Awakening-India
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Awakening-India Awakening-India Presentation Transcript

  • A campaign to awaken the people, let the country rise and VOTE Anupam Jakhar Dhwanit Agarwal Divyansh Shukla Sumit Kumar Vignesh Reddy
  • • Political parties are weakly institutionalized and prefer candidates who are well resourced to independently finance their campaigns. • Candidates who are well resourced might be in a position to directly provide funds to the party for the privilege of running or to subsidize poorer candidates. • Criminal candidates could engage in rent seeking on behalf of political parties and may even help to protect the party’s illegal activities using muscle power and resources of their own. • “Note ke badle vote” - Bribes from political parties to voters, in the form of cash, goods (alcohol, blankets, etc.) , or services, are a regular feature of elections in India. • Slums are vulnerable to these practices because their population density and poverty allows them to be ‘easily mobilized' by bribes. • Voters from a particular demographic or known to support a particular party or candidate are directly threatened by supporters of another party or candidate or by those hired by them. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 No. of MPs No. of crorepati MPs 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 INC BJP BSP SP CPM RJD MPs/MLAs analyzed MPs/MLAs with criminal charges Close to 40% of Lok Sabha candidates belonging to leading political parties face criminal charges such as assault, extortion, rioting, attempt to murder and defamation Why political parties choose candidates with CRIMINAL backgrounds and/or DISPROPORTIONATE ASSETS ?? What political parties do with this acquired POWER and FINANCIAL ASSETS ??
  • Electoral reforms to reduce impact of money and muscle power in politics : Our proposed solutions at a glance We propose a three-fold solution to this problem: Voter Awareness • Smart Voter Campaign (SVC) – Helping people make the right choice • Steps to increase voter turn out • People will be encouraged to choose their candidate based on virtues and/or past work Judicial and Electoral Commission Reforms • Reforms in Chief Election Commissioner selection procedure • Judicial Reforms to scrutinize poll contestants and approve of their candidature Media and Other Reforms • Govt. funds not to be used for party campaigns and advertisements • Restriction on campaigning in 48 hours before elections • Compulsory maintenance of accounts by political parties
  • Smart Voter Campaign (SVC) There are around 6 lakh villages in India and the people living here are highly vulnerable to political power play. If we want to reduce the impact of money and muscle power in politics, we need to reach out to these people. In order to do this, we propose SVC by the Election Commission whose main aim is to help voters choose their candidates wisely. We will build a network of members who will visit these villages and educate the residents on right ways to vote. Villagers will be told to look at long term goals and not be influenced by nefarious political gimmicks such as cash for votes. This will be achieved by addressing public gatherings and organizing street plays . Overview
  • Recruitment • Educated people will be recruited to lead the teams that will visit villages. • Internships will also be offered to college students. • Both online and offline applications will be invited and members will be chosen on the basis of educational qualification and past social work. • Recruitment will be for a period of 30 days and a stipend of Rs.5000 will be given. Orientation • Recruited personnel will report to the District Electoral Office. • They will go through a week long orientation program to train them to address gatherings and effectively convey our message to the masses. • The District Electoral Office will collaborate with NREGA to provide their beneficiaries a job for 30 days on behalf of NREGA. • We will form teams with seven people consisting of two SVC members and five NREGA beneficiaries who will visit the villages. Implementation • The team will be directly managed by the District Electoral Office. • Each team will visit two villages every alternate day. • Each team will be required to make a report on the execution of the campaign and the response of people. • This report will have to be approved by the village panchayat and submitted to respective District Electoral Office. Operational Roadmap of SVC
  • Organizational Structure Hierarchy of SVC Unit All the SVC teams will report to their respective District Electoral Offices which will ensure proper functioning of the campaign at the regional level. They will be supervised by the State Electoral Commission. At the national level, the SVC will be headed by the Election Commission of India. Human Resources Involved • There are about 6 lakh villages in India. Since each team covers an average of 30 villages, we will require 20,000 teams. Thus, we will need 40,000 SVC members and 1,00,000 NREGA workers. • There is an average of 1,000 villages per district. Thus, there will be around 30 - 35 teams operating in each district. This can be efficiently managed by the District Electoral Office. • The addressing of gatherings will be done by SVC members, while the gathering of the villagers will be done by the NREGA workers.
