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.