The government has launched a new helpline for entrepreneurs and enterprises on micro-blogging site Twitter on April 21. Called the Twitter Seva, the helpline is a point of direct contact between entrepreneurs seeking funding, support or assistance of any kind and the government.
The service was launched on 21 April by Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry.
Top officials of the Ministry along with Sitharaman personally go through all tweets on a daily basis. Queries are to be routed to relevant authorities for solutions. A team of officials from the Ministry are to try to connect different stakeholders like venture capitalists and incubation centers to provide support to struggling entrepreneurs. They are also to look at other hurdles obstructing the growth of startups and enterprises in the country. They are to address several other irritants also such as tardy government clearances for projects, red tape, bureaucratic delays and insufficient infrastructure. The Ministry hopes that the development would create a favorable climate for entrepreneurs and enterprises so that more and more young people join the sector.
“Through this program grievances will be addressed actively. The Government obviously thinks social media is a great tool to bridge the divide between the stated objective and the current state of entrepreneurship in the country. In a way it makes sense as most startups, especially the tech ones, are online. Social micro-blogging site Twitter has also been roped in to provide technical support to the initiative,” said a source close to the Ministry.
“Through Twitter, a full blown software is intended to be developed which will automate the whole process, working out a mechanism where grievances are automatically routed in real time to the concerned person, who works on it and feeds it back to the person. As it matures the service could also become a platform for people to present their ideas to the government which can choose to take them forward,” said Shekhar Gupta, a software professional from New Delhi.
Bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and the Government
Aimed at giving greater push to the recent favorite policies of the Government such as “Make in India,” “Start up India,” and “Stand up India,” the helpline is another step to reduce the gap between entrepreneurs and the Government. Launched in 2014, the Make in India initiative is targeted at making the country a global manufacturing hub. Start Up India program was launched in 2015 and is aimed at the youth who are buzzing with great ideas but have no support. On the other hand, the Stand up India initiative—launched in 2016—seeks to support and develop entrepreneurship among Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and members of underprivileged classes. The aim is to encourage the youth to come forward with innovative projects that can be supported and can fetch a price in the market.