With low voter turnouts plaguing the student politics of the University of Delhi, the varsity has collaborated with Ola Cabs in an attempt to get more students to participate in elections.
The voter turnout in the Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) election has seen a declining trend in recent years. This is due to a number of factors such as the dissociation of students from party politics and the chaos that ensues on the day of the election. In an effort to combat this, the University has entered into a formal partnership with Ola Cabs for the 12th of September and will provide free “Ola share” cab services for anyone who comes to vote on the day.
Many students claim that they do not turn up to vote for DUSU elections because of the ruckus and traffic on campus. Most second and third-year students conveniently consider it a holiday and make no effort to participate in the decision-making process of the University. Aditya Rawat, a third-year student of Ramjas College, states, “My college is in North Campus whereas I live in Dwarka. Commuting every day for classes is difficult enough as it is, and to do that on a day when the roads right outside the Vishwavidyalaya metro station are filled with pamphlets and big cars is an unnecessary pain that I can easily avoid by skipping college on election day.” Rawat has not voted in his last two years in the varsity. When asked if a free cab service from his home to his college would incentivise him to cast his vote, he said, “Definitely. With the convenience that the cab offers, I’d be a fool not to take advantage of it.”
The University of Delhi, urged on by the leftist parties in DU politics, decided to take this step to make matters easier for students who had legitimate problems in accessing their colleges on the election day. The left-wing parties stated that they lack the money and muscle power of other parties which incentivise students to vote for them, by offering drop-off services from their homes to their colleges. To counterbalance this and to ensure that students who genuinely want to vote are able to do so, the University and Ola have come up with an election day scheme. Students can use the code “DUSU100” to get a free shared ride from their home to their college. The scheme is only valid for those who poll in the morning slot, which is 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The service will be available in select areas across the capital. Students living in NCR will not be able to access the scheme.
In a first, DU authorities have come up with such a collaboration with the primary aim of aiding the student community. The success of this venture can only be evaluated when this year’s turnout is examined.
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Image Credits: Hindustan Times