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"I am happy to note that the BJP as an organization is looking to creatively harness Power of Social Media"
"Social media is a medium of equals. No single individual or organization can control it or manipulate it."
"Our conduct at home, schools, offices based on mutual respect & dignity. Same should be conduct on Social Media"
"There is sentiment, aspiration to do something & make a difference, expressed on SocialMedia. We have to appreciate that emotion"

New Delhi, July 28 (ANI): In an exclusive interview with Asian News International (ANI), Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has revealed the importance of social media in creating awareness among voters in the country.

Question: Modi-ji there has been a lot of buzz in recent days on the use of Social Media by you as well as by the BJP as an organization. What role do you see Social Media playing in this campaign?

If one would recall, during one of my recent speeches I had observed that this is the Age of Knowledge and Information. No single individual or organization enjoys a monopoly on possession and dissemination of knowledge and information. It is imperative to listen and learn as much as pronounce, in this Digital age. Thus it becomes requisite for every Indian Leader to be able to have a two-way communication with the people, especially our Youth.  Social Media to me is the most powerful channel for accomplishing this. I was recently in Pune to meet with the students of Fergusson College. I was pleasantly surprised over the seriousness with which Youth responded to my request through Social Media for ideas and suggestions for that speech. I am happy to note that the BJP as an organization is looking to creatively harness Social Media to crowd source ideas on how we can change and transform India for the better. 

Question:. Modi-ji could you share instances where you have been able to experience the power of Social Media the most?

It is important for us to expand our definition of what constitutes Social Media. To me it is not just about Twitter and Facebook. For instance, I am amazed at how YouTube as a medium of video sharing has made e-Learning accessible to so many people. Or when I look at an application like WhatsApp and how simple it is to use, one begins to appreciate the power of this medium. Often the first reports when a disaster strikes or an unfortunate incident happens, are received via one of these Social Media channels. I see the real power of Social Media come through, during such moments of crisis. Recently during the Uttarakhand disaster I was pleasantly surprised at the positive role played by Social Media in bringing home news of the missing to their loved ones. 

Question: Modi-ji many of your critics allege that you have a massive PR machinery that manages your Social Media presence to carry out your propaganda. What would you say to them? 

My humble request to everybody is to not insult and insinuate the common man, the youth of India, who have found a medium through which they are able to make their voice heard. It is important for us to understand the nature of this medium. It is a medium of equals. No single individual or organization can control it or manipulate it. We must respect this basic nature of this medium. Let me give you the example of a recent incident when a restaurant in Mumbai had to suffer due to rank intolerance of the Congress party. The Sales Receipt of that restaurant was shared on Social Media by some conscious citizens. It soon went viral. It came to the attention of one newspaper, which published a story on it. I merely added my voice to express solidarity on this issue, with all those venting their frustration and despair on it, through Social Media. This is the nature of the Medium. It is essentially about listening, sharing and dialoguing. 

Question: Modi-ji one of the biggest complaints of Social Media is what many people call "trolling". Abuse in Social Media has become a big problem. Recently there have been personal attacks on eminent people and their families. What is your suggestion on how to deal with this menace? 

Our Culture is known for its long standing traditions of respecting our elders and our scholars. In the same vein, we worship and celebrate Women's Power as Shakti. Expressing one’s opinion on Social Media, does not imply, that we abandon our Culture and value systems. Our conduct at home, offices and schools, is based on certain well appreciated norms of mutual respect and dignity. The same ought to apply to our conduct on Social Media as well. 

This is what I mean by the need for Modernization, and not Westernization. We must embrace modern technology and harness its Power. But our use of modern technology must not come at the expense of us forgetting our values and ethics. 

What was the word you mentioned just now ... ah yes "trolling". It reminds me of how disinformation would be used by Nations against each other, by planting false stories and creating havoc during Wars. It is unfortunate that some vested interests are misusing the power of Social Media to indulge in a similar effort. Recently I had come across an instance where a morphed digital image was circulated with a malicious and slanderous intention. Technology makes it quite easy to accomplish this. We however, have to guard against this sort of disinformation, peddled through fake sites and fictitious accounts. We have to use our judgement on Social Media on what sources to trust just as we would do in real life where we are able to differentiate between genuine news and rumours. 

