Having repeatedly lamented the lack of awareness among the public about the welfare schemes and developmental works carried out by his government, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav and his team of officials have devised a new way to reach out to the people before the assembly elections next year — through quiz on micro-blogging website Twitter.
On the government’s two official Twitter accounts — @UPGovt and @CMOfficeUP — questions related to government schemes and other initiatives taken by it will be asked and prizes awarded to winners. One of the “prizes”, incidentally, is “a chance to meet the Chief Minister in person”.
“We wanted to experiment with the idea and see the response we get. On an average, we are getting about 100-200 responses. Since the questions are simple, the success rate is about 57-60 per cent but once we announce the prizes, there would be a series of questions that will have to be answered under a given time frame,” said G S Naveen Kumar, Special Secretary to the Chief Minister who also manages the CM’s official twitter handle.
Kumar admitted that the government plans to announce “a personal meeting with the UP CM” as “the top prize” for the quiz.
Started about a week ago, the “idea” is currently being experimented through Twitter’s quiz application and remains to be officially launched. In the week’s time, the two handles have attracted about 70,000 and 94,000 followers, respectively.
Questions, by the government’s own admission, are relatively easy at present and will get tough as the prizes are rolled out. Some of the questions that have been asked since the unofficial launch include the length of Lucknow-Agra Expressway, name of the scheme which promotes dairy in the state, the year AKhilesh Yadav won the election from Kannauj for the first time, the city to have the state’s first IT City project, and name of cities included in the heritage arc, among others.
Interestingly for the government, the idea has also thrown up a way for the public to provide it with “feedback”
“Our first question was about the exact length of Lucknow-Agra expressway, which is 302 km. We got lots of replies but, surprisingly, a person out of excitement also gave us the exact status of the ongoing construction work like the percentage of bridges completed. Thus, we are also learning with the system to improvise it further before officially announcing it,” said an official.
The move is clearly keeping in mind the upcoming assembly elections in the state. The Akhilesh government has in the past taken action on the complaints mentioned over Twitter and address to the CM.
In another move, the government is also uploading its policies and initiatives in graph form every few hours on its social media accounts.