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Governor launches Voter Facilitation Helpline

Hyderabad: A soft launch of the new version of 1950, a toll free helpline of Election Commission of India, was done by Governor E.S.L Narasimhan as part of the National Voter's Day celebrations at Ravindra Bharati on Friday.

The 1950 infrastructure is scheduled to be operationalised on the 1st of February and it is hoped that it becomes the first point of contact for citizens to interact with the election machinery.

1950 as a toll free helpline for the Election Commission of India is not new to Telangana. The Department of Telecom allocated the number of 1950 to the ECI in 2014 for the purpose of registering complaints on poll related issues and the office of the CEO Telangana has been running a helpline with 1950 ever since.

In the recently conducted Telangana State Legislative Assembly Elections 2018, the 1950 helpline was backed by a 24 x 7, 30 line call center operated out of two locations in Hyderabad. In addition to this, each district had its own voter helpline to handle queries and complaints. In response to the widespread campaign to popularize the 1950 number, over 4.8 lakh calls were received at the State Contact Center (SCC) and over 4 lakh calls were received across the District Contact Centres in the period between 6th September 2018 and 7th December 2018.During this period, the SCC could be accessed by dialing 1950 while each of the DCCs had their own individual numbers.

1950 has now been re-envisioned as a broader based voter facilitation helpline where the SCC and the DCC work in tandem in a systematic manner. The aim is to run an industry standard facilitation center by upgrading the infrastructure and the human capital at the DCCs.

All District Contact Centres have been mapped to the toll free number 1950 and shall work with the the State Contact Centre to become the first point of contact for citizens to respond to Information, Feedback, Suggestions and Complaints. A citizen calling the number shall be automatically directed to the Contact Center being run by the district where she is physically present at the time of making the call. Thus, a call from Adilabad gets automatically directed to the Adilabad DCC. However if a caller from Hyderabad needs to call the Adilabad DCC, she shall dial the Adilabad STD Code followed by 1950 i.e 08732-1950. The State Contact Center shall be specifically reached by dialling 1800-40-1950.

The helpline shall be run on industry standard benchmarks so that no call shall wait for more than 30 seconds. After 30 seconds, a voice prompt system shall be activated to avail the call back facility. In case of no response from a DCC 10 seconds calls shall be auto redirected to SCC and call abandon percentage shall be less than 10%.

Monitoring standards have also been put in place to ensure quality of response both during the call and after the call. Call quality is ensured by features like call recording and call barging. Follow up action is ensured by operators registering all received calls on the National Grievance Services Portal which is monitored by the whole election machinery from the ERO to the ECI. The complaints received on the NGSP are monitored for quality of disposal as well as disposal within specified timelines. The NGSP along with 1950 is being set up as a Unified Grievance Management System.

News Posted: 28 January, 2019


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