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  1. Estimated Voter Turnout of Phase-2 of Lok Sabha Elections

    The estimated turnout Parliamentary Constituency wise data for the second phase of elections of Lok Sabha.
    The real-time data can be seen from the Mobile App > Voter turnout App.
    (Final Voter turnout is awaited as polling parties are returning)

    617 downloads

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  2. Polled EVMs are absolutely safe in Strongrooms

    No. ECI/PN/56/2019                        Dated: 21st May, 2019
                                                          PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Polled EVMs are absolutely safe in Strongrooms
     Certain complaints of alleged movement of EVMs, purportedly to replace the polled EVMs in the strongrooms, have been doing the rounds in sections of media. Election Commission of India would like to emphatically and unambiguously clarify that all such reports and allegations are absolutely false, and factually incorrect. The visuals seen viral on media do not pertain to any EVMs used during the polls.
    After the close of polls, all polled EVMs and VVPATs are brought under security cover to the designated strongrooms, which is sealed with double locks, in the presence of the candidates and in the presence of Observers of the Election Commission. The entire process of storage and sealing of the strongroom is covered under videography. Continuous CCTV coverage is done till completion of counting. Each strongroom is guarded with round-the-clock security by Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). Further, the candidates or their designated agents remain present at the strongroom for 24X7 vigil at all times.
    On the counting day, the strongrooms are opened in the presence of the candidates/agents and Observer under videography. Before the counting of EVMs commences, the counting agents are shown the address tags, seals and serial number of the EVMs to satisfy themselves to the genuineness and authenticity of the machinesused in the actual polls.
    The provisions and protocols have been explained to the political parties on multiple occasions including in several of the 93 meetings held with them at the Commission since announcement of elections. All Chief Electoral Officers and District Election Officers have again been advised to brief the candidates on the elaborate counting arrangements.
    As can be appreciated, the detailed administrative protocols, security framework and procedural guidelines mandated by the Commission completely foreclose and pre-empt the possibility of any mischief or manipulation in the polled EVMs and VVPATs stored in the designated strongrooms under the 24X7 watch of the CAPF as well as the candidates. 
    The aspersions in clips being used in media merely pertain to the storage or movement of Reserve unused EVMs. However any case of lapse even in handling of Reserve EVMs is thoroughly investigated and disciplinary action taken against the officers responsible. An EVM Control Room no. 011- 23052123 will also be functioning at Nirvachan Sadan for handling any EVM related complaints till the completion of counting. This will become operative from 11 am on 22.5.2019.

    1,021 downloads

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  3. Schedule for bye-elections to fill casual vacancies from 89 - Agra and 23-Darjeeling Assembly Constituencies in the State Legislative Assemblies of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal respectively

    ELECTION COMMISSION OF INDIA
                        Nirvachan Sadan, Ashoka Road, New Delhi-110001
    No. ECI/PN /50/2019                                                                   Dated:  19th April, 2019
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject :                 Schedule for bye-elections to fill casual vacancies from 89 - Agra and 23-Darjeeling Assembly Constituencies in the State Legislative Assemblies of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal respectively – Regarding.                 
                There are two clear vacancies from 89–Agra and 23–Darjeeling Assembly Constituencies in the State Legislative Assemblies of Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, respectively, which needs to be filled up. 
                After taking into consideration various factors like, festivals, electoral rolls, etc., the Commission has decided to hold the bye-election to fill this vacancy as per the programme mentioned as under: -
    Sl No.
    Poll Events
    Schedule
    1
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    22.04.2019 (Monday)
    2
    Last date of making Nominations
    29.04.2019 (Monday)
    3
    Date of Scrutiny of Nominations
    30.04.2019 (Tuesday)
    4
    Last date for withdrawal of Candidatures
    02.05.2019 (Thursday)
    5
    Date of Poll
    19.05.2019 (Sunday)
    6
    Counting of Votes
    23.05.2019 (Thursday)
    7
    Date before which election shall  be completed
    27.05.2019 (Monday)
     
    ELECTORAL ROLL
                The Electoral Rolls for the aforesaid Assembly Constituency w.r.t. 01.01.2019 as the qualifying date has been finally published.
     
    ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES (EVMs) and VVPATs
                            The Commission has decided to use EVMs and VVPATs in the bye-election in all the polling stations. Adequate numbers of EVMs and VVPATs have been made available and all steps have been taken to ensure that the polls are conducted smoothly with the help of these machines.
    IDENTIFICATION OF VOTERS
                            In consonance with the past practice, the Commission has decided that the voter’s identification shall be mandatory in the aforementioned bye- election at the time of poll. Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) shall be the main document of identification of a voter. The order issued by the Commission in this regard for the General Election to the House of People and State Legislative Assembly, 2019 shall apply for identification of voters at the time of poll in the said bye-election.
    MODEL CODE OF CONDUCT
                            The Model Code of Conduct has already come into force with announcement of General Election to Lok Sabha, 2019 on 10th March, 2019 in all States/UTs. The Model Code of Conduct shall be applicable to all candidates, political parties and the State Government concerned. The Model Code of Conduct shall also be applicable to the Union Government for the district of the State concerned.

    176 downloads

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  4. Control room at ECI

    No. ECI/PN/57/2019                                                           Dated: 21st May, 2019
    Press Note
     
    Control room at ECI
    A 24 hour EVM Control Room has been made functional at Nirvachan Sadan to monitor complaints relating to polled EVMs. The complaints related to storage issues at strongrooms, security of strongrooms,  permissions to candidates to post their agents at strongrooms, cctv monitoring, movement of any EVMs, and any complaints during counting related to EVMs can be informed at control room number is 011-23052123 (with 5 hunting lines)
     

    818 downloads

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  5. Reconciled Consolidated Voter Turnout data of Lok sabha 2019

    The document contains
    Reconciled Consolidated Voter Turnout data of Lok Sabha 2019
    (Provisional phase wise polling day voter turnout data has been replaced and data reconciled with official documents as per prescribed procedure is posted)

    38,805 downloads

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  6. Schedule for bye-election to fill Casual vacancies in the State Legislative Assembly of West Bengal-reg.

    Schedule for bye-election to fill Casual vacancies in the State Legislative Assembly of West Bengal-reg.
     

