Maximising youth voting ­­­ By: Parul Purwar



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MAXIMISING YOUTH VOTING

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By: - Parul Purwar

Project ID: 19



Under the Mentoring of

Smt. Sumita Mishra



Disclaimer: This report is an outcome of a student project and the content of this report represents the views of its author. Neither the report nor any of its parts represent the views of  Rakshak Foundation and/or any of its affiliates and officials in any capacity whatsoever. The figures and facts used in the report are only suggestive and cannot be used to initiate any legal proceedings against any person or organization. However, the author shall be extremely grateful to acknowledge any inaccuracies in the report brought to his notice. Please email to hr@rakshakfoundation.org]

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Preface

I am a currently pursuing my B.Tech in Engineering Physics at I.I.T Bombay. I took up this project as it gave me a chance to venture out of my comfort zone and do something that might have an impact. Rakshak foundation aims at promoting awareness and responsible citizenry. With this project I aim to make a difference, however slight in how our country functions.



Acknowledgements

First and foremost I would like to thank my mentor Sumita Mishra Ma’am for mentoring me in this project. She has been extremely patient, accommodating and motivating. Without her continuous guidance and support it would have been a very tough task.

I would like to thank Shri.Umesh Sinha (Chief Electoral Officer of Uttar Pradesh) for taking time out to meet me and answer my questions. I would also like thank the government officials in Kanpur for sharing with me their experiences and insights.

Besides that I would like to acknowledge Dr. K. N. Mishra ( NSS head for Chattrapati Sahu Ji Maharaja University ) , Ms.Akanksha ( Reporter for Hindustan) , Mr.Pulkit Rishi (RJ at Red FM), Ms. Jyoti ( Reporter for Hindustan) Mr. Harpal Singh ( Programmer at the E.C.I) ,Capt. S.C.Tripathi , Mr.Ganesh Tiwari, Mr. Vinod Zutschi ( Deputy Commissioner , ECI ), Akshay Raut (Director General, ECI), Dr. Bhagabanprakash (Senior Advisor, ECI) and Dr. Jagdeep Chhokar ( Adjunct Professor of IIM, Ahmedabad) for their invaluable time.

My heartfelt gratitude to the Rakshak Foundation, for giving me an opportunity to do this project.

Table of contents

List of figures……………………………………….. …………………………3

List of Tables…………………………………………………………………..3

Executive Summary………………………………… ………………………..4


  1. Introduction of project……………………………………………………5

    1. Background Information. ….………………………………………...5

    2. Main Problems, their scope and impact on the society.……………8

    3. Goal and Objectives of the project…………………………………12

  2. Methodology..…...……………………… ……………………..................13

    1. Literature Survey………………………………………………………13

    2. Field Visits………………………………………………………………13

    3. Surveys……………………………………………………………….…13

    4. Meetings and Interviews……………………………………………………13

  3. Current NGO, and Govt. Efforts………………………………………….16

  4. Results and Discussions.……………………………………… ……………23

    1. Findings from the literature………………………………………………23

    2. Finding from the fields and impact on the theoretical focus of the project..32




  1. Recommendations, Scope and Strategy for Implementation.………………38

  2. Suggestions for future work …………………………………………………………… 50

  3. Conclusion ………………………………………………………………………51

  4. References …………………………………………………………………52

Appendix:

A Meetings and Interviews ….……………………………………………………….53

B Fig. and Tables…………………………………………………………………..69

List of figures

Figure 1: Voter turnout (%) in general elections of India. ..................................................5

Figure 2: Voter turnout (%) in India during 2004 and 2009 election ……………………. 6

Figure 3: Turnout in General elections …………..………………………………………..8

Figure 4: Turnout in rural and urban constituencies………………………………….……9

Figure 5: Usage of internet by youth ……………………………………………...20

Figure 6: Number of people who got registered as voters…………………............... 21

Figure 7: Comparison of the voter turnout in India, Netherland, Australia and Belgium …...28

Figure 8: Number of male and female voters ………………………………………..…33

Figure 19: Role of Media …………………………………………………..…35

Figure 10 : How satisfied are you with your govt.………………………………………..36

Figure 11: Does it make a difference which party runs the govt………………………..36

Figure 12: Interest in political scene……………………………………………………..37

Figure 13 : participation of those with voter ID………………………………………37



List of tables

Table 1: Winning Candidates analysis over total votes polled………………….............7

Table 2: willingness to vote after compulsory voting………………………………….24



Table 3: West European countries with compulsory voting………………………........26

Table 4: number of seats won by women……………………………………………………34



Executive Summary:

This project deals with increasing the youth voter turnout in India. A democracy is a form of ruling which is by the people and form them too. Without the participation of the citizens a democracy would fall apart. India is the world’s largest democracy. But on the voter turnout ranking it is rated 141st, with only 28 countries below it. If we compare it with the countries in Asia, India fares no better. The average voter turnout rate in the continent is 74% while that in India is 59.3 % as recorded in 2001 survey. [1]

In India we find that despite adoption of a liberal democratic polity after independence, communities and collective identities have remained powerful and continue to claim recognition. [2] Caste and religion are two factors that people focus on more than the worthiness and credentials of the candidates. The Indian youth is more educated and politically aware than the previous generation. This makes their criteria for electing a candidate drastically different. Youth also form a huge chunk of population. These two facts make it imperative that the youth should vote.

The goal of this project is to make India a voter friendly country with aware voters. It is to design a campaign by looking at various success stories across all the states and also in different countries in the world. Another aspect is to ensure that those who vote are aware enough to choose a candidate who is worthy.

The scope of this project is to get better governance into India. If voters are made aware and they participate in elections there is a good chance that the candidates elected will do justice to their posts. Secondly this project aims to make the politicians more accountable to their constituent voters. The third aim is to improve the projected image of the government in the public eye.

The problems that I am facing are to do with the huge amount of regional disparity in India. Every region has a different way of thinking. Trying to see what factors influence them and by how much is a very difficult task. Another difficulty I have encountered is looking at the ground level implementation of the various schemes. The schemes look really good on paper but at some level their implementations aren’t working well.

Key findings


  1. The problems that have induced such a low voter turnout

  2. What factors when brought into play can reverse the above

  3. The code of conduct prescribed by the E.C.I

  4. What efforts the government are making to increase voter turnout

  5. How other countries are dealing with their low voter turnout.

1. Introduction

1.1 Background Information

. Democracy is for the people and by the people. It is a regime where rule is determined by the people. The rule of people involves voting on various decisions either directly or indirectly through representatives. In India, we have the parliamentary system of government. It follows a federal structure with the country consisting of 28 constituent states. In addition, there are six union territories administered centrally and the National Capital Region of Delhi.



The work of the government is distributed between a central government and a state government in every state. In addition to this, at a city level we have the mayor and the nagar pallika. Every one of these representatives is chosen by the citizens. By exercising the right to vote, a citizen chooses who will govern them for the next 5 years. The importance of voting in a democracy cannot be understated.  The power of voting is the power of change. It is every ­­citizen’s civic duty to vote according to the Indian constitution. In India all adults above the age of 18 can exercise the right to vote

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Figure 3: Voter turnout (%) in general elections of India. Data courtesy Institute for democracy and electoral Assistance

As we can see from the above data the voting trend in India has been far from encouraging. The highest voter turnout ever recorded was 63.75 % in the year 1957. The present turnout is at 58.13 %. [3]The same kind of trend is occurring in the state elections as well. Most states have seen a decrease in their voter turnouts. This has prompted the Election Commission of India to take measures to buoy the turnouts up.

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