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  1. Schedule of General Election to the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi, 2020

    Schedule
    Schedule for General Election to the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi (All 70 Assembly Constituencies) 
    Poll Events
    Schedule
    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification
    14.01.2020 (Tuesday)
    Last Date for making Nominations
    21.01.2020 (Tuesday)
    Date for Scrutiny of Nominations
    22.01.2020 (Wednesday)
    Last date for withdrawal of candidature
    24.01.2020 (Friday)
    Date of poll 
    08.02.2020 (Saturday)
    Date of Counting
    11.02.2020 (Tuesday)
    Date of Completion 
    13.02.2020 (Thursday)
     

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  2. General election to the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi, 2020 - Media Coverage during the period referred to in Section 126 of the RP Act, 1951.

    No. ECI/PN/05/2020              
    Date: 9th January, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub: General election to the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi, 2020 - Media Coverage during the period referred to in Section 126 of the RP Act, 1951.
     
    The Schedule for holding General Election to the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi, 2020 has been announced on 6th January, 2020.  Poll is scheduled to be held in single phase on 08.02.2020. 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 of poll-
    (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 up to 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 and half an hour after the time fixed for close of poll.
    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 or language. 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/ government in 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 the ballot.
    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. As agreed by IAMAI, vide letter dated 23.09.2019, the “Voluntary Code of Ethics” shall be observed during all elections. Accordingly, the Code is also applicable in Delhi Assembly Elections 2020. 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 Haryana & Maharashtra Assembly Elections and the Bye-Elections to various Parliamentary Constituencies and Assembly Constituencies being held simultaneously. 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.

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  3. Registration of political parties under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 – Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System (PPRTMS) – regarding.

    No. ECI/PN/01/2020   Dated:  01 January, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject :  Registration of political parties under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 – Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System (PPRTMS) – regarding.
     
    Registration of political parties is governed by the provisions of Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. An association seeking registration under the said Section has to submit an application to the Commission within a period of 30 days following the date of its formation, as per the guidelines prescribed by the Commission in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 324 of the Constitution of India and Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.
    2.         In order to enable applicants to track the status of the application, the Commission has launched a “Political Parties Registration Tracking Management System(PPRTMS)”.  The salient feature in the PPRTMS is that the applicant, who is applying for party registration from 1st January, 2020 will be able to track the progress of his/her application and will get status update through SMS and e-mail.  The status can be tracked through the Commission’s portal at link https://pprtms.eci.gov.in/. The Commission in the month of December, 2019,  has amended the guidelines and issued a Press Note dated 02.12.2019 regarding registration of political party for the information of the general public.  The new guidelines is effective from 1st January, 2020 and is available on the Commission’s website http://eci.gov.in.

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  4. Bye-election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council from Yavatmal Local Authorities' Constituency.

    No. ECI/PN/03/2020                                                                                              
    Dated: 3rd January, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:      Bye-election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council from Yavatmal Local Authorities' Constituency. 
     There is one casual vacancy in the Maharashtra Legislative Council from Yavatmal Local Authorities' Constituency. The details of vacancy are as under: - 
    Name of Member
    Cause of vacancy
    Date of Vacancy
    Date of retirement
    Tanaji Jaywant Sawant
    Elected in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly 
    24.10.2019 (Afternoon)
    05.12.2022
     2.  The Commission has decided to hold bye-election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council to fill the above mentioned vacancy in accordance with the following schedule: -
    S.No
    EVENTS
    DATES & DAYS
    1.        
    Issue of Notifications
    07th January, 2020 (Tuesday)
    2.        
    Last date of making nominations
    14th January, 2020 (Tuesday)
    3.        
    Scrutiny of nominations
    15th January, 2020 (Wednesday)
    4.        
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    17th January, 2020 (Friday)
    5.        
    Date of poll
    31st January, 2020 (Friday)
    6.        
    Hours of poll   
    8.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
     
    7.        
    Counting of Votes
    04th February, 2020 (Tuesday)
    8.        
    Date before which election shall be completed
    06th February, 2020 (Thursday)
      
