Since India’s first election in 1951, the electorate has made significant progress. In 2019, voter turnout reached an all-time high at 67.4%, with a remarkable gender parity. Several factors contributed to this achievement, including the introduction of SVEEP (Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation) by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in 2009. SVEEP, a flagship initiative, focuses on voter education, awareness, and voter literacy. Amid calls to achieve a 75% turnout in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, the ECI has raised concerns about rising voter apathy among urban and young voters. Given that the future of Indian democracy relies on the youth, targeted initiatives, especially for new voters, are crucial. The only such youth-targeted ECI-SVEEP initiative is the Electoral Literacy Club (ELC), aimed at youth in educational institutions and rural communities. Initiated in 2018, ELCs have expanded their reach over time. However, the programme needs universalisation and strengthening to meet its objectives.

This report by Harsha Lal and Gaurishankar S, CPPR’s Youth Leadership Fellows, assesses college-level ELCs in Thiruvananthapuram District, Kerala, evaluating their objectives and creating a best-practices framework for colleges to enhance the effectiveness of ELCs.

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