For a bunch of college students and professionals, the next three weeks will be an eye-opener into the Indian democratic system.
As part of an internship programme, these 70-odd youth will get a chance to undertake research and analysis of election-related data. The three-week long ‘Political Action Internship’, to be mentored by Rajeev Gowda of the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B), commenced here on Saturday.
This is the second internship by Prof. Gowda, who had organised a similar programme for youngsters during the State Assembly elections in May 2013.
The interns will participate in localised campaigns such as roadshows and door-to-door campaigns, cover rallies of political leaders, conduct exit polls, and take part in media events and social media activities.
“The internship provides a platform for people to interact with political parties and candidates. Empowering the public is the ultimate objective,” Prof. Gowda said. “Had it not been for examination season, the participation would have increased by four-fold.”
He said the interns might work as volunteers for Congress candidate from Bangalore South Nandan Nilekeni and help Congress candidate from Bangalore North C. Narayanaswamy in social media activities.
Among the participants, a large number are students, especially from social sciences background.
A few professionals have also registered and will be taking part in activities during weekends and holidays.
Yashaswin Sripuram (25), has travelled from Hyderabad to be a part of the internship for the second time. In 2013, he was an intern, and is now part of the organising team. “I want to learn from this and start a similar citizen’s initiative in Hyderabad,” he added.
Ramprasad Alva, an organiser, said the response for the initiative had been quite good and the numbers have doubled over the last internship.
“People are interested in such initiatives and we are expecting the numbers to go up after the examination season is over,” he remarked.