Nitin Pai quoted in the Times of India

Takshashila’s Nitin Pai quoted in the Times of India on the Election Commission’s move to regulate political campaigning on social media, which involves bringing in more transparency around its funding.

Social media campaign code: Experts hail new Election Commission norms

“Nitin Pai of the Bangalore-based think tank The Takshashila Institution is of the opinion that declaring social media spend will not matter much. “It is well established that election expenditure is done through complex channels to work around the EC guidelines. Parties will use the same channels to fund this,” he says.

In an earlier TOI story on digital campaigning by political parties, few parties spoken to were willing to divulge budget details, and most said they had “volunteers” handling their digital wing for free. However, Pai also believes that it is practical to apply the code of conduct wherever it is possible to identify candidates and members of political parties…

“… Pai feels that the exercise can hardly be productive. “The Election Commission’s desire to intervene in this sphere is a good thing, but let’s not get carried away. When you look at the number of voters active on social media, the scale of the problem of proxies is too small,” he says.”