  • Financial Resources Required Funds Required Logistics Cost HR Cost Transportation Cost (Free bus passes will be given) Training Cost (10k/district x 600 districts = 60 lakhs) NREGA Workers (1 lakh workers paid by NREGA) SVC Members salary (40k x 5k = 20 crores) Total cost ~20.60 crores • Currently, we are proposing that the campaign will be conducted in the year of the Lok Sabha elections. • The calculated cost of approximately 20.60 crores will be provided by the Government of India. • In 2009, Rs.1,120 Crores was budgeted for election expenses by the Indian Parliament. • Our costs amount to roughly 2% of the total election budget. Proposed Source of Funding
  • Impact of SVC Impact on Electorate SVC members will conduct the campaign in about 6 lakh villages across India. The campaign will have an impact on about 6 crore people. The voter turnout will increase and voters will become immune to political stunts. It will lead to a larger number of clean candidates winning elections. Skills Imparted It will provide temporary employment to around 40,000 SVC members and 1 lakh NREGA workers. Its 1 week long orientation program and subsequent field work will provide its members with enhanced communication and managerial skills. The people will become socially responsible and aware of the issues plaguing our country.
  • Challenges and Mitigation Challenges • Difficulty in collaborating with Electoral Offices and NREGA. • Sufficient number of people may not be interested in joining our campaign. • The villagers may not be willing to attend the gatherings. • Since SVC is implemented at a very large scale, the possibility of corruption at different levels of implementation of the campaign is high. • Extending SVC to urban areas. Mitigation • In case a problem in collaboration arises, we can appoint an SVC representative at each District Electoral Office. • If SVC falls short of members (even though a stipend of Rs.5000 is quite attractive), we can ask NGOs for human resource aid. • We can provide the villagers with incentives to attend the gatherings. • Once SVC has been successfully implemented in villages, proper plans can be devised to bring urban areas under its ambit.
  • Judicial and EC Reforms • A person accused of serious criminal charges and where the Court is prima facie satisfied about his involvement in the crime and consequently framed charges, should be barred from the electoral arena in greater public interest. However, as a precaution against politically motivated cases, it may be provided that only those cases which were filed prior to six months before an election alone would lead to disqualification as proposed. It is also suggested that persons found guilty by a Commission of Enquiry should also stand disqualified from contesting elections. • The President of India (based on a recommendation from incumbent Government of India) appoints the Chief Election Commissioner. This poses a serious conflict of interest. We propose that the Chief Election Commissioner should be appointed by a bipartisan collegium consisting of the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice, the Law Minister and the Leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. Media and Other Reforms • It has been seen that on the eve of election, the Government embarks on advertisement sprees in the guise of providing information to the public. The expenditure on such advertisements is obviously incurred from the public exchequer. We propose that when any general election is due on the expiration of the term of the House, advertisements of achievements of the governments, either Central or State, in any manner, should be prohibited for a period of six months prior to the date of expiry of the term of the House • We recommend that house to house visits by candidates / supporters should be specifically prohibited 48 hours before elections. House-to-house visit / contact in the last hours provides the opportunity for indulging in malpractices such as trying to bribe voters with cash. • Political parties must be required to publish their accounts annually for information and scrutiny of the general public and all concerned, for which purpose the maintenance of such accounts and their auditing to ensure their accuracy is a pre-requisite. Auditing may be done by any firm of auditors approved by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
  • Impact • The proposed judicial reforms will lead to a significant reduction in the number of criminal candidates contesting in elections. • Compulsory audit of political parties will lead to transparency in the matter of collection of funds by the political parties and also about the manner in which those funds are expended by them. • The amount of public money spent on advertisements will decrease. • The influence of political malpractices on the public will be reduced. Challenges The biggest challenge to the implementation of these reforms is the lack of political will. The political parties, who are responsible for introducing these reforms, are the one who use the political practices that these reforms are designed to counter.
  • Appendix We have used the following sources for information  http://adrindia.org/research-and-reports/election-watch  http://eci.nic.in/  http://www.indian-elections.com/facts-figures.html  http://adrindia.org/  http://arc.gov.in/4threport.pdf  http://indiabudget.nic.in/ub2009-10/eb/sbe61.pdf  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_general_election,_2009  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lok_Sabha#Election  http://censusindia.gov.in/