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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Devang Dave: ‘Digital Media Has Strengthened Our Democracy’

Roshan Bhondekar interviews Indian IT Expert - Devang Dave, IT Board Member GoM, Founder at The Fearless Indian, Election Management at BJP, Maharashtra

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Divya Dhadd
Divya Dhadd
Journalist

INDIA. Mumbai: The guest for this episode of 360-degrees Live, Devang Dave, is mainly from the IT industry, he is also the founder of The Fearless Indian, a global digital platform. Not only that, but Dave also plays a vital role in Indian politics as the IT board member and is the election manager for BJP Maharashtra. His work majorly involves working closely with political leaders and implementing the right strategies in public interest.

The shift in election management 

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Back in 2008, Dave had his first conversation with one of the officers closely working with the then Chief Minister of Gujarat and now Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. It was the time when India was shifting from 2G to 3G, when internet was reaching out to people.

“We realized that internet has great potential as a tool to reach out to people. We saw that there was a lot more to the election management process that needed to happen, with reference to elections in 2004 or 2009. So we started studying the data, and political perceptions came clear. So based on this data, we started having granular data of per assembly constituency, the voter patterns or addressing the issues of voters, then we became more efficient in reaching our targeted audience and our overall election campaign process,” said Dave.

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New age media – a bridge

Dave said that internet is a technology where every day something changes. We need to be on top of the game every day. We started with Orkut and in a couple of years, it vanished, then came YouTube, which even today continues to flourish. The kind of internet penetration we have today in India is mindblowing, for instance, we have 4G almost everywhere in India, more importantly, it is cheap and accessible.

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Earlier there were only newspapers, TV or radio to rely on, which was one-way communication. Social media and digital media have bridged this gap making it two-way communication; party and the people or leader and the people, hence creating a close connection between the leaders, party and the people. This has strengthened our democracy.

The changing face of engineering

“Earlier India had only specific degrees like BTech or MTech, so engineers would look for corporates or big companies like Infosys or TCS. But now that is not the case, engineers bring an analytical perspective, so this skill can be used in any domain, not just IT or the corporate sector. So today hiring is based on skillset, engineers are not just for IT, we hire them for political analysis and profiling as well. We have good analysts who are engineers, and some who are not engineers. It is about what you are proficient with, the change is for good,” Dave told Transcontinental Times.

Watch the whole interview here

Also Read: Social Media Has Provided Space for Democratization of Journalism, Says Abhijeet Kamble

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