    714 downloads

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  7. General Election to the House of the People – 2019 Real-Time Dissemination of Counting Day Trends and Results

    No. ECI/PN/58/2019                                                           Dated: 22nd May, 2019
    Press Note
     
    General Election to the House of the People – 2019
    Real-Time Dissemination of Counting Day Trends and Results
     
    The Counting of Votes for General Election to the House of the People – 2019 shall be held on 23rd May, 2019.  In this regard, the Commission has come up with a new IT based initiative, which will enable the system in providing real-time trends and results of the vote counting across the States/UTs.  The counting trends and results will be available on the ECI Website at the URL https://results.eci.gov.in  as well as on the Voter Helpline App, both iOS and Android Mobile Apps.  The dissemination will start functioning from 8.00 a.m. on the Counting Day and would be continuously updated.
    The Voter Helpline App can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or Apple Play Store.  For the first time, the citizens can use a smart phone to know the results.  They can use the available filter to find out the winning/leading or trailing candidate details, along with the Constituency-wise or State-wise results from the Voter Helpline App.  The citizens can bookmark their favourite candidate and watch the real-time results, as per their convenience on the Voter Helpline App or make a wish list to track the real-time status.
    The local display of the trends and results by the CEOs/ROs/DEOs will also be done through the Digital Display Panels provided by Election Commission of India.

    629 downloads

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  8. VVPAT Counting Sequence to remain as per Supreme Court Approved guidelines: ECI

    VVPAT Counting Sequence to remain as per Supreme Court Approved guidelines: ECI

    1,332 downloads

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  9. General Election to Lok Sabha 2019 and State Legislative Assemblies 2019 - Allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to Recognized National/State Political Parties -regarding.

    General Election to Lok Sabha 2019 and State Legislative Assemblies 2019 - Allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to Recognized National/State Political Parties -regarding.

    2,336 downloads

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  10. General election to 17th Lok Sabha, 2019 and State Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim 2019 - Media Coverage during the period referred to in Section 126 of RP Act, 1951.

    No. ECI/PN/ 36/2019            Date:   23rd March, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub: General election to 17th Lok Sabha, 2019 and State Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim 2019 - Media Coverage during the period referred to in Section 126 of RP Act, 1951.
    The Schedule for holding general election to the 17th Lok Sabha 2019 and Legislative Assemblies of Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim 2019 has been announced on 10th March, 2019.  Poll is scheduled to be held in multiple phases. Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, prohibits displaying any election matter by means, inter alia, of television or similar apparatus, during the period of 48 hours before the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a constituency. The relevant portions of the said Section 126 are re-produced below:
    (126. Prohibition of public meeting during period of forty-eight hours ending with hour fixed for conclusion ofpoll-
    (1) No person shall-
    (a).....................
    (b) Display to the public any election matter by means of cinematograph, television or other similar apparatus;
    (c)........................
    In any polling area during the period of forty-eight hours ending with the hour fixed for the conclusion of the poll for any election in the polling area.
    (2) Any person who contravenes the provisions of sub-section (1) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
    (3) In this Section, the expression “election mater” means any.matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election)
    2. During elections, there are sometimes allegations of violation of the provisions of the above Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 by TV channels in the telecast of their panel discussions/debates and other news and current affairs programmes. The Commission has clarified in the past that the said Section 126 prohibits displaying any election matter by means, inter alia, of television or similar apparatus, during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll in a constituency. "Election matter" has been defined in that Section as any matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election. Violation of the aforesaid provisions of Section 126 is punishable with imprisonment upto a period of two years, or with fine or both.
    3. The Commission once again reiterates that the TV/Radio channels and cable networks/internet website/social media platforms should ensure that the contents of the programmes telecast/broadcast/ displayed by them during the period of 48 hours referred to in Section 126 do not contain any material, including views/appeals by panelists/participants that may be construed as promoting/ prejudicing the prospect of any particular party or candidate(s) or influencing/ affecting the result of the election. This shall, among other things include display of any opinion poll and of standard debates, analysis, visuals and sound-bytes.
    4. In this connection, attention is also invited to Section 126A of the R.P. Act 1951, which prohibits conduct of Exit poll and dissemination of its results during the period mentioned therein, i.e. the hour fixed for commencement of poll in the first phase and half an hour after the time fixed for close of poll for the last phase in all the States.
    5. During the period not covered by Section 126, concerned TV/Radio/Cable/FM channels/internet websites/Social Media platforms are free to approach the state/ district/ local authorities for necessary permission for conducting any broadcast/Telecast related events (other than exit polls) which must also conform to the provisions of the model code of conduct, the programme code laid down by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting under the Cable Network  (Regulation)  Act  with  regard to decency,  maintenance  of communal  harmony,  etc.  All Internet websites and Social Media platforms must also comply with the provisions of The Information      Technology      Act,      2000     and      ECI     guidelines No-491/SM/2013/Communication, dt 25thOctober,2013, for all political content on their platform. As regards political advertisement, the same needs pre-certification by the Committees set up at State/District level as per the Commission's order  No. 509/75/2004/JS-I, dt 15th April,2004.
    6. Attention of all print media is also drawn to the following guidelines issued    by Press Council of India to follow for observance during the election:
    i. It will be the duty of the Press to give objective reports about elections and the candidates.  The newspapers are not expected to indulge in unhealthy election campaigns, exaggerated reports about any candidate/party or incident during the elections.  In practice, two or three closely contesting candidates attract all the media attention. While reporting on the actual campaign, a newspaper may not leave out any important point raised by a candidate and make an attack on his or her opponent. ii. Election campaign along communal or caste lines is banned under the election rules. Hence, the Press should eschew reports, which tend to promote feelings of enmity or hatred between people on the ground of religion, race, caste, community orlanguage. iii. The Press should refrain from publishing false or critical statements in regard to the personal character and conduct of any candidate or in relation to the candidature or withdrawal of any candidate or his candidature, to prejudice the prospects of that candidate in the elections. The Press shall not publish unverified allegations against any candidate/party. iv. The Press shall not accept any kind of inducement, financial or otherwise, to project a candidate/party. It shall not accept hospitality or other facilities offered to them by or on behalf of any candidate/party.
    v. The Press is not expected to indulge in canvassing of a particular candidate/party. If it does, it shall allow the right of reply to the other candidate/party.
    vi. The Press shall not accept/publish any advertisement at the cost of public exchequer regarding achievements of a party/ governmentin power.
    vii. The Press shall observe all the directions/ orders/instructions of the Election Commission/Returning Officers or Chief Electoral Officer issued from time to time.
     
