Election Commission of India’sInternational conference on “Voter Education for inclusive,
informed and ethical participation” commenced today at hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi.
The first day of conference was attended by delegates from Election Management Bodies
of twenty five countries along with participants and research scholars from international
organization likes UNDP, International IDEA, IFES, Malaysia Commonwealth Studies
Centre and Haifa University.
In the inaugural session, Dr. NasimZaidi, Hon’ble Chief Election Commissioner of
India during his key note address stressed upon the significance of every singles
vote in a democracy. Dr. Zaidi stated that the feedback, inputs received and discussed
upon in the course of this Conference would be instrumental in achieving the Election
Commission’s motto “No Voter to be left Behind”.
Shri O. P. Rawat, Election Commissioner of India emphasized on the need of having
stringent mechanism to ensure free, fair, transparent & accountable election.
Shri A. K. Joti, Election Commissioner of India highlighted the application of Information
Communication and Technology for empowering all the stakeholders during the electoral
process to ensure smooth and hassle free election.
Ms. Marina Walter, Deputy Country Director, UNDP underlined the ECI efforts towards
Voter Awareness and Education and expressed that such Conferences would benefit
all Democracies across the world.
Shri Umesh Sinha, Deputy Election Commissioner made a presentation focusing on identification
of issues and challenges posing participation deficit. He underlined the significance
of Voter Education and SVEEP (Systematic Voter Education & Electoral Participation)
for greater qualitative and quantitative participation.
The event commenced with the inauguration of exhibition showcasing the best practices
on Voter Awareness of various EMBs by Hon’ble Chief Election Commissioner of India.
The first technical session was based on the theme ‘Electoral Literacy in formal
education’. This session was chaired by Mr. J. A. D. Bautista, Chairman, Commission
on Elections, Philippines and Mr. Thomas Hicks, Chairman, US Election Assistance
Commission. The session was moderated by Shri Umesh Sinha, Deputy Election Commissioner.
The session had presentation from six countries namely Canada, Georgia, Sri Lanka,
Australia, USA and India focusing on voter education in curricula and extra-curricular.
The post lunch technical session was based on the theme “Inclusive Electoral Literacy
through informal education channel”. The main objective of this session
was to reach out to those outside schools and other marginalized groups i.e. Persons
with Disability (PwDs), women, people working in unorganized labour sector, tribals
etc. The session was chaired by Mr. Ahmed Hassan, Chairperson, IEBC, Kenya and Mr.
P. G. Gamato, Chief Electoral Commissioner, Papua New Guinea. This session was moderated
by Shri Vijay Dev, Deputy Election Commissioner. The session had presentation from
eight countries namely Indonesia, Iraq, Myanmar, Nepal, Namibia, Pakistan, Tunisiaand
India along with International IDEA.
Both these sessions were followed by a quick round of comments Question and Answer
session. The first day of the event concluded with the delegates from EMBs, Chief
Election Commissioner, Election Commissioners and senior officers of the Commission
meeting the Hon’ble President of India at Rashtrapati Bhawan and address by the
Hon’ble President of India to the delegates.