    3. The Model Code of Conduct concerning the said election will come into force with immediate effect in the concerned Constituency. Please see the details in Commission’s website under
    https://eci.gov.in/files/file/4070-biennial-bye-elections-to-the-legislative-councils-from-council-constituencies-by-graduates’-and-teachers’-and-local-authorities’-constituencies-–-mcc-instructions-–-regarding/
     

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  5. Election Commission of India gets ‘Award for Excellence’ for cVIGIL and Voter Helpline App

    No. ECI/PN/08/2020    
    Dated: 17th January, 2020
     
    Press Note
    Subject: Election Commission of India gets ‘Award for Excellence’ for cVIGIL and Voter Helpline App

    The two innovative ICT applications of Election Commission of India i.e. ‘cVIGIL’ and ‘Voter Helpline App’ developed in-house have won the eGovernance ‘Award of Excellence’ for the year 2019. The award was presented at KiiT, Bhubaneswar. Dr. Kushal Pathak, Director ICT & CISO, ECI and Chief Electoral Officer of Odisha, Sh. Sushil Kumar Lohani received the award on behalf of ECI. These awards were given by Computer Society of India (CSI), Special Interest Group on e-Governance (CSI SIG e-Gov) at KiiT, Bhubaneswar on 17th January 2020.
    cVIGIL empowers Citizens to report Model Code of Conduct Violations such as bribery, free gift, liquor distribution, playing loudspeakers beyond the permissible time during the elections. By using a simple mobile app, the citizen captures the live photo or video. The Election machinery comes into action immediately as they get the evidentiary proof of the violation. Every cVIGIL case is acted upon and replied back with the action taken in the 100-minute timeline. The cVIGIL is now been used in Delhi elections. Since its first pilot in five states’ Assembly General elections during October- December 2018 till the Jharkhand State Assembly General elections during November-December 2019, a total number of 1,71,745 cases have been filled through cVIGIL and from which 1,27,567 (74%) of the cases have been found correct. The mobile app is available at Google Play store here:
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=in.nic.eci.cvigil&hl=en_IN and in Apple Store here: https://apps.apple.com/in/app/cvigil/id1455719541
    Voter helpline App with 2.16 Crore downloads from the App stores of Google and Apple, this national award-winning application has taken roots as a major tool for citizen empowerment. The application provides an option for voters to search their name in 90+ crore electors database, fill forms for new voter registration, migration and corrections, allow downloading of digital photo voter slips, displays the complete information about the contesting candidates and their affidavits and most importantly allows voters to view the real-time results. The application is available from the google play store and Apple Store.
    These awards of excellence to the ICT initiatives of ECI recognizes the ICT vision of Election Commission of India and the efforts of ECI officials at all levels in bringing eGovernance initiatives to fruition for the benefit of the Citizens and the stakeholders.

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  6. General Election to Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi 2020- Allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to National/State Political Parties -regarding.

    No. ECI/PN/07/2020/Communication            
    Dated: 15th January, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
    Sub: General Election to Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi 2020- Allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to National/State Political Parties -regarding.
    A copy of the Commission’s Order No.437/TA-LA/1/2020/Communication, dated 15th January, 2020 regarding allotment of Broadcast/Telecast time to National/State political parties in the General Election to the Legislative Assembly of NCT of Delhi, 2020 is enclosed for the information of the general public.
     
     

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  7. Bye Election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council by the members of respective Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg.

