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GOVtweets – the advent of twitter in Governance


More than 80% of the Ministries started their journey in twitter and social engagement after the BJP came into power. As the usage of Social Media increases every day, it has become a bare minimum necessity for the government to use the Social Media for better citizen engagement & better communication.


July 2010 was the month when Ministry of External Affairs created a twitter account, followed by Press Information Bureau and Office of the Prime Minister of India (PMO). Before May 2014, when the last Lok Sabha elections were held, there were only 8 Ministries of the Government of India which had accounts on twitter. Twitter data as of 25th November 2016, indicates that 13 ministries have created a twitter account in June 2014 and 6 Ministries in July 2014 after NDA come into power. In effect, the number of ministries having twitter accounts increased substantially in the first few months of new government in 2014.


Who is active on Twitter?

Average number of tweets per day across all the ministries is around 9. It can be clearly seen that not all the ministries are twitter active. Ministries that have a large public interface are tweeting more often than otheras.Ministry of Railways has the highest tweet rate per day among all the ministries with 189 tweets per day, followed by Press Information Bureau and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. In fact, there are other twitter accounts of the Zonal & divisional offices of the Railways that send out many more tweets. There are only 5 ministries which tweet more than 10 times a day. 19 ministries send out 2-10 tweets per day and 15 ministries tweet less than twice a day.


Who are most followed?

Twitter community is growing each day and the following of the ministries official twitter channels is increasing at a decent pace.  Average growth in the number of followers across the ministries is 427 per day since their joining. 19 ministries have a increase of 0-50 followers per day. Ministries like External Affairs, Finance, Health, Information and Broadcasting, Human Resources & Development, Home Affairs, Railways, Office of the President of India, PMO and Press Information Bureau, have seen a growth of 400 to 8206 followers per day.


Although there are Ministries/Departments which are highly followed in twitter, there are also Ministries/Departments which are not so well followed by the user community. Ministries like the Ministry of Steel, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Ministry of Science & Technology have seen a growth of the less than 10 per day in their followers.

twitter-in-governance-india_following-per-day-less-than-10-4Some Ministries/Departments are still taking baby steps on twitter. The Department of Heavy Industry has about 700 followers while the Department of Chemicals has just 1 follower. Ministry of Parliamentary affairs has 57 followers only. Interestingly, some of the ministers in charge of these Ministries are well followed on twitter. A few ministries like the Ministry of Statistics & Program Implementation do not have a twitter presence yet.

Note: The data pertains to Ministries/Departments of Government of India whose accounts are verified on twitter as of November 2016.

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    • Col NR Kurup (Retd) on

      These are nothing but window dressing to befool apolitical citizens. Those departments are misusing Twitter as a means of anticipatory bail. For every problem, these cunning departments tweet their convenient reply justifying their action. In fact it is not justification by glorification of their misdeeds. Has anyone in Twitter come across a single incident where these Department replying our tweets. I got innumerable examples to quote. The NDTV Pathankot live tele-cast is a typical example. Despite my live exposure of the incident requesting govts inereference no one bothered for more than 2 months. Another example is my seeking their reply as to when did the MoD paid the families of Uri martyres their entitled Rs. Rs.70 Lakhs and last pay drawn as pension. Still no one bothered to reply. I think we should shoo away such departments from exploiting us through Twitter..

    • Surya Kandukuri on

      Above are the verified accounts of the Central Ministries. It’s a little difficult to gather information on the non verified accounts. Rest of the state and district departments shall be considered in another analysis.