Why Google launches portal to track elections in India

Google announced the launch of an elections portal www.google.co.in/elections as a one non-stop destination to provide updates on election campaigns, news and information related to polls across states.

This election portal seeks to assist voters in India to understand the electoral process, get access to all the news related to elections and politics, get detailed information on specific political parties.

Millions of Indian citizens are voting in five state assembly elections over this month to the next, a run-up to the country’s national elections to be held by May 2014.

Tabs have been segregated into parties and states. You can find information on INC, BJP or AAP individually or you can find news and information based on states in which the elections are being held.

Video content is all collated from YouTube from news channels like Zee News, NDTV, Headlines Today, ABP News, CNN IBN and Aaj Tak.

With India crossing 200 million internet users in the country, Google has done a good job in using the medium to encourage people to vote and get informed about the politics in the country.

The Internet plays an important role in influencing the decisions of the evolving eneration of the country. The search giant’s initiative for a comprehensive portal dedicated just to the elections might cause the much needed stir for people to make an informed decision and get out and vote.

In the first phase of the launch, the portal will cover news, information and videos relating to state elections for Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Mizoram. It will include news from leading publications and broadcasters both in English and Hindi. Users will also be able to watch content hosted by YouTube partners for elections and links to Hangouts done by political representatives in the recent past.

In addition to this, the portal will also offer information on how to register for voting along with a section on frequently asked questions around voting and registration.

A post on Google’s official blog for India said, “Our intent is to empower voters with all the information they need at a single destination for upcoming general elections. Over time we will add more functionality to enable users to interact and engage with the candidates, so that they are not simply watching from afar, but participating in, engaging with and shaping the political process in a democratic way.”

With over 200 million Internet users in the country, the Internet audience in India has reached a critical scale and will play an important role in influencing the decisions of a large proportion of the urban Indian population in the upcoming elections. Elections related search queries on Google have shown a considerable increase and the interest in news information related to elections and politics have started to peak. Leading political parties are active on most social media platforms, and users will be able to access all the information sent out by the political parties on platforms like YouTube, Google+ and connect directly with the candidates in their constituency.

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