New Delhi [India], November 30 (ANI): Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India addressed a virtual seminar on "Story of World's Largest Democracy's Election" on Tuesday and mentioned that the election commission of India (ECI) sets up polling booths within walking distances with the aim of 'No Voter to be Left Behind'.
The election commission of India, the High Commission of India, Pretoria; Consulate General of India, Johannesburg and Electoral Commission of South Africa, participated in the said seminar along with 50 participants from the Indian diaspora, academicians and students from different universities in South Africa, informed election commission of India in a statement.
A short film titled 'Making of Indian Constitution' to commemorate Constitution Day was also screened during the webinar on Tuesday.
As mentioned by the election commission in a statement, Sushil Chandra Chief Election Commissioner of India stated that conducting elections in India is a mammoth task with over 937 million registered electors in the country by now.
"While sharing the experience of conducting elections in six states amidst the COVID pandemic, Chandra mentioned several initiatives adapted to ensure smooth conduct of elections despite challenges posed. He highlighted steps like curtailing the maximum number of voters at a polling station from 1500 to 1000 and extending polling hours by an hour in order to decongest polling spaces; postal ballot facility for 80+ senior citizens, PwDs and COVID affected individuals where ECI literally brought the polling station to their doorstep. Sushil Chandra also gave an insight into the participation of women in Indian elections, which has seen a remarkable increase over the years," the statement read.
CEC also pointed out ECI's efforts at digitization and use of technology, citing examples of Electronic Voting Machines, VVPATs and mobile apps like c-vIGIL app for citizens to report a violation of Model Code of Conduct; the Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System facility for service voters and those posted at our missions abroad, ECI reiterated in the statement.
As mentioned by the election commission, Jaideep Sarkar High Commissioner of India to South Africa stressed upon the Indo- South Africa cooperation over the years and the shared history. V G Mashinini, Chairman, Election Commission of South Africa spoke about the importance of strengthening democracy and exchange of information as also as the pivotal roles played by the Election Commission in both India & South Africa.
Umesh Sinha, Secretary-General ECI made a presentation on the Webinar's theme on the conduct of elections in India. He gave an overview of the different facets of election management to ensure inclusive, participative, and accessible elections. He showcased the targeted interventions to reach out to electors and other stakeholders with a 360-degree communication plan to handle elections of this magnitude, the statement said.
ECI is presently the Chair of the Association of World Election Bodies (AWEB) where EC of South Africa is the Vice-Chair. The Election Commission of India and Electoral Commission of South Africa enjoy warm and friendly relations. Both the institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding in October 2011 for mutual cooperation in the field of Electoral Management and Administration. Under this framework, both the EMBs have exchanged good practices from time to time in different fields of Electoral Management. (ANI)