    7. Attention of the electronic media is invited to the "Guidelines for Election Broadcasts" issued by NBSA dt 3rd March, 2014.
    i. News broadcasters should endeavour to inform the public in an objective manner, about relevant electoral matters, political parties, candidates, campaign issues and voting processes as per rules and regulations laid down under The Representation of the People Act 1951 and by the Election Commission of India. ii. News channels shall disclose any political affiliations, either towards a party or candidate. Unless they publicly endorse or support a particular party or candidate, news broadcasters have a duty to be balanced and impartial, especially in their election reporting.
    iii. News broadcasters must endeavour to avoid all forms of rumor, baseless speculation and disinformation, particularly when these concern specific political parties or candidates. Any candidate/political party, which has been defamed or is a victim of misrepresentation, misinformation or other similar injury by broadcast of information should be afforded prompt correction, and where appropriate granted an opportunity of reply.
    iv. News broadcasters must resist all political and financial pressures which may affect coverage of elections and election related matters.
    v. News broadcasters should maintain a clear distinction between editorial and expert opinion carried on their news channels.
    vi. News broadcasters that use video feed from political parties should disclose it and appropriately tagged.
    vii. Special care must be taken to ensure that every element of news/ programmes dealing with elections and election related matters is accurate on all facts relating to events, dates, places and quotes. If by mistake or inadvertence any inaccurate information is broadcast, the broadcaster must correct it as soon as it comes to the broadcaster's notice with the same prominence as was given to the original broadcast.
    viii. News broadcasters, their journalists and officials must not accept any money, or valuable gifts, or any favour that could influence or appear to influence, create a conflict of interest or damage the credibility of the broadcaster or their personnel.
    ix. News broadcasters must  not  broadcast  any  form  of  'hate  speech' or other obnoxious content  that may lead  to incitement  of violence or promote public unrest or disorder as election campaigning based  on communal or caste factors is prohibited under Election Rules. News broadcasters should strictly avoid reports which tend to promote feelings of enmity or hatred among people, on the ground of religion, race, caste, community, region or language.
    x. News broadcasters are required to scrupulously maintain a distinction between news and paid content.  All paid content should be clearly marked as "Paid Advertisement" or "Paid Content”: and paid content must be carried in compliance with the "Norms & Guidelines on Paid News" dated 24.11.2011 issued by NBA.
    xi Special care must be taken to report opinion polls accurately and fairly, by disclosing to viewers as to who commissioned, conducted and paid for the conduct of the opinion polls and the broadcast. If a news broadcaster carries the results of an opinion poll or other election projection, it must also explain the context, and the  scope and limits of such polls with their limitations. Broadcast of opinion polls should be accompanied by information to assist viewers to understand the poll's significance, such as  the methodology used, the sample size, the margin of error, the fieldwork dates, and data used. Broadcasters should also disclose how vote shares  are converted to seat shares.
    xii. The broadcasters shall not broadcast any "election matter" i.e. any matter intended or calculated to influence or affect the result of an election, during the 48 hours ending with the hours fixed for the conclusion of poll in  violation of Section 126(1)(b) of  the Representation of the People Act1951.
    xiii. The Election Commission of India (ECI) will monitor the broadcasts made by news broadcasters from the time elections are announced until the conclusion and announcement of election results. Any violation by member broadcasters reported to the News Broadcasting Standards Authority (NBSA) by the Election Commission will be dealt with by the NBSA under its regulations.
    xiv. Broadcasters should, to the extent possible, carry voter education programmes to effectively inform voters about the voting process,  the importance of voting, including how, when and where to vote, to register to vote and the secrecy of theballot.
    xv. News broadcasters must not air any final, formal and definite results until such results are formally announced by the Election Commission of India, unless such results are carried with clear disclaimer that they are unofficial or incomplete or partial results or projections which should not be taken as final results.
     
    8. Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has also developed a “Voluntary Code of Ethics” for all the participating social media platforms to ensure free, fair & ethical usage of their platforms to maintain integrity of electoral process during the general elections to the Lok Sabha 2019 and Legislative Assemblies of four states and the bye-elections being held simultaneously. Attention of all concerned Social Media platforms is invited to the following text of “Voluntary Code of Ethics” dt 20th March, 2019:   
    i. Participants will endeavour to, where appropriate and keeping in mind the principle of freedom of expression, deploy appropriate policies and processes to facilitate access to information regarding electoral matters on their products and/ or services.
    ii. Participants will endeavour to voluntarily undertake information, education and communication campaigns to build awareness including electoral laws and other related instructions. Participants will also endeavour to impart training to the nodal officer at ECI on their products/ services, including mechanism for sending requests as per procedure established by law.
    iii. Participants and the Election Commission of India (ECI) have developed a notification mechanism by which the ECI can notify the relevant platforms of potential violations of Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and other applicable electoral laws in accordance with procedures established by law. These valid legal orders will be acknowledged and/ or processed within 3 hours for violations reported under Section 126 as per the Sinha Committee recommendations. All other valid legal requests will be acted upon expeditiously by the Participants, based on the nature of reported violation.
    iv. Participants are creating/opening a high priority dedicated reporting mechanism for the ECI and appoint dedicated person(s) / teams during the period of General Elections to interface with and to exchange feedback as may assist with taking expeditious action upon receipt of such a lawful request, following due legal process, from the ECI.
    v. Participants will provide a mechanism for relevant political advertisers, in accordance with their obligations under law, to submit pre-certificates issued by ECI and/ or Media Certification & Monitoring Committee (MCMC) of the ECI in relation to election advertisements that feature names of political parties, candidates for the 2019 General Elections. Further, Participants shall expeditiously process/action paid political advertisements lawfully notified to Participants by the ECI that do not feature such certification.
    vi. Participants will commit to facilitating transparency in paid political advertisements, including utilising their pre-existing labels/ disclosure technology for such advertisements.
    vii. Participants will, pursuant to a valid request received from the ECI, via Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) provide an update on the measures taken by them to prevent abuse of their respective platforms.
    viii. IAMAI will coordinate with the Participants on the steps carried out under this Code and IAMAI as well as Participants will be in constant communication with the ECI during the election period.
    The above guidelines should be duly observed for compliance by all the concerned media.

