2014 was the fifth year that the National Awards announced by the Commission in 2011 to encourage excellence, proficiency and innovations in the field of election management, were presented. The purpose of instituting these awards has been to recognise contributions by the election machinery, media and now the Civil Society Organisations. The National Awards have set new benchmarks for efficient conduct of elections in the country. These have helped develop a core resource base among officers in election management and promoted mutual learning and emulation.
BEST ELECTORAL PRACTICES AWARDS 2014
Voter Education and Electoral Participation
Dr. Shahid Iqbal, DEO, Reasi, Jammu & KashmirInitiatives:
SVEEP campaigns ‘Jashn-e-Jamhuriat’ consisting of innovative activities such as Youth Parliament, cultural and sports events, democracy blood donation camps, street plays and shows, vote on wheels- election express etc. over a period of 8 Months involving Officials and non-officials; and 942 women volunteers
Targeted campaigns for participation of women, migrants and nomadic population; 320 Women Voter Facilitation Counters made functional alongwith 38 Voter Facilitation Centres
Collected 1.45 Lakh Pledge Letters
Overall increase of 38% in voter turnout in the district from 43% in 2009 to 81% in 2014 Lok Sabha election
Highest ever women turnout- increased from 34% in 2009 to 79% in 2014 Lok Sabha election, gender gap reduced from 20% to 1%
16% increase in voter registration
EPIC coverage- 96%
Mohd. Suvez Haque, SP, Gadchiroli, MaharashtraInitiatives:
Comprehensive planning of security Management, accommodation of outside forces
Creation of temporary base camps for security, use of choppers for safe induction and de-induction of polling parties, high-tech anti-naxal Ops
Facilitated surrendered Naxals for voting
Awareness creation among the public and specially women
Gadchiroli witnessed the 5th highest voting percentage in Maharashtra; voter turnout increased from 65.91% in 2009 to 69.84% in 2014
Number of Naxal crimes during election period decreased drastically
Local People participated in voting confidently
Ms. Smita Pandey, DEO, Uttar Dinajpur, West BengalInitiatives:
Unique Colour Coding and Unit Concept
APONAR JONNYA (kit with bed roll, bed sheet, mosquito net, and pillow for the Polling Personnel)
Involvement of Self Help Groups for providing food- arrangements at the DCRC as well as Polling Stations
Payment of remuneration to the Polling Personnel through electronic credit system
Smooth conduct and better co-ordination
More motivation for next election and Increased willingness to perform duty
Expenditure Monitoring and Tackling Money Power
Shri C.V. Anand, Commissioner of Police, Cyberabad, Andhra Pradesh Initiatives:
Static Surveillance Teams and flying squads throughout Cyberabad, 12 Inter District Border check posts
Development of informants—some from political parties, repositioning of SSTs/ F-squads every 4 hrs
Check for non-conventional modes/ methods of cash transfers and goods transports
Total cash seizures of Rs 21.97 crores (highest in the country), single largest cash seizure of Rs 8.18 crores
Initiation of 107 Cr. P.C. proceedings against 27 warring groups, charge sheeting immediately of all 341 MCC violation cases and depositing of all 1588 licensed weapons
No re-poll, no grave incident in all 4 elections
Highest ever voter turnout of 62%
Use of Technology
Shri Vikram Kapur, DEO, Chennai, Tamil NaduInitiatives:
Special initiative to track the election expenditure monitoring teams functioning in 3 PCs of Chennai.
48 vehicles for these EEM teams were on field at any point of time and to put them to optimum use ,it was decided to track the vehicle with a vehicle tracking system (GPS system)
Real time monitoring was integrated with the Complaint Cell in the District Election Office
VTS was installed in 48 vehicles of the flying squad ,static and video surveillance teams
Seized 23,508 gms. Of Gold from 3 constituencies in the district
Seized cash of Rs. 1,20,11,800/-
Live tracking of all EEM Vehicles ensured better compliance from EEM teams
Management of Electoral Rolls
Shri Abhishek Prakash, DEO, Bareilly, Uttar PradeshInitiatives:
Several awareness inititives for voter registration
10,000 people participated in march-past for voter awareness
Organized voter quiz for 30 days over All India Radio and FM channels, two prizes per day and a total of 60 prizes were given to the voters for correct answer
Slips, Hand Bills, Stickers and Stamps used as a tool to motivate people for voter registration. Use of stamps by banks, sugar mills, pharmacists, doctors and other vendors paid good results
Increase of 2,75,792 electors during summary revision and continuous updation
out of 30,00,000 oath papers distributed 21,00,000 people took written oath and submitted duly filled and signed oath papers to election office
EPIC - 99.92%, PER (Photo Electoral Roll) - 100%
Innovative Area—inclusion of women, differently abled and senior citizens
Ms. Kinjal Singh, DEO, Sitapur, Uttar PradeshInitiatives:
Training of BLOs to record new voter registration, voting slip distribution, data of senior citizens and disabled voters in the BLO register
Bulava Toli included women, senior citizens, differently abled and aanganwadi workers. In two months period, 8 Matdata Raths were launched and more than one lakh cylinders with written messages went to farthest rural households.
