Indian Public Diplomacy keen to access “social media”

December 11th, 2010 - 8:21 pm ICT by ANI  

Facebook New Delhi, Dec.11 (ANI): Joint Secretary (Public Diplomacy) of Ministry of External Affairs (MHA) Navdeep Suri said today that India realises the need to have its presence in social media.

Addressing people at a two-day conference on ‘Public Diplomacy in the Information Age’ here, Suri said: “We took an initial decision that very quickly we had to ramp up our presence in the social media. We started initially with the Twitter account which, I believe, at that time was the first for any Government of India department, maybe still is, and a Facebook page, and then a YouTube channel, and so on.”

“Where we are going with this and trying to make sure that there is a digital convergence of all content that we produce. It doesn’t mean we stop publishing Indian perspectives in 17 languages but it means making sure that each edition is available on online websites, on online publishing websites,” he added.

During the conference, experts said India is on its way to becoming a global power if it uses its soft power assets.

Speakers at the conference said India’s presence in social media combined with cultural diplomacy and effective use of soft power assets could lead to it becoming a “superpower”.

Professor of Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School of Communication in the University of South Carolina Nicholas J. Cull said India has a strong chance of making a name for itself in world politics.

“I think in a world where diplomacy is based on culture, India is in a very, very strong position. If you are comparing Indian power and Chinese power, India has an advantage because when people think of India around the world, people smile”, said Cull.

“India is all about the celebration of diversity, and that’s why I feel that as India pays more attention to soft power, more attention to public diplomacy, India moves into an ever stronger place in world affairs,” he added.

The conference addressed both challenges and opportunities provided by the proliferation of new media along with new tools. (ANI)

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