State orders colleges to establish electoral literacy clubs | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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State orders colleges to establish electoral literacy clubs

Jan 26, 2024 08:08 AM IST

The state higher and technical education department in Mumbai has directed colleges to establish Electoral Literacy Clubs (ELCs) to promote civic participation among youth. The clubs will be led by teachers and student members, and will conduct awareness activities online. Colleges are also instructed to enroll eligible students in the electoral rolls and establish a framework for rewarding student participation in electoral education activities.

Mumbai: In a move to enhance civic participation among the youth, the state higher and technical education department has issued a circular dated January 24, directing all colleges to establish Electoral Literacy Clubs (ELCs). Aligned with the Systematic Voter Education and Electoral Participation program of the Election Commission, this initiative aims to promote awareness and active engagement among college students.

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As per the directive, each university is tasked with ensuring the formation of an ELC in each of its affiliated colleges. The clubs, designed to foster awareness and active participation, will be led by a designated teacher serving as the nodal officer, alongside student members. Given the ongoing pandemic, the circular emphasises that these awareness activities will be conducted online, utilising existing social media groups dedicated to academic pursuits.

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To facilitate communication and coordination, colleges are mandated to submit names and contact details of student heads and nodal officers to the election commission. The overarching goal is to maximise student participation in activities organised by the Election Commission for young voters. These Election Literacy Clubs, guided by teachers, will spearhead various awareness initiatives, including essay writing, elocution, debates, cartoon or satire creation, plays, songwriting, and quiz competitions.

Students’ participation in Continuous Electoral and Democracy Education (CEDE) activities will be rewarded with credits. To facilitate this credit system, the circular instructs universities to establish an appropriate framework.

Moreover, using the database of the Unified District Information System for Education (UDISE) and the All India Survey for Higher Education (AISHE), colleges are directed to enroll students turning 17 on January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 in the annual electoral rolls. The circular also mandates the creation of an institutional framework for online voter registration applications to issue voter ID cards for students reaching 18 years of age.

In 2021, the state government issued a circular for setting up ELCs, but the decision was not implemented in universities and colleges due to the pandemic. The fresh circular for ELCs has emphasised that awareness activities will be conducted physically in colleges as well as online, utilising existing social media groups dedicated to academics.

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