The Indian government has ranked its ministers on the basis of how quickly and efficiently they respond to people’s requests on Twitter. The survey, which was reportedly conducted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office, put foreign minister Sushma Swaraj in the top position.
Modi is famous for his use of social media and has the third-highest number of Twitter followers in India, behind Bollywood actors Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan. It’s no surprise that several ministers in his government have been using Twitter as a tool of governance.
Swaraj is also the most-followed foreign minister in the world, according to a 2015 study. She has been using Twitter to tackle diplomatic issues as well as individual cases, such as evacuating an Indian woman under house arrest in UAE, and rescuing stranded Indians in Yemen and Iraq.
Swaraj is followed by railway minister Suresh Prabhu, who has been using Twitter to troubleshoot passengers’ problems. The railways ministry has a special Twitter control room and takes complaints and grievances through its official Twitter handle @RailminIndia. Through these handles, the ministry has responded to requests for medical help, reuniting lost children with their parents and security in cases of harassment.
The two were followed by Minister of State for power, coal, new and renewable energy Piyush Goyal; culture and tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma; and Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha.
Modi, the third most-followed international political leader on Twitter, had famously used social media during his election campaign in 2013-14. He has also asked various ministeries to open and use Twitter accounts, after taking charge as the Prime Minister in 2014.