Government’s Public Diplomacy Division gets prestigious e-governance award for 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Public Diplomacy Division of the Ministry of External Affairs was on Thursday given the prestigious India eGov 2.0 Awards 2010 for the most innovative use of social media and Web 2.0 tools in government.

The event was held in the evening at the Hotel Claridges in Central Delhi

Instituted by eGov magazine, the India eGov 2.0 Awards aims to felicitate and acknowledge unique and innovative initiatives in the use of social media tools for creating interactive platforms for improving citizen service delivery.

It is also awarded for sharing and garnering information to meet the larger social development goals by the government and private sector bodies including citizens, citizen groups, NGOs and political parties.

The eGov magazine is the Asia’s first and only print-cum-online magazine on e-Governance, focusing on the use of ICTs in governance.

Set up in year 2006, the ministry’s public diplomacy division has the mandate to put in place a system to help India engage with its citizens and global audiences more effectively on issues related to foreign policy.

In the last six months, the division has launched a series of digital diplomacy initiatives that have made it one of the first Government of India organisations to tap into the potential offered by social media and Web 2.0 tools.

These include (a) A Twitter page ( that has already acquired close to 3500 followers and provides regular information and updates on foreign policy issues; (b) A YouTube channel ( that hosts 21 documentary films and will increasingly provide access to activities organised by India’s diplomatic missions; (c) A blogspot account ( that provides a platform for discussing issues raised in the popular MEA Distinguished Lecture Series on India’s foreign policy; (d) A Facebook page ( that flags upcoming events and shares information on a range of foreign policy related issues; (e) Accounts on online publishing sites like Issu and Scribd to make the ministry’s flagship India Perspectives magazine accessible to the online community; (f) A new website ( that, inter alia, seeks to build a positive narrative about India in terms of its development partnerships with various countries, about the reach and impact of India’s soft power and about activities of India’s diplomatic missions.

The organizers of the event said 83 nominations were received from the government and public sector organisations in the website category and 45 nominations in the social media category.

The nominations were screened by the India eGov 2.0 Secretariat based on the pre-decided parameters to select top 15 nominations that were presented before the seven-member Grand Jury.

Ashis Sanyal, Senior Director, Department of IT, Ministry of Communication and IT, chaired the Grand Jury.

The other members were Neeta Verma, Senior Technical Director, NIC and Coordinator for National Web Ratna Awards; Krithiga Reddy, Director of online operations, Facebook India; Kamlakar Kaul, Chief Strategy Officer, Government Business, EMC; Niraj Prakash, Director-Public Sector Marketing, Microsoft Corporation (India); Sandeep Raina, Senior Vice-President (North), Cisco India and SAARC; Sunil Kapoor, Zonal Director, Fortis Healthcare; and Mrutyunjay Misra, Director, JuxtConsult. (ANI)

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