the donation process tremendously and the chances of lumpen elements collecting money in the name of the party will go away,” said Vijayvithal, adding that the solutions will also be effective in rural areas since a basic mobile phone will serve the purpose. AAP members and volunteers from different cities helped draw up the specifications and put together the solutions after the team in charge of fund-raising outlined its requirement, he said.
While AAP is using technology to bring in transparency and participation of common man in politics, other political parties appear to be largely using it for propaganda, said Vikram Nalagampalli, CEO of Voterite, a social network for voters and candidates. “AAP has built everything ground up with an objective to bring in transparency. We have seen lot of apps being developed by various people. From an innovation perspective, they are good but most are geared just for elections and may not necessarily be useful after the elections are over,” he said, adding that by the next election, politicians will see technology as more than a propaganda medium.
Donations received through AAP's existing channels of fund-raising in the three months since December 12 reached Rs 13.9 crore on Tuesday, according to its website. While 73% of donations came from India, contributions from the US accounted for 10.1% (Rs 1.4 crore) followed by UAE with 4.2% (Rs 58 lakh), and UK and Singapore each with 2.4% (Rs 33 lakh). Maharashtra topped the list of Indian states, with 22.3% of the contributions, followed by Delhi (20.5%), UP (16.8%) and Karnataka ( 10.1%).
Value-added services, including SMS, account for 20% of the revenues of telecom operators and bulk SMSes are typically very cheap, said Romal Shetty, national head for telecom at KPMG. “This is obviously a first of its kind, other than mass SMS-based campaigns or missed-call campaigns,” he said. While these apps may offer reasonably good security and the advantage of traceability, Shetty reckons that a more secure system will probably need to involve a biometric verification.
Women cry as they enter a room to attend a briefing by the Malaysian government regarding the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 at a hotel in Beijing. (Reuters)