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55% Bihar voters don’t want Sushant Singh Rajput death to be poll issue, AI-driven survey says

The survey, conducted earlier this week by Mumbai-based AI start-up Prashnam, also stated that 80% of registered voters in Bihar know about Rajput and his death.

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New Delhi: About 55 per cent of the people living in Bihar feel the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput should not be an election issue, according to a survey done by a Mumbai-based artificial intelligence (AI) technology start-up.

It also said 80 per cent of registered voters in Bihar know about Rajput and his alleged death by suicide.

The survey by Prashnam, a start-up that says it aims to make opinion-gathering “more scientific, easy, fast, and affordable”, was conducted on 7 September.

The respondents were all registered voters and they were asked two questions — ‘Have you heard of Sushant Singh Rajput?’ and ‘Is Sushant Singh Rajput’s death an election issue?’   

The exercise was conducted over around three hours’ time, and as many as 3,208 registered voters were surveyed — 58 per cent of the respondents male and 42 per cent female. The people surveyed were spread across 239 assembly constituencies in the state (out of the total 243) and were chosen using a scientific stratified random sampling method.

The opinions were gathered using interactive voice response (IVR) technology. The start-up said the results were verifiable by anyone through a random sample verification method.

Also read: Sushant Singh Rajput and the burden of being a ‘Shravan Kumar’ in toxic Bihari families

Method of survey 

Speaking to ThePrint, Prashnam founder and internet entrepreneur Rajesh Jain explained that any survey irrespective of the population could be representative in nature if it included participants across demographics and highlighted different voices such as people from urban and rural areas, men and women, etc.

And if a survey had such diverse voices then roughly 1,000 people being surveyed was enough for it to be representative of the population, he added.

“Our basic idea is that we want to transform surveys. What Google did to information, we want to do to opinions,” Jain said. 

Explaining how the surveys are conducted, Jain said there is an opt-in panel, IVR system, which does the outbound call. They are telephonic surveys and randomised samples. And Prashnam has all the details of the people being surveyed, he added.

“Our main objective is that we want to democratise surveys. Usually comprehensive surveys are very time-consuming and expensive. On our website and soon to be launched app, we will allow people to conduct their own respective surveys by paying a small fee. They can choose their own geographical area. Our sampling cuts through demographics and can be conducted district-wise, state-wise and even pan-India,” explained Jain.

The survey being representative in nature is taken care of by the back-end. And the results of the survey can further be verified by picking 10 numbers randomly and can be cross-checked to verify if it was what people said, Jain added.  

“We hope this enables people to make decisions based on what people are thinking,” he said. 

App launch likely next week

With this new model of surveying, Jain said that he hoped that the decision-making process improves and becomes data driven.

“Currently a lot of decision making takes place in a vacuum,” he said.

Jain told ThePrint Prashnam would launch its app next week.

Also read: Not Sushant Singh Rajput, not Rhea Chakraborty. It’s the economy, stupid


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