Print media was effectively used to popularise the timing and venue of oath administration in the district.
Mega events organised for motivation of physically challenged through Grand Kavi Sammelan, poster making competition, mashal and bike rallies. More than 50,000 people participated in the event.
9000 differently abled from 3000 polling booths of the district participated in the rally
Efforts to increase women, senior citizens and disabled persons participation also yielded good results
Use of Technology
Shri Anil Kumar, CEO, ChandigarhInitiatives:
Extensive use of SMS facility for management of complete training process, EVMs, day to day information sharing, messages to public regarding election schedule, candidates, Polling Station etc.
Queue length information and Monitoring System - Real time online system in which entries of queue length made directly through SMS
E-Polling monitoring system - Real time online generation of complete voter’s record and statistics using computers at all Polling Stations
Webcasting of 167 sensitive polling stations
Bar code identification in 20 polling stations using bar-coded voters slips and bio-metric identification in one Polling Station
Instant real-time mechanism to compile counting results; data ‘PUSH’ methodology to instantaneously provide registered users with the result at the end of each round through SMS
Rise in voting percentage from 64% in 2009 to 73.84% in 2014 Lok Sabha election
EPIC coverage- 99.92%
Voter Education and Electoral Participation
Dr. Vikrant Pandey, DEO, Valsad, GujaratInitiatives:
Major steps for voter education, enrolment and ethical voting
Repeated monitoring through video conferencing and interaction with the District Collectors
Multiple Voter Facilitation Centers in 231 Matdata Sahayta Kendras (MSKs) and 11,000 plus Common Service Centres (CSCs) across the State
Voter turnout increased to 74.28% during Lok Sabha election 2014
100% EPIC and PER coverage
Shri Amrendra Kumar Tiwary, Director General of Income Tax (Investigation), Madhya Pradesh and ChhattisgarhInitiatives:
Devised three tier structures comprising of Income tax teams in various offices of Investigation Wing in major cities
Workshop to familiarize the officers with the nature of duties and sensitize them with regard to seriousness and sensitivity of the work to be undertaken
District Units covering all districts of remained vigilant 24 x 7 to receive information at any time and were always in the state of preparedness, fully equipped with ‘search kits’.
Efficient dissemination of information: modern tools of communications were used
Created noticeable deterrence in the movement of cash and valuables from different agencies
Seizure of substantial cash; Rs 80 Lacs were apprehended
The directional leadership and devotion to duty by entire team enhanced operational support at all levels
Shri Ashok Terenia, Excise Commissioner, Cuttack, OdishaInitiatives:
Measures to prevent hoarding and bulk sale of liquor during the election process
CCTV installed in 863 major liquor shops for regulation of distribution and sale of liquor in a transparent manner
Excise officials deployed in all border check posts of Odisha to check inflow and outflow of ID liquor
Toll Free Help Line was operational to receive intelligence on sale of illicit liquor and bulk sale of liquor
40,000 bulk litres of illicit liquor seized accounting to Rs. 40 Lakhs appx.
Use of Technology
Ms. Sonal Giri, ADC, Bhatinda, PunjabInitiatives:
Developed a first of its kind android based user friendly mobile application ‘i-Vote’ providing complete election related utility features like searching one’s EPIC details, finding directions to one’s polling booth, information about contesting candidate's affidavits , a comprehensive model code of conduct for ready reference, an easy complaint submission mechanism and live election results.
I-Vote encompasses pre-election purposes such as new voter registration, deletion of name, change of address or other information, BLO information/ appointment, nearest Booth information etc.
During election gives information of candidates, knowing model code of conduct and easy complaint mechanism, e-Voter Slip, map2booth and post voting live election results.
