Prashnam: The Story and the Science (Part 1)

A Tale of Two Surveys

On October 20, India Today television aired the results of a survey conducted by Lokniti-CSDS on the Bihar elections. It reported NDA ahead with 38% vote share and RJD/INC with 32% vote share.

Prashnam’s Friday Insight #4 on October 2 reported NDA vote share of 38% and RJD/INC vote share of 28%.

Further, in a question of who is the preferred choice for the next Chief Minister of Bihar, in the CSDS-Lokniti survey, 31% chose Nitish Kumar and 27% chose Tejashwi Yadav. Others such as Lalu Yadav, Chirag Paswan, Sushil Modi were also chosen by a small 3-5% of voters each.

Prashnam’s Friday Insight #2 on September 20 had reported about Tejashwi Yadav being as popular a choice for Chief Minister as Nitish Kumar, something that many found it hard to believe then. (In fact, Prashnam was the first to identify Tejashwi’s popularity. Prior to Prashnam, Tejashwi was seen as an also-ran compared to Nitish.)

Prashnam ran a new survey again on the morning of October 21 with 2 questions.

  • 1: Who will you vote for?
  • 2: Who should be the next Chief Minister of Bihar – Nitish Kumar, Tejashwi Yadav or someone else.

Over 2500 voters in Bihar across all assembly constituencies responded. The survey was conducted using Prashnam’s proprietary artificial intelligence powered survey engine.

The results:

  • Who will you vote for? NDA 37%, UPA 31%, LJP 6%, Others/Undecided 25%
  • Who should be next Chief Minister? Tejashwi Yadav 40%, Nitish Kumar 37%, Others 22%

The key takeaway: Lokniti-CSDS Bihar survey was conducted over 7 days and probably cost twenty times more than Prashnam’s feedback engine which was done in an hour and cost much less. But the results were near identical.


On October 22, BJP announced in its manifesto that everyone in Bihar would be given the Covid-19 vaccine free of cost if they come to power. The next morning, Prashnam ran a survey to assess the impact. Prashnam asked two questions to 2708 people in Bihar across all districts and assembly constituencies:

  • Have you heard of BJP’s poll promise on Corona vaccination?
  • Is it appropriate to offer free coronavirus vaccination as a poll promise?

The results: 53% have heard of BJP’s free coronavirus vaccine poll promise. 66% of those that have heard found it appropriate.

The survey, like all done by Prashnam, was completed within an hour.


Spread, Scale, Speed – that’s how Prashnam is transforming surveys in India. Google’ search box opened up new doors to information; Prashnam’s feedback engine is doing the same to understand how people think. At a hundredth of the time to get answers and a tenth of the cost — how is Prashnam doing it? What is the science behind surveys? How can this change decision-making across industries? This is what I will answer.

Tomorrow: Part 2

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.