Quetion: Modi-ji there is a lot of debate on how representative Social Media is of India's realities. How seriously should we take Social Media ? How many of these individuals on Social Media will actually vote? 

You would recall in a recent speech I had alluded to the need for Electoral Reforms like Online Voting and the option to reject Candidates. We have to ensure our Youth stays engaged in our Democratic process. We have to make our Democratic process accessible to them through a medium, which they use and comprehend the most. Social Media in my opinion, is a tool that can help in this. I can tell you there are real voices, serious voices that want to be heard. For instance, my request for ideas and suggestions on the problems of our Education System elicited serious response. Similarly, solicitation of ideas towards my upcoming speech in Hyderabad has brought forth responses on the state of the economy, jobs, roadmap for Andhra Pradesh and much more. There is real sentiment out there, full of veritable emotions and legitimate aspirations to do something, to make a difference. We have to listen, appreciate and respect that sentiment, which is being expressed through Social Media. Today scores of Indians have mobile phones. Even a simple thought expressed through the mode of a SMS can travel far and wide, in a matter of minutes, through multiple sharing. We must harness all possibilities that are out there in the public domain. 

Elections and campaigns will come and go, however, our mission to make our Democracy, more deliberative, and consequently purposeful should remain uncompromised.  It should be responsive to our Youth, who today constitute a significant part of the population.

 

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There is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment: PM
All necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients: PM
Local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns: PM
PM reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines
Installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be accelerated: PM
Utilize the entire national capacity to ramp up vaccine production: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting to review the status of preparedness to handle the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Various aspects relating to medicines, oxygen, ventilators and vaccination were discussed.

The Prime Minister said that together India had defeated Covid last year & India can do it again, with the same principles but faster speed and coordination.

The PM stressed that there is no substitute to testing, tracking and treatment. Early testing and proper tracking remains key to reduce mortality. He also said that local administrations need to be proactive and sensitive to people’s concerns.

The Prime Minister directed that close coordination with States must be ensured in handling the pandemic. He said that all necessary measures must be taken to ramp up the availability of hospital beds for Covid patients. The Prime Minister also directed that additional supply of beds through temporary hospitals and isolation centres should be ensured.

PM spoke about the need to utilize the full potential of India’s pharmaceutical industry to meet the rising demand of various medicines. He reviewed the status of supply of Remdesivir and other medicines. The Prime Minister was briefed on actions taken to address the issue of availability of Remdesivir. Through the efforts of the Government, capacity and production augmentation for manufacturing of Remdesivir has been ramped up to provide around 74.10 lakh vials/month in May while the normal production output in January-February being just 27-29 lakh vials/month. Supplies have also increased from 67,900 vials on 11th April going up to over 2,06,000 vials on 15th April 2021 which are being particularly focused on states with high caseload and high demand. He took note of the ramped up production capacity, and directed that issues relating to real-time supply chain management to States must be resolved urgently in coordination with the States. The Prime Minister directed that use of Remdesivir and other medicines must be in accordance with approved medical guidelines, and that their misuse and black marketing must be strictly curbed.

On the issue of supply of medical oxygen, the Prime Minister directed that the installation of approved medical oxygen plants should be sped up. 162 PSA Oxygen plants are being installed in 32 States/UTs from PM CARES. The officers informed that 1 lakh cylinders are being procured & they will be supplied to states soon. The officers briefed the PM that they are in constant supply with 12 high burden states in assessing the current and future requirement of medical oxygen. A supply mapping plan for 12 high burden states till 30th April has also been undertaken. The Prime Minister also said that supply of oxygen required for production of medicines and equipment necessary to handle the pandemic should also be ensured.

The Prime Minister also reviewed the status of availability & supply of ventilators. The Prime Minister noted that a real time monitoring system has been created, and directed that concerned State governments should be sensitized to use the system proactively.

On the issue of vaccination, the Prime Minister directed all officials to make efforts to utilize the entire national capacity, in public as well as private sector, to ramp up vaccine production.

He was joined by Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to PM, Union Home Secretary, Union Health Secretary, Pharma Secretary. Dr V K Paul, Niti Aayog was also present.