Governance

Gain in-depth understanding of civic administration, policy implementation and public policy. Find articles on the intricacies of urban governance, learn more about challenges and successes in local government operations, effectiveness of municipal bodies, and how it all affects the lives of citizens. Understand election processes and get critical information on choices and options. Be informed about active citizen engagement with governing authorities, and how residents can influence policy and hold them accountable.

The way the first phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections was conducted in Tamil Nadu, especially in Chennai, has laid bare the lacunae in the system. For residents, who were not able to cast their votes despite having valid Voter ID cards, it seemed nothing short of a sham. Every time before the elections, the electoral rolls are updated by Election Commission of India (ECI) officials. Instead of deputing people who are working full-time within the ECI, the work is outsourced to government employees drawn from schools, colleges or other agencies. These ECI staff, who come from distant locations,…

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As election fever peaks in India, public attention is typically focussed on top leaders and the race for power in high profile urban constituencies. At Citizen Matters, our election coverage has been designed to cut through unnecessary noise and empower readers with whatever they need to make informed electoral decisions. To that end, we encourage reportage on real issues within constituencies and the roles and performance of elected representatives and candidates. Earlier this year, Oorvani Foundation had collaborated with Youth ki Awaaz to host a Civic Journalism Training Programme, where young aspiring citizen journalists attended discussions and workshops on governance,…

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“Just, I mean, I don’t feel like voting. This politics and all. I didn’t even apply, I think I was late,” rattled one of my students when I asked if they had all registered to vote as most of them had turned 18 one or two years ago.  This was pretty much the chorus. They spoke about how it was too late when they tried to register, how it was so difficult (which was promptly rejected by those who had done it), how they were in a different city, how they were not interested in politics and how it was…

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Almost half of Bengaluru's citizens did not vote in the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections. The city recorded a 57.43% voter turnout this year, not much of an improvement from the previous 2019 elections. The low voter turnout has often been ascribed to apathy, but this alone is not a satisfactory explanation. Several factors have been cited for the low voter turnout, from discrepancies in electoral rolls to the scorching heat. Voter roll errors: Deletions, duplications and deceased names There were complaints that hundreds of voter names were either deleted or missing in Chickpet and Akkipet in Bangalore Central.  In a…

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Everyone in Mumbai is eager to know who their MP (Member of Parliament) will be in the next few weeks. And so am I. I'm Anmol Tiwari I'm from Natraj Chawl, Kranti Nagar, Kandivali East Mumbai. Kranti Nagar is located on the periphery of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in Borivali, on the slope of a hill. While in other parts of Mumbai, when one looks out of their window, they see the ocean, highrises, green spaces and more, in Kranti Nagar, I open my windows to see narrow lanes, congested houses, a mix of greenery and garbage.  As…

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With a long career of 25 years in politics, P C Mohan, the incumbent BJP MP from Bangalore Central constituency, is contesting in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections for the fourth time. At an interaction with residents from Bellandur on Sunday, April 21st, the MP candidate answered questions on infrastructure projects for the locality, solutions for traffic management and decongestion of roads, lack of civic planning in Mahadevapura, among other issues. Here are some excerpts from the interaction: Metro is a long-term project that could take 6 years. From a policy perspective, what can we do to use existing modes…

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Even as summer heat sets new records in Mumbai, the city is gearing for elections on May 20 amidst chaotic political developments. As leaders jump the political parties, citizens are focussing on the official manifestos released by major political parties. An election manifesto is a statement put out by a political party or a candidate defining their goals. It reflects the social issues that they promise to tackle should they be elected. As such this document becomes a compass for voters who can decide in which direction they would like to see the country go.  Urban civic groups, having the…

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At Citizen Matters, our election coverage is focused almost entirely on data, long form journalism and in-depth conversations with candidates, not about party politics but their vision and policies for the constituency. Yet the challenge of getting 30 minutes with a Union Minister a few days before the campaign ended was always going to be difficult. We finally managed to get her to give us five minutes in a moving car and here is what she shared with us.  Shobha Karandlaje, the JD(S)-BJP coalition candidate from Bangalore North is one of the better known women candidates in the fray for…

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As the first phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections concluded on April 19th, Tamil Nadu recorded a voter turnout of 69.46 % with the three constituencies in Chennai — Chennai North, Chennai South and Chennai Central — having an overall voter percentage of 55.94% according to the Chief Electoral Officer in Tamil Nadu. Many people voiced their disappointment at the apparent lack of enthusiasm among voters in the city to exercise their franchise. The numbers are lower compared to the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 and 2014, when the voter percentages were 72.47% and 73.74% respectively. Often, after the…

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An election campaign in this gruelling summer has been an exhausting exercise even for the most seasoned politicians. Rajeev Gowda, the Congress Party candidate for Bangalore North constituency, admitted as much. But he says, it also highlights the urgency for the measures to combat climate change and his plans for the constituency, should he be elected.  After more than two decades in politics, the former Rajya Sabha MP is all set to fight it out for a Lok Sabha berth for the first time.           We caught up with the former professor of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) at…

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