governments face nowadays is how to be relevant to its citizens. If all the citizens of the nation are given the opportunity to collaborate, it will provide the administrators a grip over the nation’s important needs rather than losing the message midway between the number of layers of bureaucracy.
In the west, most of the government treats their citizens as consumers, which is basically very upsetting and completely a wrong way to go. There is a need to understand that while a consumer pays the bills and cribs, a citizen on the other hand interacts in a different manner and owns up to his actions.
The current times are witnessing a criminal under-utilization of data by the federal departments. One of the biggest challenges that the big data faces with the governments is that it shouldn’t supersede their ideologies and beliefs. In fact, statistics can be manipulated and twisted in order to give more fodder to ideologies. But, once it is pushed beyond correlation and into causality, data can become a major driving force.
One of the reasons that makes mygov.in platform highly distinguishable from others is the fact that it isn’t just minting out data, but also transforming this data into actionable insights for helping out the Indian ministries.
In the current scenario where people are feeling extremely disconnected, disappointed and far from their governments, the Modi government’s big data card could actually be a winner and revolutionise the way democracies function in the current century.