“The basic idea is linking Voter IDs to Aadhaar UIDs (Aadhaar authenticated online elections). The advantage of this proposal is that even the rural population, who may not have access to fingerprint-scanner-equipped smartphones or good internet connectivity, can exercise their franchise just like the urban population. This is possible because the same smartphone can be shared by an entire village to vote (next voter votes after the previous vote is locked). It includes Aadhaar and BharatNet penetration, which has rolled out to lakhs of villages,” says the B.tech student from Vellore Institute of Technology.
Soham believes that if implemented successfully, it will save the exchequer thousands of crores (cost of elections) and provide many more benefits to the people of our country.
“The main motivation behind the idea was to find a use-case for the BharatNet network which can provide a good return on investment (RoI) to the government so that BharatNet does not become a white elephant. Elections are something that is held all over the country, consume a lot of resources but are also necessary. Hence I wanted to find a way to reduce electoral costs, by taking them online. The reduction in expenditure on elections will then provide the required RoI for deploying BharatNet, thus paving the way for other potential applications of the network (IoT, etc),” he adds.
Since India already has its UID or Aadhaar, half the job is done. “The UIDs need to be linked with the Voter IDs, and a body like the Election Commission will develop and maintain the voting apps. The government will need to market the idea and convince people to download the official voting app and beware of fake versions. It could also make it mandatory for the app to be included on all smartphones sold in India.The Aadhaar data should only be accessible by a Boolean system, which only answers yes or no depending on whether the identity is verified, and should not provide any additional details,” the youngster explains.