    No. ECI/PN/02/2020
    Dated: 3rd January, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    Subject:     Bye Election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council by the members of respective Legislative Assembly (MLAs) – reg. 
     There is one casual vacancy in the Maharashtra Legislative Council by the members of respective Legislative Assembly. The details of the vacancy are as follow:
    S.No
    Name of Member
    Name of Constituency
    Cause of vacancy
    Term up to
    1.
    Shri Munde, Dhananjay Panditrao                    
    By MLAs
    Elected in Maharashtra Legislative Assembly on 24.10.2019 (Afternoon)
    07.07.2022
     2. The Commission has decided to hold bye-election to the Maharashtra Legislative Council by the Member of the respective Legislative Assembly to fill the above mentioned vacancy as per the following schedule: -  
    S.No.
    Subject of Programme
    Dates and Days
    1.       
    Issue of Notifications
    07th January, 2020  (Tuesday)
    2.       
    Last Date of making nominations
    14th January, 2020 (Tuesday)
    3.       
    Scrutiny of nominations
    15th January, 2020 (Wednesday)
    4.       
    Last date for withdrawal of candidatures
    17th January, 2020 (Friday)
    5.       
    Date of Poll
    24th January, 2020 (Friday)
    6.       
    Hours of Poll
    9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.
    7.       
    Counting of Votes
    24th January, 2020 (Friday) at 5.00 p.m.
    8.       
    Date before which election shall be completed
    28th January 2020 (Tuesday)

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  8. 10th National Voters’ Day to be celebrated on 25th January 2020

Theme for NVD 2020 is ‘Electoral Literacy for Stronger Democracy’

    No. ECI/PN/11/2020          
    Dated: 24th January, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
    10th National Voters’ Day to be celebrated on 25th January 2020

    Theme for NVD 2020 is ‘Electoral Literacy for Stronger Democracy’
     
    Hon’ble President of India Sh. Ram Nath Kovind will be the Chief Guest at the 10th National Voters' Day being organized by Election Commission of India on 25th January 2020 at Manekshaw Centre, Delhi Cantt. Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Law and Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology shall also grace the national function. This year marks an important milestone in the history of Indian democracy as Election Commission of India (ECI) completes 70 years of its journey.
    The National Voters’ Day (NVD) has been celebrated on January 25 every year since 2011, all across the country at over ten lakh locations across the nation, that include polling stations areas, sub divisions, divisions, district and state headquarters, to mark the Foundation day of Election Commission of India, which was established on 25th January 1950.The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to encourage, facilitate and maximize the enrolment, especially for the new voters. Dedicated to the voters of the country, the Day is utilized to spread awareness among voters for promoting informed participation in the electoral process. New Voters are felicitated and handed over their Elector Photo Identity Card in the NVD function.
    Belief in the Ballot-2, an anthology of 101 human stories from across the nation about Indian elections, developed in collaboration with the Publication Division will be launched on the occasion and the first copy shall be presented by the Commission to the Hon’ble President.
    'The Centenarian Voters: Sentinels of Democracy' with 51 stories of veteran voters across the nation who braved difficult terrain, poor health and other challenges to come out and vote will be launched on the occasion by the Hon'ble President.
    The National Awards for the Best Electoral Practices shall be conferred on District and State level Officers for their outstanding performance in the conduct of elections in different spheres such as IT initiatives, Security Management, Election Management and contribution in the field of voter awareness and outreach. 
    Chief Election Commissioners and delegates from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Srilanka and Tunisia, who are coming to New Delhi to attend the 10th Annual Meeting of the  Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA), shall grace the occasion.  Reputed international organisations working in elections such as A-WEB, IFES and International IDEA will also be a part of the occasion. Members of Political Parties, Members of Parliament besides Diplomats from various countries and representatives from national and international organizations working in the area of democracy and elections are expected to attend the national function.
    The theme for NVD 2020 is ‘Electoral Literacy for Stronger Democracy’. The theme sets the tone for year-long activities which focus on voter education and renewal of citizens’ faith in the electoral process.
     
