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Says MICA prof who co-authored a rigorous study on lndia's political image & its youth

Study focuses on dimensions of political branding with prime focus on young voters

Varsha Jain FindingsPolitical parties need to provide more accountability for work they have undertaken and less propaganda, a research study co-authored by a MICA professor found.

The year-long intense and rigorous study on 'Comprehending the Political Branding and Brand Image of the BJP in India' was undertaken by Dr Varsha Jain, assistant professor MICA, Ganesh BE, FPM scholar MICA, Dr Christopher Pich, lecturer, Nottingham Trent University UK, along with Dr Guja Armannsdottir senior lecturer, Nottingham Trent University.

The study focuses on the dimensions of political branding with prime focus on young voters. Qualitative in nature, the study focused on group discussions and was conducted in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune and Hyderabad with a total of 147 respondents.

"New-age voters need progress report of promises a party and its leaders make before elections. This interaction needs to be from both stakeholders. Voters need responses for their messages from the parties and the leaders. They love to know the developments through multiple channels, but also want personalised notes from the parties and the leaders", the study said.

Dr Varsha Jain said, "The driving force behind this study were three elements: increased participation of young voters in the previous election, predominant use of social media by young voters and the fact that the youth believe they play a key role in politics as voters to develop the nation."

Talking about the challenges, Jain said. 'As this is the first of its kind study in India, we faced numerous challenges like running analyses and drawing conclusions, which is why we had to conduct 17 focused, group discussions across five leading Indian cities."

"Respondents provided diverse and multiple insights which had to be in sync with the objective of the research. We also observed that many respondents were reluctant to share their insights as it was related to political branding, parties and leaders. Lastly we could not get access to many political experts."

The paper has been published as a book chapter by US-based publisher Springer and was presented at the Academy of Marketing Science in Orlando, Florida, last year.

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