    1,824 downloads

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  11. Election Commission of India submits list of newly elected members to the 17th Lok Sabha to the Hon'ble President of India

    No. ECI/PN/60/2019                                                                           Dated: 25th May, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: Election Commission of India submits list of newly elected members to the 17th Lok Sabha to the Hon'ble President of India
     Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Sunil Arora along with  Election Commissioners Shri Ashok Lavasa and Shri Sushil Chandra, called on the Hon’ble President of India at 1230 hrs today (May 25, 2019). A copy of the Notification issued by the Election Commission of India in terms of Section 73 of the Representation of People’s Act, 1951, containing the names of Members elected to the House of the People – following General Elections to the 17th Lok Sabha – was submitted by them to the Hon’ble President.

    Afterwards, the Chief Election Commissioner, both the Election Commissioners and senior officers of the Election Commission of India went Rajghat to seek blessings of the Father of the Nation after the conclusion of the elections.
     
     
     

    10,200 downloads

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  12. ECI PRESS RELEASE ON VOTER TURNOUT DATA

    No. ECI/PN/61/2019    
    Dated: 1st June, 2019
    Press Note
    ECI PRESS RELEASE ON VOTER TURNOUT DATA
    Two categories of votes are counted to arrive at the final result of General Elections 2019, first is Votes polled in EVM by General voters from over 91.1 Crores electors at Polling Stations and second category is Postal Ballots returned from over18 Lakh Service voters and also from the polling personnel deployed for the poll duties, outside their Parliament Constituency in case of single elections and all polling personnel in case of simultaneous elections as was the case recently when besides the election to 17th Lok Sabha, the Assembly elections for four states namely Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Odisha and Sikkim to Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha also went for poll.
    The provisional voter turnout data is displayed as percentage figure on Election Commission of India (ECI) Web site and Voter Helpline Mobile App on the poll day as uploaded by the Returning Officer(RO)/Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) based on the approximate percentage turnout figures obtained from Sector magistrates who in-turn get it periodically over phone/ in person from about 10 Presiding officers. After scrutiny of documents by the RO, provisional number of General voters’ turnout is compiled and uploaded on the ECI website based on the Polling Station wise tentative voter turnout data reported by the Presiding Officers, with male/female voter breakup, added together to get the PC wise provisional voter turnout. All these figures are provisional, based on estimates which are subject to change as is made clear from the disclaimer on the website that "the data is estimated and subject to change". This provisional voter turnout data is made available by ROs on regular intervals, which is collated by Chief Electoral Officers and ECI on the web site for wider dissemination and to ensure transparency in information dissemination.
    At the time of counting, postal ballots received up to 8 AM on Counting day are first pre-counted and valid Postal ballots are then taken up for after actual counting for both of the categories a. the Service voters and b. the polling personnel deployed for the poll duties. The Postal ballot count is added to the EVM General voters’ count to give the final votes polled in every PC and the votes secured candidate wise and the winning candidate is given return certificate in form 21E by the Returning Officers.
    Based on both the EVM votes and Postal Ballots counted, the Returning Officer prepares Form 21E and Index Card in which the breakup of voter turnout, including tendered votes for the Constituency, is tallied to get the final voter turnout for each Constituency. Form 21E is the return of election as specified under rule 64 of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, for which the sole authority is the Returning Officer concerned. Also, INDEX CARD in use since last over five decades, is prepared by the Returning officer to furnish the voting data (including postal ballot data), polled and counted, after the declaration of the Result, which becomes the final authenticated data for all purposes including analysis and research. For General Elections 2019, Commission has already directed all the Returning Officers on 26th March 2019 to send the INDEX CARDS within 15 days of the declaration of the Result.
    In earlier elections, it used to take months to collect such authenticated election data from all the ROs. Even in 2014, it took between 2 to 3 months after the declaration of results to collect and collate such data in authenticated form. Due to the innovative IT initiatives taken by the Commission this time, the final data on votes counted has been made available within a few days of declaration of results. The reconciliation of voters’ data for all PCs have been completed in all states and the Index Forms of all 542 PCs are expected to reach ECI from Returning Officers shortly, which after compilation, shall be immediately be made Public by the Election Commission.
    As made out clear in above paras, the provisional voter turnout data reported on ECI Website is only the tentative number of voters and not the final nos. therefore it is incorrect inference to find Ghost voters when there are none.
     

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  13. PGIMER New Academic Session inaugurated by the Chief Election Commissioner of India

    No.ECI/PN/1/2019 
    Dated: 7th January, 2019
    Press Note
    Subject: PGIMER New Academic Session inaugurated by the Chief Election Commissioner of India
          The Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Sunil Arora today inaugurated the new academic session of Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh. While delivering the inaugural address- "The Road Ahead- Opportunities and Challenges'', he said that constant upgradation of oneself in every respect is very essential in any institution to be at par with the ever-changing technological advancements in the world.  January marks the beginning of the new academic session at the Institute which annually trains 400 postgraduate students in different specialties and super specialties in its various 50 departments. Sh. Sunil Arora also congratulated PGI for being ranked No. 2 amongst medical colleges of the country in the NIRF (National Institutional Ranking Framework), 2018. In this competitive world an institution has to constantly upgrade itself to stay abreast of the times, he said.

    Chief Election Commissioner of India, Sh. Sunil Arora addressing at the Inauguration of New Academic Session of the PGIMER
    He further stated that future medicine will possibly treat the human body in more dignified and less invasive manner and expressed belief that PGIMER Chandigarh will play its worthy role in this matter.  
    Shri Arora also urged the medical students to keep their morale up even when challenged. He emphasized that ideas rule the world. Today we are not so much limited by access or resource as much by our own imagination. “Today’s medicine was yesterday’s research; and today’s research will become tomorrow’s medicine. So think out of the box”.
     
    PGIMER felicitates Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Sunil Arora
    “The PGIMER already has a glorious history of more than 50 years. The question is where we see it in 10, 20 and 50 years from now. The foresight, resolve and zeal of its present leadership will determine that”, he added.

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  14. Chief Election Commissioner of India reviews election preparedness in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh in connection with Lok Sabha Elections- 2019

    No.ECI/PN/2/2019
    Dated: 7th January, 2019
    Press Note
    Subject: Chief Election Commissioner of India reviews election preparedness in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh in connection with Lok Sabha Elections- 2019
    Sh. Sunil Arora, Chief Election Commissioner of India today reviewed the election preparedness of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh in connection with the forthcoming Lok Sabha Elections in 2019.

