Now, apply for voter card at internet cafe

EC identifying centres where voters can register

The Election Commission in Uttar Pradesh has begun identifying centres in urban areas, such as internet cafes, from where voters can register for an electoral card for a small fee of Rs 10.

After the formalities are completed, the voter will either be personally delivered the EPIC by a booth-level officer (BLO) or through post.

The move is aimed at making the process of issuing of Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) more transparent, easy and accessible to the people.

"The objective of the plan is to give an 'urban touch' to the process. We wish to see a centre in every ward in urban areas," said UP Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha. The scheme is part of a larger plan to take the process down to the ward level in urban areas and to the nyay panchayat level in rural areas. Currently, the system works at the tehsil level, where Electoral Registration Officers are stationed.

"In the first phase, the process will be taken to the block level and gradually, implemented at the ward and nyay panchayat level in subsequent phases," Sinha said. The internet cafes will be selected on the basis of infrastructure, number of working computers and other facilities.

In rural areas, the commission seems to be working with equal zest. "For rural areas, we are in talks with companies which extend e-governance schemes under the Government of India's National e-Governance Plan, through their Common Service Centres (CSCs)," Sinha said.

These are Sahaj e-Village, CMS Computers and Vayam Technologies, and together, they have more than 11,000 CSCs in the state. As per the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), nearly 7,000 more CSCs are to be set up in the state to meet the target of 18,745 centres. The service will also be made available in Lokvani kiosks, another e-governance project which works on public private partnership basis.

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