Easy access to election related information
Live counting trends for Nation-wise, state/constituency wise and party wise results
AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE TO STATES
Jammu & Kashmir
A complete online system for managing the Urdu electoral rolls, web-based data entry and centralised auto generation of unique EPIC number and auto detection of logical data errors using ERMS
A special advance contingency plan prepared for shifting polling booths to alternate locations in critical conditions
Focussed SVEEP programme ‘AITMAAD’ targeted at women, youth, elderly, nomadic tribes, differently abled, armed forces and urban population
SMS reminders, SMS based poll day monitoring system including voter ‘Q’ (queue) information system
Real time State website to showcase various activities across the State under SVEEP
565 model polling stations set up
Voter turnout in Lok Sabha election increased by 10.42% over the 2009 Lok Sabah election, women turnout increased by 14.68%
Gender ratio improved to 889 as against Census ratio of 883
Peaceful polls and PER coverage of 4.19% & EPIC coverage of 91%
Introduction of real time polling percentage dashboard for most sought after information for citizens and media and poll day real time management
Web crawling technology for 65 e-papers, 24 blogs, 35 twitter accounts for Paid News and MCC violations, web-casting of all polling stations—3000
Intensified SVEEP programme with focus on developing partnerships, analytical approach in SVEEP action plans, bridging various gaps and strengthening Matdata Sahayat Kendras (MSKs)
Effective complaint redressal system and vulnerability mapping of critical polling stations
Peaceful and incident free polls with a 10.40% increase in voter turnout in Lok Sabha 2014 election as compared to that in 2009
Gender on roll- 902 as compared to Census gender ration of 930; gender gap bridged by 4.07% points
Urban apathy considerably reduced in Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Jabalpur and Ujjain with turnout increase by 14 to 15% points
100% PER and EPIC coverage
Efficient coordination, meticulous planning and systematic execution at all levels
Video Conferences with District Election Machinery every alternate day to ensure coordination, review and compliance
SVEEP activities such as street plays, signature campaigns, rallies, posters, pamphlets, radio jingles, TV ads, demonstration centres, etc. used
Efficient Grievance Redressal mechanism to monitor the complaints, Action Taken Reports sent to the Complainant without fail
Smooth and peaceful conduct of elections in harsh terrain and remote Polling Station locations with lack of infrastructure and connectivity faced
Voter turnout of 83.65% in Lok Sabha election 2014, women turnout of 81.33%
EP ratio- 58.60%
100% EPIC and PER coverage
Smooth and peaceful conduct of elections in naxal affected areas
NATIONAL MEDIA AWARD
National Media Award for outstanding campaign on Voters’ Education and Awareness
Print Media category
Times of India Mumbai for an outstanding and focused campaign with regular news and articles to promote voter awareness and electoral participation during the general election to 16th Lok Sabha 2014.
Electronic Media category
ETV Andhra Pradesh and ETV Telengana regional news channel for an outstanding campaign using innovative programmes to counter urban apathy and enhance electoral participation of people with a special focus on youth during Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections 2014.
CSO Award for outstanding campaign on Voters’ Education and Awareness
National Service Scheme (for activities in Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Gujarat)
NSS organised voter registration camps, rallies, marathons, rangolies, candle marches, Jagrukta Rathas, and competitions like plays, essays, slogan making, debates, songs etc. in Universities, Colleges and at public places. Several campaigns and activities including ‘Srijan’ exhibition, training by video conferencing, TV talks, voter awareness yatras etc. were launched under the umbrella of the SVEEP campaign which reached out to a large population in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Odisha.
National Election Watch (for the campaigns in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Maharashtra and Bihar)
National Election Watch organised ‘Mera Vote Mera Desh’ campaign in the States to promote ethical and informed voting through awareness activities, audio-visual material involving celebrities, panel discussion on TV, collaborations with grassroots organisations and use of social media and android apps reaching out to a huge population.
Volunteer for Better India‘I Vote for a Better India’ campaign was run across many States to create awareness about the importance of voting using street plays, posters, downloadable content, competitions like Vote-athon and Junior Vote-athon and ‘Know your Civic Quotient’ video on social media. The campaign reached out to large masses for voter registration and ethical participation.
Let’s Vote, Andhra Pradesh
The CSO sensitised citizens, especially professionals and educated urban population to enrol and cast their vote. It organised awareness activities and enrolment drives and developed mobile app for enrolment, verification, PS tracking, reporting election malpractices etc. reaching out to a large population in the State.
Proper Urban Electoral (PURE) Roll Management System deployed to create an end-to-end mapping of processes that ensured continuous maintenance of Electoral rolls. The CSO also organised awareness activities and implemented a unique model of 2-3 AVMs (Area Voter Mitras) working with a BLO resulting in considerable increase in enrolment.
Mahatma Gandhi International School, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
The school faculty and ‘future voters’ worked towards spreading voter education through classroom activities, integration of SVEEP in course curriculum and student projects to promote electoral and democracy education. Class Constitution was based on published Constitution of India and set up School Council to initiate self-governance and participation in decision-making. This unique initiative resulted in voter education for youth and collection of sankalp patras (pledge letters) in huge numbers.