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Updated: September 26, 2013 12:10 IST

Power to the youth

Special Correspondent
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Election Commission is enlisting ‘campus ambassadors’ to involve more eligible college students in electoral rolls. The only stipulation is that they should not be associated with any political party

With a view to include more eligible young college students in electoral rolls, over 1,000 “campus ambassadors” are being nominated across the State.

Pointing out that 1,059 “ambassadors” have been identified till now, Praveen Kumar, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), told reporters at the Secretariat on Wednesday that the idea was to have one such person for each college. He or she would have application forms distributed among eligible persons in his or her institution and, once the forms are filled, the “ambassador” would get the forms collected and forward them to the authorities concerned. The only stipulation was that such a student should not be associated with any political party.

District Collectors in the State have held discussions with principals of colleges in this regard, the CEO said, hoping that more ambassadors would be in place.

Of the State’s population of around 7.4 crore, those in the age group of 18 years to 19 years accounted for 3.6 per cent – around 26.6 lakh. At present, only 2.24 per cent - about 16.7 lakh – had been enrolled. The latest initiative of the poll authorities was to rope in the left-out sections of the youth.

Mr Praveen Kumar added that even now, members of faculty in charge of NSS or NCC were functioning as nodal officers in the colleges for enrolment.

Earlier in the day, he held a meeting with representatives of nine recognised parties and briefed them of the arrangements that had been made for revision of electoral rolls in assembly constituencies.

On October 1 (Tuesday), draft electoral rolls would be published. Applicants or those attaining the age of 18 years on January 1, 2014, could apply for inclusion or correction or change in address or deletion till October 31. On October 2 and 5, gram sabhas or local bodies or residents’ welfare associations would hold meetings for verification of entries in the draft rolls. On October 6, 20 and 27, special campaigns would be organised at the respective polling booths for submission of applications. The updated rolls would be published on January 6, 2014, according to the CEO.

Mr. Praveen Kumar added that as a run up to the summary revision, rationalisation of polling stations was carried out, bringing up the number of stations from 58,761 to 60,418.

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