Maximising youth voting ­­­ By: Parul Purwar

Figure 13: Does it make a difference which party runs the govt. ? Data courtesy NES 2009

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Figure 13: Does it make a difference which party runs the govt. ? Data courtesy NES 2009

4.3 Findings from the survey.

I conducted a survey among the students of various colleges in India. The survey was conducted online. It showed that the students in colleges are highly aware about the political scene in India. Only 1.5 % of the students said that they aren’t at all bothered by the Indian political Scenario.

Figure 14: Interest in political scene

44 % of the students had voter ID cards but out of those only 24 % voted. The main reason from refraining to vote was that they were out of station.

Figure 15 : participation of those with voter ID

Not having a voter ID and being out of station were the two main reasons why people did not vote, in spite of being so politically aware.

  1. Recommendations, Scope and Strategy for Implementation:

Schools and colleges play an important role in every citizen’s life, the ECI has recognised this and hence has been using these to increase awareness among the youth voters. Following suggestions focus on school and colleges.

  1. School Senates

Schools play a major role in shaping a child’s mind. A child retains those principles and values that have been inculcated in him in his school for a huge part of his life. Hence to see that the increase in voter turnout is sustainable, we need to ensure that the youth of tomorrow has a positive attitude towards voting. For this the students in school should be imparted knowledge of leadership, the election procedure and workings of a government.

The best way to do so would be practically. For this I propose a school Senate. It would comprise of the Head Boy and head girl, the house captains and class prefects.

The benefits thmakiat the students would get from the senate are that it would instil leadership qualities in students. The experiences that a student will gain by being in the Senate would help him throughout his/her life.

The senate will be elected by the students. It will consist of students from class 7th onwards. The elections will be conducted in two phases, similar to the general elections and state elections. One for the class prefect and the other for house captains and head boy and girl. The class prefect would be elected by his class only. The house captains and the school heads will be elected by students from class 7th onwards. Each house will elect their captains. Captains should be from 9th class and heads from 11th

The elections will be held as follows.

  1. Notices asking for nomination and nomination dates should be put up in school and class notice boards.

  2. Everyone who contests must file a manifesto and his credentials. He/ she should get it approved by his class teacher and the school principle. This is necessary so that no student takes up senate responsibilities when he isn’t coping up academically.

  3. Once all the nominations have been filed, another notice should be put up regarding the candidates.

  4. Two days should be given to the candidates for campaigning. Online campaigning should be allowed.

  5. After two days a ballot will be held, with the previous year’s candidates acting as election officers.

  6. The votes will be tallied using first past the post system.

What is the work of the senate?

  1. Maintaining the school notice board. If possible maintaining a school website too. Continuous updation of these notice boards should be done.

  2. The senate should work in coordination with school clubs and publicise any achievement that these clubs have made.

  3. The senate will also be looking after the school fest. Each prefect should ensure that his class contributes in some way or the other.

  4. Senate should organise an educational field trip for every class at least once in the school year.

  5. It should work on bettering interaction between the school and its alumnus. It also should see ways in which parents of the students can contribute.

  6. The senate should organise seminar for counselling of tenth and twelfth students. They could invite parents, alumnus or officials from various fields to narrate their experiences and guide the students.

  7. The most important part of the senate would be to review the teacher.

At the end of a school year, students from each class should be given teacher assessments forms. These forms will be a way to put forward their grievances regarding the teachers. The senate should compile the data from these forms. It should also look into teacher attendance which is a major concern in government schools. After looking at both the forms and the attendance, the senate should compile a list of recommendations concerning teachers and send it to the concerned authorities.

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