Pune: As there is less awareness and knowledge about elections in the country, the Election Commission of India (ECI) in New Delhi has suggested that schools, colleges and other social institutions should establish an electoral literacy club (ELC) in order to increase literacy about elections among students.
With regard to this, Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) has published a circular on its website notifying its affiliated colleges to implement the measures suggested by the Election Commission.
The letter issued by the Election Commission stated that this initiative is in order to bring in new voters through extra-curricular interventions and to educate the targeted populations about voter registration, entire electoral process and related matters by engaging them through well designed attractive resources in hands-on experience.
The ELCs would be established as per the following pattern: ELC future voters for Std IX to XII (secondary and higher secondary level), ELC new voters in college, university, all other educational institutions including professional and technical educational institutions. Chunav Pathsala to be set up at the polling station level catering to those outside the formal education structures and voter awareness forums will be operated by government departments, non-government organisations, corporate and other institutions.
The National Electoral Literacy Committee (NELC) will be supervising the rollout of the programme at national level. A budget of Rs 20 cr has been sought for the first phase of establishment of two lakh ELCs across the country. Prabhakar Desai, Director of Students Welfare who is also working as a member of the committee to form the ELC, said, “The university has a key role to play, as it provides educated resources for upcoming electoral polls.”
“The government will identify people who have been working in the election for years and rope in professors of political science and representatives of social welfare workers to train the teachers. They will train the students. The colleges will have to submit their progress report on the formation of these clubs which will be updated online on the website,” added Desai.