At a time when the Prime Minister, chief ministers and even the Chief Election Commissioner are trying to connect to people through social networking sites, Government is set to come out with guidelines for State and central departments to use this online tool to communicate with public.

J. Satyanarayana, Secretary, Department of Electronics and IT, said keeping in mind the growing demand, the department will soon finalise the guidelines for all State and central government departments wanting to use social medium to reach and get feedback from public.

“Social media is supposed to have a good reach and people are used to it. “So we (the Government) have created draft frame work for using the social media by various departments, not only Government of India but also state governments,” Mr. Satyanarayana told reporters here.

“It is at the draft stage and we want to publish it very soon. This is how we want to use social media positively,” he said on the sidelines of a seminar titled ‘Revisiting Internet Governance-lessons learn and road Map’ organised by the institute of Global Internet Governance and Advocacy, NALSAR University of law, Hyderabad.

The government had already issued the draft guidelines titled ‘Social Media Framework & Guidelines for Government Organizations’ in September last year.

In India, various sites such as Facebook, Orkut etc. have over 15 million users each. The micro-blogging site Twitter has about 5 million users.

Many of these facilitate access through mobile devices and with nearly 900 million mobile users, it offers an unprecedented outreach, the draft guidelines said.

“One of the big challenges for government is to avoid propagation of unverified facts and frivolous misleading rumours with respect to government policies.

“Government must have presence on these platforms to counter such perceptions to present the facts to enable informed opinion making by the populace,” the guidelines said.