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About The Digital Time Vouchers

Focus: GS II: Polity and Governance

Why in News?

Recently, the Election Commission of India has decided to issue digital time vouchers to National & State political parties for campaigning on Doordarshan & All India Radio during elections.

About Digital Time Vouchers:

  • The Election Commission of India has made amendments to the existing scheme for the use of Government-owned electronic media by political parties.
  • A provision for issuing digital time vouchers through an Information Technology (IT) platform has been introduced.
  • Each party will receive time vouchers of different denominations, such as 5 minutes and 10 minutes, equivalent to the total allotted time for telecasts on Doordarshan and broadcasts on AIR.
  • Parties can choose representatives to utilize the time vouchers, but no individual representative can use more than 20 minutes of the total allotted time on Doordarshan or AIR.


  • The scheme was initially notified on January 16, 1998, and holds a statutory basis under Section 39A of the Representation of People Act, 1951.
  • It aims to ensure fair access to government-owned electronic media for election campaigning.
  • Each National Party and Recognized State Party is allocated equitable base time on DD & AIR.
  • Additional time is allotted based on the party’s performance in the last assembly elections or general elections to Lok Sabha.
  • The specific date and time for telecasts/broadcasts are determined through a lottery process conducted by the Prasar Bharati Corporation in consultation with the Election Commission and political party representatives.

December 2023