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With CEO in town, Twitter kicks off offline Samwad with PM Modi, 15 others

Dick Costolo said the initiative will enable the citizens to be the first to know about new government actions.

Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi |
Updated: March 24, 2015 9:24:05 pm
n Exclusive roundtable with Twitter CEO Dick Costolo  during the Forward and Samvaad for Twitter in India presser in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal) n Exclusive roundtable with Twitter CEO Dick Costolo during the Forward and Samvaad for Twitter in India presser in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Express Photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

Tweets are “essentially SMSes” and this makes Twitter the most mobile-optimised Internet platform. And the micro-blogging platform is now leveraging this to promote Narendra Modi’s Digital India Initiative by launching Twitter Samwad, a service that lets leaders and government agencies communicate with the people through tweets and SMS. The initiative was launched by Modi and will initially have 16 partners, including him.

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, who was in New Delhi for the launch, said the initiative was custom-built for the world’s largest democracy and will enable the citizens to be the first to know about new government actions. Costolo said Twitter’s business in India was just getting started. “We initially entered the market through resellers, but have started building a local sales team,” he said. Twitter, he added, would continue to invest in language support to make the platform accessible to more people.

On Tuesday’s Supreme Court order quashing Section 66A of the IT Act, Costolo said he could make out that there was a lot of local excitement on the ruling. “We have a great reputation as a company to defend and respect user voices,” he said, adding that on the platform it had now become easier to moderate and harder for the abusers.


Costolo said the future for the platform appeared to be in native video and live native broadcasting with no lag. He said there was an increasing realisation that Twitter needs to curate and organise content for users.

Asked if the conversation on Twitter is what they had imagines initially, he said: “Though I was not initially involved with Twitter even though I knew the founders well, all of us acknowledge that we never imagined where our users would take the platform. We are continually impressed, delighted and surprised by the way they are using it.”


Here’s how Twitter Samvad will work for users:

●     Users will have to give a missed call to each of the numbers listed above to follow each of their Twitter accounts. For example, for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the number is 011 3006 3006.

●     Immediately after placing the missed call, users will start to receive a curated set of Tweets throughout the day keeping them in touch with leaders and government agencies.

●     In case of emergency or urgent public announcements, account owners (leaders, government agencies, disaster management cell) can instantly send an update on a given situation to all registered users.


List of a 16 government partners who are participating in the launch of Twitter Samvad



Phone Number


Personal account of Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi

011 3006 3006


Official account of the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi

011 3006 3007


Official account of Additional Directorate General of Public Information, IHQ of Ministry of Defence

011 3049 6116


Official account of the Ministry of Railways

011 3049 6222


Personal account of Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister of Gujarat

011 3049 6050


Official account for the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah

011 3049 4737


Official account for Mr. M N Reddi, IPS, Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru City

011 3049 5141


Official account for Bengaluru City Police

011 3049 5242


Official account for Bengaluru City Traffic Police

011 3049 5464


Personal account of N Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister, Andhra Pradesh,

011 3049 5767


Official account of Chief Minister of Telangana, Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao

011 3049 5868


Personal account of Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh

011 3008 3380


Official account for the Government of Uttar Pradesh

011 3049 6353


Personal account of Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar

011 3008 2828


Personal account of Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister, West Bengal

011 3008 3333


Official account of Ministry of External Affairs, India, Syed Akbaruddin

011 3049 5969



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