Ministries are trained on a new dashboard: “PM Speech Tracker”

Ministries and departments in the Union government have been asked to follow Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches by continuously updating a dashboard, “PM Speech Tracker.” They have recently been trained on various aspects of how the dashboard works and update procedures.

When contacted, an official who was aware of the development said the exercise aimed to train officials to gauge the impact of the Prime Minister’s speeches. “The idea is to track the impact of the speeches on social media and other media platforms and, in addition to amplifying the message, see the narrative developed on the speeches,” said the official, who asked not to be named.

NITI Aayog, the government think tank, had organized an online training program for several ministries on December 15, 2021 to discuss the procedure for updating the dashboard/tracker and other aspects of its functioning.

The training program followed an email titled “PM Speech Tracker Online Training Program” sent on December 13 by Niti Aayog to the secretaries of the Ministries of Home Affairs, Road Transport and Highways, Aviation, Agriculture, Trade, Tourism and the Chair the railway was sent board among others

“I have been instructed to inform you that an ONLINE TRAINING PROGRAM ON ‘PM SPEECH TRACKER’ is planned for Line Ministries on December 15, 2021 from 3pm to 4pm. Therefore, it is requested that the Ministry please appoint concerned officials to attend this online training program organized by NITI Aayog,” reads the email verified by The Indian Express.

In response to an RTI submitted by the newspaper, Niti Aayog said the training program was conducted in coordination with the NIC department to understand how the dashboard works. “The online training program on ‘PM Speech Tracker’ was conducted by NIC, NITI Aayog on 12/15/2022 at 15:00. The relevant ministries took part in the online training program. During the training, the participants were informed about the dashboard/tracker and various aspects of its functioning and the update procedure by the concerned line ministries,” said Niti Aayog in his reply. No logs were created, it said.

Niti Aayog’s Development Monitoring and Assessment Office maintains several other dashboards that track parameters involved in the production of India’s Sustainable Development Goals Index and other global indices such as the Economic Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business and World Incorporate Press Freedom, Human Development, Global Innovation, Global Climate Risk and Global Inequality Index, among others.

The central government has been working on a strategy to overhaul its media and public relations work for the past two years, with a group of ministers (GoM) of nine union ministers recommending priority areas to address criticism and spread positive messages further.

A 2020 ‘government communications’ report prepared by this GoM states that ‘a research unit will also be set up to collate all information in appropriate formats for easy and timely retrieval. An integrated dashboard should also be developed.”

The unit tracked and collected news across various mediums – print, electronic, online and social media. “It would generate reports and analysis on various trending news,” it had said. Each ministry was also required to establish two major outreach programs in a year, as well as a pre-event outreach day and a post-event reporting day. “There are reports about one or the other government program on around 300 days a year. It was also agreed to set up a new communications wing to effectively disseminate information and receive feedback,” the report said.

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