Linking Students' FB, Insta & Twitter With HRD Ministry's Social Accounts Is Not Mandatory, Govt Clarifies
The Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India issued a letter on July 3, 2019, instructing all the Higher Educational Institutions(HIEs) to appoint a faculty or non-faculty member of the institution as a Social Media Champion (SMC) of their respective institution. The SMCs were instructed to connect the social media accounts of all the students of their institute with the social media handles of other HEIs and the MHRD.
The decision of MHRD raised questions regarding the privacy of students and their online presence. People were sceptical that the move aims at monitoring and policing the content that the students are posting on their social media accounts.
Following the backlash, MHRD came forward to clarify that it is not compulsory for the students to link their social accounts. MHRD clarified this in conversation with The Quint. The Ministry cleared that the sole aim behind this step is to promote good practices and encourage students to perform better. When asked by The Quint, what the government would do if students do not link their accounts, ministry replied that it is not compulsory for students to link their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, they need not share any information if they don’t feel like.
“This is only for sharing the good news. Anyone who understands how social media works would know that sharing of Twitter handles would not enable accessing the accounts. This is elementary knowledge.” MHRD replied to The Quint on the question of mass surveillance.
All the HEIs are supposed to appoint their SMCs before 31st of July and send the required details to MHRD before the deadline. The required details to be submitted are- name, designation, Whatsapp number, email address and Twitter account username.