    The Commission while reviewing the poll preparedness took meeting with the Chief Electoral Officers of Punjab, Haryana and UT of Chandigarh and discussed various issues related to provision of Assured Minimum Facilities (AMFs) at the Polling Stations, strengthening of manpower and infrastructure of CEO’s offices, filling up of all vacant positions of elections functionaries at the field level, availability of EVMs/VVPATs and other election material, adequate budget provisions etc. The Chief Electoral officers of Punjab, Haryana Special Summary Revision (w.r.t 01-01-2019), Voter Helpline (1950) and other IT Applications.  and UT of Chandigarh also briefed the CEC about the progress of 
    This was followed by a comprehensive discussion with the Chief Secretary, DGP, Home Secretary and other senior Officials of Punjab and Haryana, as also with the Advisor to Administrator and other senior officials of Union Territory of Chandigarh on the various election related arrangements to be in place for the smooth and peaceful conduct of elections in a free, fair, inclusive, participative and credible manner.   
    Sh. Arora emphasized the urgent need to create a comprehensive data base of PwD voters along with their PS-wise mapping to ensure that adequate assistance is provided to all PwD voters on day of Poll, which is very important to realize the Commission’s motto of ‘No Voter to be Left Behind’. The Chief Election Commissioner directed that forthcoming Lok Sabha Elections should be made voter friendly and all necessary facilitations should be provided specially to Persons with Disability, senior citizens and women.
    CEC also stressed on the imperative of imparting robust and comprehensive training to all election related officials, at all levels on the entire spectrum of election related matters including ERO-NET, BLO-NET, revision of Electoral Rolls and implementation of IT applications like Suvidha, Samadhan, Sugam, cVIGIL, and Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System (ETPBS).

    The review meeting was also attended by Shri Umesh Sinha, Senior Deputy Election commissioner, Shri Dhirendra Ojha, Director General and Shri Nikhil Kumar, Director.
     

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  15. ECI organises Debriefing Conference of State Chief Electoral Officers; Nine Working Groups set up on Core issues

    No. ECI/PN/62/2019                                                           Dated: 3rd June, 2019
    Press Note
    ECI organises Debriefing Conference of State Chief Electoral Officers; 
    Nine Working Groups set up on Core issues
    Election  Commission of India organised in New Delhi today a day-long conference of Chief Electoral Officers of all States/UTs. The Officers were invited to deliberate on learnings from the recently concluded General Elections to the Lok Sabha 2019. 
    While lauding the performances of all the CEOs, Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora noted that the recent Elections threw up a fair share of challenges for the Officers to strive to conduct free and fair elections. Taking note of diverse unexpected situations like that of Nizamabad unprecedented EVM arrangements, Odisha's challenge amidst inclement weather, etc., CEC complemented the officers of successfully managing the gigantic exercise. Sh Arora asked the State CEOs to particularly now focus on simplification of  processes from voters' perspective. He noted that conducting Elections in a diverse country like India has its specific State wise challenges. He advised the CEOs to suggest ways to strengthen the CEO and DEO offices so as to be able to meet the ever evolving requirements. He asked them to focus on the implementation plan - in particular the action to be taken at various levels i.e. ERO, RO, CEO and ECI Secretariat.

    The Commission has formed Nine working groups of CEOs and Commission Officers covering various facets of election process including Electoral Roll issues,  Polling Stations management, MCC, Voting processes & Materials inventory, Capacity Building, IT applications, Expenditure Management,  SVEEP and Media interface as also Electoral Reforms. All the groups will deliberate on the concerned subjects and will suggest feasible recommendations by August 2019. Individual CEOs would also be submitting their respective State experiences report also.
    Addressing the group, Election Commissioner Shri Ashok Lavasa said while the ECI system has well documented and codified procedures for conducting the Elections, the Officers need to adapt technology in measuring up to expectations of the Voters in achieving ease of registration and facilitate participation particularly. He asked the CEOs to come up with short-term, medium term and long term doable administrative and legal recommendations needed for bettering the Electoral system.
    Election Commissioner Shri Sushil Chandra highlighted the 2019 Election that saw many innovations as also challenges. Shri Chandra said a quantum jump and not just incremental jump is needed to see further improvements in the system. He emphasised that strides made in technology need to be harnessed to make voting not just an inclusive experience but a pleasurable experience. 

    The Commission thanked and congratulated all CEOs, ECI officers, field election staff for successful conduct of GE 2019. It was mentioned that ECI shall provide all resources from IIIDEM for completion of this exercise by the Working Groups.

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  16. Conduct of Assembly Election in Jammu and Kashmir

    No. ECI/PN/63/2019                                                           Dated: 4th June, 2019
    Press Note
    Conduct of Assembly Election in Jammu and Kashmir
    Election Commission, under Article 324 of the Constitution and other extant laws/rules etc. have unanimously decided that holding of Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir shall be considered later in this year. The Commission will keep on regularly and on real time basis monitoring the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, taking inputs from all necessary quarters and after the conclusion of Amarnath Yatra will announce the election schedule for the conduct of assembly election in Jammu and Kashmir.

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  17. Report of the Committee on Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

    ECI/PN/3/2019  Dated: 10th January, 2019
    Press Note
    Subject: Report of the Committee on Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
    The task of maintaining campaign silence during last 48 hours before the conclusion of polling is becoming increasingly onerous in the light of the increasing influence of digital media. So, apart from the regulation by law and ECI instructions, the resolve, proactive support and sustained effort by all stake holders which include political parties, media, civil society organizations, academia and educational institutions, the youth and citizens at large, will remain necessary to contain the evil impact.
    2. The Committee constituted under the chairmanship of Sr. Deputy Election Commissioner Sh. Umesh Sinha to review and suggest modifications and changes in the provisions of the Section 126 and other sections of the Representation of the People Act 1951, provisions of Model Code of Conduct and any other ECI instruction in this regard has submitted its report today i.e. on 10th January, 2019 to the Commission.

    3. The Committee had the following scope of work:
    (a) Study and examine the present provisions of the Section 126 and other related Sections of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 and identify difficulties/critical gaps to regulate the violation of the said provisions of the act, particularly during the prohibitory period of 48 hours before the completion of the poll, mentioned in section 126 and suggest necessary amendment/modification.
    (b) Examine the type, category or growth of communication technology or media platform in the country and difficulties in regulating these media platforms during multiphase election when prohibitory period of 48 hours are in force.
    (c) Impact of new media platforms and social media during the prohibitory period of 48 hours before the close of poll and its implication in view of the provisions of section 126.
    (d) Examine the present provisions of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) related to the above issues and suggest modification in this regard.
    4. The Committee set up by the Commission included the representatives of Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Ministry of Law & Justice, Press Council of India, News Broadcasters Association apart from senior officers of the Commission.
    5. The Committee had detailed consultations with all major stakeholders including various political parties, nominees/ representatives of the Press Council of India (PCI), the News Broadcasters Association (NBA), the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) as well as representatives of several intermediaries and technology companies including Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter, and Google. The Committee also had several rounds of discussions and consultations with the legal and other divisions within the ECI.
    6. The recommendations made by the Committee, when implemented (after adoption by the ECI with necessary modification or additions), will help in minimizing the possible interference of activities which aim at indirectly influencing voters during the valuable silence period of 48 hours provided to them. The recommendations of the Committee will be considered by the Commission in detail for follow up action.

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  18. ECI to organize Two-Day Chief Electoral Officers’ Conference to review Poll Preparedness for the Lok Sabha Election 2019

    ECI/PN/4/2019 Dated: 10th January, 2019 
    Press Note
    Subject: ECI to organize Two-Day Chief Electoral Officers’ Conference to review Poll Preparedness for the Lok Sabha Election 2019
    The Election Commission of India is holding a two-day Conference on 11th & 12th January, 2019 of the Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) to review poll preparedness of the forthcoming General Elections to the Lok Sabha, 2019.  During the Conference, the Commission will discuss key issues related to poll preparedness such as Electoral Rolls, ERO Net, Polling Station arrangements, EVM-VVPAT  preparations, Security Management, Accessibility to Persons with Disabilities, Voter Education, use of IT applications, provision for Budget, manpower and other resources and so on.  Apart from reviewing the poll preparedness, the Commission will also discuss the takeaways and learnings from the recent poll gone States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Telangana.
    During the Conference, these CEOs will make their comprehensive presentations of their poll preparedness on all important parameters.  The Commission desires from the CEOs that elections are made totally voter-friendly and accessible for Persons with Disabilities, Senior Citizens and Gender.  The Commission has already directed the CEOs to build a campaign on various media platforms to register eligible citizens and voters; provide every facility for search of their names through website, SMS gateway and through Voter Facilitation Centre at every ERO level.  The Commission has also directed all States to activate the voter helpline centre 1950 so that the grievances of the voters are promptly redressed. During this Conference, the Commission would review the status of facilitation provided to voters by both online and offline methods.  The Commission has already given a checklist to all CEOs on each important parameter and detailed report has been sought from them on each point of checklist.  The Commission will also review the status of vulnerability mapping, security planning, availability of police forces and their requirement during forthcoming Lok Sabha Election.

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  19. SVEEP Nodal Officers from across the country meet to deliberate upon the blueprint for the next five years

    No. ECI/PN/64/2019                                                                                                     
    Dated: 13th June, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject: SVEEP Nodal Officers from across the country meet to deliberate upon the blueprint for the next five years
    A two-day National Conference of SVEEP Nodal Officers was organized by the Election Commission of India on June 10-11, 2019 at TERI Retreat in Gurugram to review the strategy and implementation of outreach programmes during Lok Sabha Election 2019 and to chalk out the blueprint for the next 5 years.
    In the Closing Session on 11th June, while congratulating the SVEEP Nodal Officers from the 36 states/UTs for historic voter turnout, lowest ever gender gap in participation and systematic efforts for making elections accessible, Election Commissioner Shri Ashok Lavasa also exhorted the officers to introspect in true spirit on what else could have been done. He implored all to minutely identify the areas of concern and personally visit low turnout areas for better understanding of reason of low participation there. Flagging the gap in registration among the newly eligible 18-19 years old and the participation gap among the 32% of registered populace, Shri Lavasa said that Election Commission shall need to go beyond incremental progress and think of leap frogging for which substantive changes are perhaps needed in many aspect of election management.  Shri Lavasa asked the Officers to reach out to people outside the election machinery to get new ideas that can be incorporated.
    Earlier, Sr. Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Umesh Sinha appreciated the innovations taken up at the grassroot level by election officials. He said that officials should strive to achieve the efficiency where shorter time is taken to register an elector and for a registered elector to cast his or her vote making the entire process smoother and more convenient for the citizen. Shri Sinha also said that along with the quantity, one needs to focus upon improving the quality of electoral participation.
    SVEEP Nodal Officers from across the country gathered to share state experiences, challenges faced, good practices as well as case studies on Day 1. On the second day of the conference, the officers deliberated upon 6 topics viz. Critical Gaps, Accessible Elections, Youth & Gender, Electoral Literacy Clubs, Partnerships & Volunteering and use of Social Media, and chalked out strategy for the next Phase of SVEEP. A special session on Social Media was conducted in the morning on how to effectively engage with the voters on Twitter and Instagram.
    All the points chalked out during the Conference shall be further worked upon to detail out the Phase IV of the SVEEP programme which shall cover the year 2020-2024.

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  20. Election Commission of India organised a two day conference of Chief Electoral officers to review the poll preparedness.

    ECI/PN/5/2019    Dated: 12th January, 2019
    Press Note
     Subject: Election Commission of India organised a two day conference of Chief Electoral officers to review the poll preparedness.
    A two day conference of the Chief Electoral Officers of all the States and UTs was organized by the Election commission on 11th and 12th of January. A comprehensive review of poll preparedness of the states prior to the General elections 2019 was conducted through these two days.

    The primary focus of the Election commission was on the integrity of the electoral roll, meticulous planning for elections, EVM and VVPAT assessment and training and extensive voter outreach.
    Addressing the CEOs, the Chief Election Commissioner of India Sh. Sunil Arora emphasized the fact that the electoral roll that is currently under the process of revision and finalization will be used in the forthcoming General elections. Hence, this particular revision assumes additional importance and care must be taken to ensure the purity of the Roll. He also said that every effort must be made so that all voters are registered well in time. He reaffirmed the significance of the 1950 Helpline for the voters and its role as the First point of Care for the voter in finding her name in the Role, EPIC status and in connecting to the Election machinery and exercising her democratic right. He directed all the state CEOs to set in place support systems for the 1950 Helpline as early as possible.
    Sh. Arora reiterated the commitment of the Election commission of India to provide assured minimum facilities in all polling stations. He also directed the CEOs to have their Booth level, District level and state level Plans ready and conduct a meticulous assessment of all resources required for the conduct of elections. The States and the UTs must assess their EVM/ VVPAT requirements and also ensure adherence to the timelines specified for completion of their First Level checking. He laid stress upon extensive Hands on experience of the EVM and VVPAT among the voters as well as during the training of polling officials as it helps to minimize the glitches and also boosts confidence among the stakeholders.
    The Election Commissioner Sh. Ashok Lavasa, in his address to the CEOs reiterated the immense significance of the integrity of the electoral roll at this crucial juncture. He said that the entire election machinery must now be geared up in order to deliver yet another flawless election to the country. In order to accomplish this herculean task, a detailed planning process and a leadership role has to be assumed by the CEO at the state and the DEOs in the districts. He suggested to each state to reach out to each and every voter and develop innovative mechanisms to facilitate People with disability. He also emphasized upon coordination with bordering states as well as with other agencies in order to give more teeth to the expenditure Monitoring mechanisms operative in the states.
    Through the two day conference, each and every aspect of conduct of election including availability of sufficient budget, manpower, resources, SVEEP, planning, polling station arrangements and IT applications including Suvidha, Sugam and C-Vigil were discussed in detail and the preparedness of  States/UTs on each of these parameters was assessed.
    The five states which had recently undergone Assembly elections – Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Telangana and Rajasthan gave a presentation on the take aways and the learnings from their experiences. Chhattisgarh had developed an app to track their polling personnel which streamlined the process. Madhya Pradesh developed an app to ensure queue less voting experience for people with disabilities, pregnant women and women with infants. These five states demonstrated how technology can be leveraged to enhance voter experience and also provide crucial data in an instant to the election officers.
    Mizoram highlighted its successful conduct of elections despite initial problems. The Mizoram experience was on of building bridges with the civil society organizations, opening dialogue and also the setting up of polling stations for the Bru community in coordination with the state of Tripura was a notable achievement.
    Both Rajasthan and Telangana cited several instances of innovative sveep campaigns incorporating local cultural practices which led to a good turn out in these states.
    All the other CEOs of states and UTs made comprehensive presentations to the Commission on the key areas of their preparations for the forthcoming Lok Sabha Elections 2019.

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  21. Voter Awareness Forums shall be set up in Ministries, Departments and Other Institutions for promoting awareness on electoral process

    ECI/PN/6/2019       Dated: 14th January, 2019
    Press Note
    Subject: Voter Awareness Forums shall be set up in Ministries, Departments and Other Institutions for promoting awareness on electoral process
    Voter Awareness Forums will be set up in Ministries, Government Departments, Non-Government Departments and other Institutions to promote electoral awareness. Election Commission of India will be briefing the Nodal Officers of Ministries, Government of India and a representative from Federations on 16th January 2019 at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, New Delhi.
    Similar briefing sessions are being held across the country by the Chief Electoral Officers and District Election Officers on the same day where nodal officers of Departments, Non-Govt Departments, CSOs, Corporate and Media Houses in the State and District are being briefed respectively. 
    Voter Awareness Forums are informal Forums for generating awareness around electoral process through activities like discussions, quizzes, competitions and other engaging activities. All employees of the Organisation are expected to become members of the VAF with the Head of the Organisation acting as Chair of VAF. 
    VAF is part of the Electoral Literacy Club programme of ECI. Launched on the 8th National Voters Day, 25th January 2018, the ELC programme envisages setting up of Electoral Literacy Club in every educational institution and Chunav Pathshala at every booth to cover those outside the formal education system.  Around 2.11 Lakh ELCs have already been established across the country in the first year of the launch of the programme.
     The ELCs and Chunav Pathshala activities are conducted by the Convener using a resource Guide where step by step instructions are given for conducting each activity. Separate Resource books have been developed for Class IX, X, XI and XII. A calendar of activities in a year has also be indicated. Total of 6-8 activities, with specific learning outcome, running into approximately 4 hours in all, have been identified for each class.         

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  22. Bye Elections to the Council of States from Bihar, Odisha and Gujarat-reg.

    No. ECI/PN/65/2019
    Dated: 15th June, 2019
     PRESS NOTE
    Subject:      Bye Elections to the Council of States from Bihar, Odisha and Gujarat-reg.
    There are six casual vacancies in the Council of States from Bihar, Gujarat and Odisha occurred due to reasons as mentioned below:
    S.No
    States
     Name of Member
    Cause of vacancy
    Term  of office up to
    1.       
    Bihar
    Ravi Shankar Prasad
    Elected to 17th Lok Sabha on 23.05.2019
    02.04.2024
    2.       
    Gujarat
    Shah Amitbhai Anilchandra
    Elected to 17th Lok Sabha on 23.05.2019
    18.08.2023
    3.       
    Smriti Zubin Irani
    Elected to 17th Lok Sabha on 24.05.2019
    18.08.2023
    4.       
    Odisha
    Achyutananda Samanta
    Elected to 17th Lok Sabha on 24.05.2019
    03.04.2024
    5.       
    Pratap Keshari Deb
    Elected to Odisha Legislative Assembly. Seat became vacant on 09.06.2019
    01.07.2022
    6.       
    Soumya Ranjan Patnaik
    Resignation on 06.06.2019
    03.04.2024
                        
    Sl.No.
    Events
    Dates and Days
    1.
    Issue of Notifications
    18th June, 2019 (Tuesday)
    2.
    Last Date of making nominations
    25th June, 2019 (Tuesday)
    3.
    Scrutiny of nominations
    26th June, 2019 (Wednesday)
    4.
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    28th June, 2019 (Friday)
    5.
    Date of Poll
    05th July, 2019 (Friday)
    6.
    Hours of Poll
    9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
    7.
    Counting of Votes
    05th July, 2019 (Friday) at 5.00 p.m.
    8.
    Date before which election shall be completed
    09th July, 2019 (Tuesday)
    The Commission has decided to hold bye-elections to the Council of States from the above mentioned States to fill up the above said vacancies in accordance with the following schedule for each of the vacancies - 
    It is further clarified that the vacancies for Bye-elections to all Houses, including the Rajya Sabha, are considered as separate vacancies and separate notifications are issued and separate poll is taken for each of the vacancies although the programme schedule for the bye-elections may be common. This is in conformity with the provisions of Section 147 to 151 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and has been the consistent practice of the Commission in such cases. Holding of separate elections has been upheld by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in Civil W.P. No. 132 of 1994 (A.K. Walia Vs Union of India & Others) and W.P. No. 9357 of 2006 (Satya Pal Malik Vs Election Commission of India) by its decision dated 14.01.1994 & 20.01.2009 respectively.

