Monday, 8 March 2010

III-Rahul’s Transformation of the Indian Youth Congress : The Process of Transformation

This is the third in the series of posts about the transformation in the Youth Congress in india. In this post, I blog about the actual process of transformation, and what actually happens on the ground. To go to the first post and follow this series in sequence, please click here.

The process is rolled out at the state level, and the key steps in this process are 1- Membership Drive 2- Member Validation and Consolidation and 3-Conduct Elections .

There is a comprehensive governance organisation that is put in place throughout this process- in Tamil Nadu, for instance, there is an army of 1,600 people working across the state. The people that conduct the process are members from neighbouring states, to remove the risk of the process being influenced by the local leaders- in Tamilnadu, where i saw this process at work, I identified folks from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. It works- Language does not seem to be a barrier (English doesn’t work J)

The organisation is headed by the Pradesh Returning Officers (PRO) who are the CEOs of the process and take all operational on-the-ground decisions– in Tamil Nadu, the two “CEO’s” of this process were Suraj Hegde (from Karnataka) and Usharani (From Andhra Pradesh). Reporting into them are the LokSabha Returning Officers (LROs) who are reported into by the Assembly Returning Officers (AROs) ,supported by Polling Officers(POs).

The Executive Committee- Led by Rahul, there is an 8 member executive committee that heads project Vistaar which includes Rahul Gandhi, Jitendra Singh, Meenakshi Natarajan, Rajiv Sathe (IYC president), Hibi Eden, Sachin Rao, Kanishka Singh and Anand Adkoli (ex Oracle).

Technology changes the game...

There is a comprehensive technology piece that is wrapping the entire process up- from the moment the forms are taken, they are scanned, data entered, photographs scanned, the supporting documents scanned, before the all important barcode is allocated.

During verifications and nominations, all nomination data is verified against the internet available database before anything is approved. The actual election itself is a Paper ballot, but that’s only because the official Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were not allowed to be rented to the IYC by the government of india. Election schedules are put up on the net, by the LROs and the AROs who have full flexibility to make these changes. However, the election results are determined thro a rules engine that determines the results. Finally, all declaration of results is done thro the internet- and it is a fully transparent process.

Contrast that to the relatively opaque and an immensely time intensive process that are the mainstream elections of today.

The entire process takes 3- 4 months from start to finish. The culminating part of the process are the elections which are held in a very tightly coordinated 2 week schedule- this is to ensure that the process cannot be gamed by the power elements.

How would you know whether the process is kicking off in your state? Simple, watch 3 things- see if you want to visit, or better still, if you find Rahul coming into the state and doing socially significant things, you know this process is starting in that state...

The next post is about the emotions and the stories behind the transformation.

No comments: