Tharoor gone, MEA debuts on Twitter: public diplomacy

Shashi Tharoor probably paid the price for tweeting too much when he lost his job as Minister of State for External Affairs, but that doesn't seem to have deterred the MEA from entering Twitter world.

The Public Diplomacy (PD) division of the MEA today made its debut on Twitter with the user ID "Indian diplomacy" — The mandate of the PD division includes production of print and audio-visual material that will help Indian embassies project the country's diverse facets more effectively.

The first tweet came around 10 am and read: "Official twitter account of Public Diplomacy Division of Ministry of External Affairs, India @Indiandiplomacy".

By 3 pm, the next post was the special edition of the MEA's bi-monthly magazine India Perspectives, dedicated to Rabindranath Tagore, with a link.

PD division chief Navdeep Suri confirmed it was a genuine Twitter account: "We are testing it. We have started by posting the India Perspectives magazine. This is part of our effort to use social media tools to conduct public diplomacy. We are hoping to get things going in the next 3-4 weeks."

Suri, known for his out-of-box ideas, said, "Depending on the response, we will add new things. This will be part of a dedicated portal which we are trying to create for public diplomacy. We are planning to put up documentaries on a YouTube-like media tool on the PD site."

But why Twitter? "Everybody is using it, aren't you?" asked Suri, IFS 1979.

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