Prathiba A., the first-year M. Tech student from Alva’s Engineering College, is excited over her responsibility on the polling day on May 5. She is among the 200 engineering and business management student volunteers who will live-stream the proceedings inside the 200-odd polling stations in Mangalore South constituency.
“My earlier visit to a polling booth has been only to cast my vote. Now I am getting an opportunity to know a lot more about elections,” says Ms. Prathiba. Similar is the excitement of Pavan M., a final year computer science student from the Vivekananda Engineering College Puttur. “It will be a great experience,” says Mr. Pavan, who has never entered a polling booth before.
While the students will be using their laptops and webcams, the district administration will be providing the internet connection to upload the videos. These videos will be available on www.ustream.tv
This is for the first time that the proceedings in Mangalore South constituency are being web streamed, said Deputy Commissioner Harsh Gupta. The students will also cover 30 polling stations in seven other Assembly constituencies. The district administration is also tapping the students of National Institute of Technology-Karnataka, Surathkal, for the exercise.
The Election Commission wanted web streaming of polling in five booths but district officers have gone a step ahead. The district administration can now depute micro observers in the booths where web streaming facility is not provided. Students will get honorarium of Rs. 200 each and will be considered as polling personnel. They will exercise their franchise through postal ballots. But ones like Swetha Madiwalar, an M.Tech student, may not be able to cast their votes as they don’t have voter IDs.