With an aim to build an active informed democratic citizenry in the country, Election Commission has launched mobile apps, however, there are a very few takers for these apps. As many as five mobile apps have been launched by the Election Commission of India (ECI) and state election commission has come up with three apps to make people poll savvy and make them vigilant voters.
The apps provide information on all aspects of election management, submitting complaints, finding nearest polling station, searching name in the voters list, list of candidates contesting elections and their details, affidavits, past elections date etc. However, the poor download number is indicative of the fact that a very few voters are taking interest in them the C-vigil app has over 5 lakh downloads across India that is much less a figure if the population is taken into consideration.
Similarly, the voter turnout app launched by the ECI ten days ago has merely 10000 downloads. When Free Press spoke to a few informed youths who keep abreast of latest mobile applications, they expressed their ignorance about the apps launched by EC. The commission initiatives seem to be suffering due to either lack of publicity or lack of voters’ interest.
- The apps of ECI includes Cvigil, voter helpline, voter turnout, Suvidha app and NVSP app. Similarly, state election commission has come up with Sugamya, Queueless and Mat Pratishat apps. ‘Mat pratishat’, is solely for the officials and hardly has anything to do with state residents.
- Anshu Gupta, a social worker, said that public awareness is one thing that the commission should work for. We are not that tech savvy and if not informed about the app and its features, we would not be keen to download it, she added. The commission need to publicise its app so that common people get to know about then and use the tool, said Anshu.
- Bhavna Upadhyay, a research scholar, said perhaps due to lack of publicity, these apps are not being downloaded or the voters are indifferent towards these initiatives of our governments. The commission though has launched these apps for our convenience and knowledge, however people are not that tech savvy to use the tool to make informed choice or report any poll code violation. We have installed games apps, but they simply consume our time, we are even not aware apps that our government or election commission has launched for our awareness, she rued. As a youth, I think we are also equally responsible for ensuring fair polls in our nation as the election commission or the government are, she added.