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  23. IIIDEM organizes a 5-day Capacity Building Program on ‘Electoral Technology’ for Officials of Union Election Commission of Myanmar

    No. ECI/PN/66/2019    Dated: 20th June, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    IIIDEM organizes a 5-day Capacity Building Program on ‘Electoral Technology’ for Officials of Union Election Commission of Myanmar
    Election Commissioner Sh. Sushil Chandra has emphasised the need of sharing best practices of Elections among Election Management Bodies to strengthen the democracy around the world. The Election Commissioner was addressing the Election Officials of Union Election Commission of Myanmar who are undergoing a five day training programme on Use of Technology in Elections at India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) in New Delhi today. He emphasized on the use of technology to create transparency, trust and fairness in electoral process. Further he added the successful implementation of technology in recent elections to Lok Sabha 2019 with the introduction of IT applications like Voter Helpline Application, Application for persons with disabilities, Electronically Transmitted Postal Ballot System, C-vigil and others besides the EVM and VVPAT. He motivated the participants to participate enthusiastically and identify various areas of implementing technology in the electoral process of Myanmar.
    The ongoing Capacity Building Programs on Electoral technology is the 7th program in the series of the 9 programs scheduled across 2018-2019. The program is being attended by the mid and senior level officers of Union Election Commission of Myanmar and the program is being conducted by the experienced resource persons from Election Commission of India. This programme is part of series of Capacity Building Programmes, which have been designed on the request of Union Election Commission of Myanmar through Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India.  IIIDEM has conducted Training Need Analysis in 2017 to create an objective oriented training program for the officials of Union Election Commission of Myanmar for the forthcoming General Elections in 2020.  
    Mr. Dhirendra Ojha, Director General, ECI spoke about increasing use of social media by various stakeholders in the electoral process. 
    Mr. Vivek Khare, Director, IIIDEM informed about the training programs conducted so far for the Officials of Union Election Commission of Myanmar on various attributes of elections. Dr. Noor Mohammad, Senior Consultant IIIDEM, introduced the ongoing training programme on Electoral Technology and highlighted the importance of Electoral Technology in electoral process. 
    Mr. S B Joshi, Secretary, ECI presented the vote of thanks.

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  24. Election Commission of India Observes 5th International Day of Yoga

    No. ECI/PN/67/2019    Dated: 21st June, 2019
    PRESS NOTE
    Election Commission of India Observes 5th International Day of Yoga
    Election Commission of India today observed the 5th International Day of Yoga at ECI headquarters, Nirvachan Sadan, New Delhi by organising sessions on Yoga and gave the message for fit and healthy lifestyle.


    21st June is celebrated globally as International Day of Yoga. On this occasion ECI has organized a one hour session of Yoga in 6 batches for more than 400 participants including senior officers and staff. Election Commissioner, Shri Sushil Chandra, Director General, Shri Dhirendra Ojha and senior officers along with staff of the Commission participated in the yoga Session with great enthusiasm and positivity. The sessions were conducted under observation of qualified trainers and demonstrators from Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga.

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  25. Election Commission of India launches Voter Awareness Forums(VAFs) across the country

    ECI/PN/7/2019     Dated: 16th January, 2019
    Press Note
    Subject: Election Commission of India launches Voter Awareness Forums(VAFs) across the country
    Voter Awareness Forum(VAF) was launched by Election Commission of India in New Delhi, by the Chief Electoral Officers in the State capital and by District Election Officers in the Districts today. 
    Addressing the Nodal Officers from 44 Ministries, Government of India, and representatives from Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) at Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, New Delhi today, the Commission exhorted them to immediately set up VAFs and facilitate enrolment of all employees and officials on the electoral roll.
    Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora said that the founding fathers of the Constitution had an instinctive faith in the citizenry of country and therefore gifted Universal Adult Franchise to the Indian populace while other democracies took years before extending this right to all its citizens. It is therefore our collective responsibility to value and preserve this right and in this endeavour Voter Awareness Forums have a crucial role to play. He asked the Nodal Officers to commit themselves to the aims of the VAFs which is to promote informed and ethical electoral participation, first step of which is registration.

    Election Commissioner Shri. Ashok Lavasa said thousands of unnamed and faceless Government officials undertake the task of preserving the electoral process, in different capacities and roles. Hailing the Officers as “Ambassadors of Democracy”, Shri Lavasa said that as Nodal Officers, now they are invested with the additional responsibility of educating colleagues and staff in their work place and ensuring that all the members of their Ministry and Departments are familiar with the electoral procedure right from enrolment to the casting of ballot. 
    Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Senior Deputy Election Commissioner, briefed all present about the ‘Voter Verification and Information’ drive that the Commission is taking up and asked VAF to facilitate members to check their names and details on Electoral Roll through online NVSP portal of ECI and the Voter Helpline No 1950.
    The half-day briefing was conducted to familarise the Officers from various Ministries and Federations with the concept of Voter Awareness Forum and to brief them about their role as Nodal Officers of the VAFs. Similar briefing sessions are being held across the country by the Chief Electoral Officers and District Election Officers across the country where nodal officers of Departments, Non-Govt Departments, CSOs, Corporate and Media Houses in the State and District were briefed respectively.
    Voter Awareness Forums are informal Forums for generating awareness around electoral process through activities like discussions, quizzes, competitions and other engaging activities. All employees of the Organisation are expected to become members of the VAF with the Head of the Organisation acting as the Chair. 
    VAF is part of the Electoral Literacy Club programme of ECI. Launched on the 8th National Voters Day, 25th January 2018, the ELC programme envisages setting up of Electoral Literacy Club in every educational institution and Chunav Pathshala at every booth to cover those outside the formal education system.  Around 2.11 Lakh ELCs have already been established across the country in the first year of the launch of the programme.
     
     

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ECI Main websiteThe Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in India. The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country. The Election Commission operates under the authority of Constitution per Article 324, and subsequently enacted Representation of the People Act. 

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