Election Commission allows students to help monitor poll process

A few students of the Coimbatore Institute of Technology are happy to have appointment orders.

One of the two is from the Election Commission of India appointing them as laptop operators for a day on the day of polling – April 24.

Flashing with pride their appointment orders, the students say that they value them more than anything else.

“I have already appended my curriculum vitae to include the appointment order,” says C.V. Praveen Adhithya, a fourth year mechanical engineering student.

He is also the college’s campus ambassador for the Parliamentary elections.

There are more than 1,000 such students from engineering colleges with the appointment orders.

Their job is to webcast elections using their laptops on the day of polling, provided they had not got the laptops from the State Government.

The laptop operators will also update the district election machinery on the progress of polls.

“Our job involves sending SMSes to the officials – right from the registration of the official phone to declaring preparedness to conduct of the mock poll to the start of the polling process to the smooth conduct of elections,” says K. Anusha, a final year B.E. mechanical engineering student. The operators will also have to report on the percentage of polling every two hours and disruptions in polling, if any.

To enable the students pass on the messages, the ECI has given them programmed codes which they would have to use. The students say soon after they got appointment orders, they waved to their friends.

“While we took pride in getting the orders, many felt envious and a few regretted losing out on the opportunity,” said K. Karthick Chandar, another fourth year mechanical engineering student.

The students said their working for the ECI had created awareness among their friends and neighbours and a sense of responsibility in them.

Though they are overjoyed, the students have one regret

“We will not have our index fingers inked because we will be on duty. And, we are all first time voters.”

But the students would not go without voting as the district election machinery had made arrangements for them to vote through postal ballot.

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