January 4, 2014

My Social App to encourage more Indians to vote in General Elections 2014!

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How to urge more people to vote in General Elections 2014? I have thought of an idea for a special social App for encouraging people to vote. 

Currently people do not go out to vote because:
a) They do not have details of the candidates and are too lazy to find out and hence and also otherwise assume that ‘sab chor hain’(all are thieves) and do not step out to vote.
b) People are confused about the process- how to Apply for voter ID, where to go for voting, how to use EVM, what is NOTA etc. So, they ignore the process altogether.
c) People have to travel long distance to physically go and vote in their constituency.

A mobile phone App on downloading which will allow ‘one person, one vote’ based on unique and primary phone number linked to Aadhaar details of every person eligible to vote will be the most ideal scenario for India. Such a dream scenario will help overcome all problems outlined above.
However till over a billion Indians get their Aadhaar numbers, this will not be possible.
For now, considering present election process, a very doable App is described below:
My Social App for encouraging people to vote will have a default connection to Election Commission (EC) website. It will work in the following way:
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1) People will download #VoteForIndia App on their mobile phones.

2) The App will ask the mobile user to enter full name, DOB and permanent address, after which it will sync with EC website and find out the person’s voting details as registered and given in voter ID card- constituency, gender, DOB etc. From DOB App will calculate age and if person is below 18, it will display a message-“You are not ready to vote in coming election! You must still encourage your parents and all your elders to definitely VOTE!”

3) If details are not found, the App will display-“Seems like you do not have your voter ID registered! Do so ASAP! The process is…[PROCESS]”

4) If details are found, the App will display-“Check your details! If any like your name/gender/DOB etc. are wrong, then you must follow the below steps ASAP to rectify the errors with your voter ID
card….[STEPS]”. So if the mobile user can see that details of name/gender/DOB etc. are wrong, the steps suggested by App can be followed.

5) If the constituency name and voter details are properly displayed, yet GPS location of user does not match the constituency location, the App will display a message like- “You must travel to your constituency to vote! Do schedule your leave from office in advance 'coz YOUR VOTE MATTERS!” As the date draws near, it will remind the user to book tickets to their home constituency. It may contain links to IRCTC, travel booking sites etc. even to assist booking for the journey!

6) It will auto-search details of who was elected from the mobile-user’s home-constituency in previous five years and what work she/he did.

7) It will display: “You expected more development, right? Then go out and vote! Your vote changes your fate and your country’s!”
8) When schedule of elections and other updates are available such as final list of candidates from the constituency, the App will download their names and details and urge the user to vote for the best candidate. It can even rank the candidates based on criteria like education, work done etc. which all will be explained transparently (by assigning score for different education levels- 10th pass=2 points, B.A.=10 points etc.) and urge people to exercise their vote by displaying messages like-“Choose your choice and vote to change your own future!” and “Exercise your vote! It’s your right and duty!” and “Our leaders fought long and hard for this, now it’s your turn to vote for the best!”
9) Help on various aspects of election will be continuously available on the App such as what is NOTA, using EVM, election process itself etc. so that the mobile user can browse at leisure and facility to send SMS containing a particular detail on elections to contacts will also be available.

10)  In this way, my App will encourage the mobile user to vote and it will also have ability to send SMS to the contacts of the user containing encouraging messages to vote and to download the App to keep track of the election.

Assumption: Here I assume that mostly mobile users will be 18 or above.

This App will become a popular download in no time provided it is popularized all across social media like Twitter, Facebook etc. Once it goes viral like BookMyShow App, Karva Chauth App etc. more and more people will download the informative  #VoteForIndia App and be hooked to it for all the updates and details. More people will definitely go out and vote armed with information of the process, regular reminders of the venue/date/time, map to the venue etc.

N.B.:- If anyone (including EC!) uses this idea to make an App as suggested above by me, then I deserve full credit and royalty payments! :D

So come on India! Get ready to vote by inspiration from #VoteForIndia App in General Elections 2014! :)

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  1. Well said & best of luck for the contest

    1. Thanks a lot Vijay! Gr8 that U stopped by to read abt my app and commented too! :) Keep doing so in future too!

  2. This is an amazing App with very valid requirements, Amrita!
    You have analysed the current situation very well and provided apt solution with this App.
    I do hope such an App is developed ASAP & may you get the rightfully-deserved "full credit and royalty payments!" :D
    I feel this is a Winning Entry.
    Best wishes for the contest!

    1. Thnks so much Anita! Yes I deserve credit if any developer develops sch an app by influence frm my post!:) Glad dat U found this a winning entry! Hope judges find so too! :D Best of luck 2 u too!

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks so mch! Glad dat U stopped by to read my post and comment on it! Do keep visitin my blog! :)

  4. Amazing app. I hope this idea is made with due credit to you, of course. All the best.

    1. Thanks a lot Kiran! Delighted dat U read my post and commented too! Plz do be a more frequent visitor to my blog and comment here! :) Wish U all d best too fr contest!

  5. its a very good idea..

    My suggestions:
    1. The EC servers keep over 4 crore records when I last checked, on a simple SQL Query. Even on their own website, the search is really slow. u may want to do an offline batch sync with the EC database and need relevant permissions for the same.

    2. Point no. 5 *could* be re worded as "If you have lived in your current location for more than 6 months, please get a new Voter ID card made for this address, because you should vote where you live. Voter ID card is not permanent address proof. It is your licence to be an active citizen. You can use another document for your permanent address proof.

    3. Parameters for development may vary from person to person, so you may want a overview screen with 4-5 key parameters and allow the user to drill down on the rest. This will also reduce data overload on ur servers.

    4. This information can be used to generate analytics like which leaders are being searched the most, which constituency voters are active. This will help NGOs focus on getting people more involved in the electoral process and will also serve as feedback to the public in general.

    once again, great idea.

    1. Excellent insights!
      1) Yes the correct tech term is 'offline batch sync' and by wat I've mentioned I mean that this app needs full cooperation with EC itself!
      2) U r right that if we live for more than 6 mnths in a place, it's simpler to get a new voter ID made! I nvr thought of this n only thought that person shd travel to own constituency! Thanks fr this suggestn!
      3) Valid suggestn on development front. In the post I've mentioned lowest common denominator types of criteria(education, work accomplished etc.). Certainly more criteria can be added!
      4) I like this point. Analytics on voter behaviour is easy to get from sch an app and will be a boon! Thanks for adding more advantage to my app's uses! :D
      Thanks for your well analysed points on my suggested app. I'll suggest ur name for helping d developer actualise the app! :D Do keep comin back to my blog for readin n putting in more of ur insightful comments...they are very helpful! :)

  6. Hope this year's election will be different...


    1. Yes for sure! Provided social media and mobile apps r used effectively! :P :)

  7. Replies
    1. Thanks so much! Your appreciation encourages me to do better! Do keep comin to my blog and commenting too! :)


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