     
     
     
     

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  9. ECI to Host the 1st Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture Former President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee to deliver the Lecture on 23rd January 2020

    No. ECI/PN/09/2020
    Dated: 22nd January, 2020
     
    Press Note
    ECI to Host the 1st Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture Former President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee to deliver the Lecture on 23rd January 2020
    In its 70th year of inception, Election Commission of India has decided to institute an Annual Lecture Series as a tribute to the first Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Sukumar Sen. Sh Sen (1898-1963) commendably conducted the first two General Elections to the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies, thereby putting India firmly on the map of democracy. The rationale behind instituting the lecture is to make a positive and constructive intervention in the democratic discourse of the nation within the constitutional mandate of the Election Commission of India. 
    Former President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, has kindly consented to deliver the first of the Lectures on 23rd January 2020. In 2019, Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of the Republic, was conferred upon him, for his achievements in public affairs. Spanning over a career of more than fifty years, Sh Mukherjee had occupied varied Ministerial posts of Finance, Commerce, External Affairs and Defence Minister at different times. Shri Mukherjee has extensive diplomatic experience and has served on the Board of Governors of Multilateral Institutions such as IMF, World Bank, Asian Development Bank and African Development Bank. Shri Mukherjee is a widely respected savant known for his encyclopedic knowledge of economic, constitutional and historical affairs. A prolific reader, he has authored several books on the Indian economy and the nation building. 
    While announcing the institution of Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture Series on behalf of Election Commission at a book launch in New Delhi on 7th February 2019, Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora had observed “It would be Commission's endeavor to involve a wide cross-section of civil society including political parties, media, constitutionalists, legal luminaries, academia etc. This lecture would be delivered by an eminent person from the democratic world, whose contribution for the spread and furtherance of democratic values and ideals is widely known and recognized”.
    Shri Sukumar Sen was born on 2 January, 1898. He was educated at Presidency College, Kolkata and University College, London. Shri Sen joined the Indian Civil Services in 1922. During his service, he held several important posts, including as Chief Secretary of West Bengal (1947-1950). He served as the first Chief Election Commissioner of India from 21st March 1950 till his retirement 19th December, 1958. He conducted the first two Lok Sabha elections of India held in 1952 and 1957 simultaneously with the Legislative Assembly Elections based on universal adult franchise under challenging circumstances and little precedence to guide him.
    Shri Sen is also credited with conducting the first general elections in the then Sudan in November-December, 1953 as the Chairman of the International Election Commission. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his distinguished contribution to public life. He was one of the earliest recipients of that award in 1954. 
    On this occasion a reprint of the Report on India's First Election would be released by Shri Pranab Mukherjee as also a postal stamp in memory of Shri Sukumar Sen would be unveiled.                                  

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  10. ECI organizes briefing meeting of General, Police and Expenditure Observers for the Assembly Elections in the NCT of Delhi

    ECI/PN/06/2020                                           
    Dated: 14th January, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    ECI organizes briefing meeting of General, Police and Expenditure Observers for the Assembly Elections in the NCT of Delhi 
    The Election Commission of India today organized a Briefing Meeting for Observers to be deployed for the forthcoming NCT of Delhi Legislative Assembly Elections, for which schedule was announced on 6th January, 2020.  Poll date for the single phased election for Delhi's 70 constituencies is February 8, 2020 and Counting will be held on February 11, 2020. More than 150 officers drawn from IAS, IPS as also from Indian Revenue Service and other Central Services were called for the General, Police and Expenditure Observers briefing today. Adequate number of officers would be deployed on actual duty.
                Addressing the Observers, Chief Election Commissioner Sh. Sunil Arora advised them to maintain close coordination with officers teams deputed in the field and to remain accessible at all times. Shri Arora particularly asked them to follow ECI's guidelines with full sincerity and devotion and adhere to code of ethics with no laxity at all in performing assigned tasks. He asked the Observers to ensure due Assured Minimum Facilities at all the Polling booths. Despite the fact that infrastructure in national capital is better than many places in the hinterland, he asked the Observers to visit the Polling Booths to check due facilitation to senior citizens, Persons with Disabilities and women voters to ensure  Commission's commitment to principle of Inclusive Elections. He reiterated that ECI shall not tolerate any wilful lapses.
      Election Commissioner Shri Ashok Lavasa emphasized the significance of role of Observers. Wherever critical interventions are required to ensure that no lapses, even of the smallest nature,  cause disruption in the Electoral Process, Sh Lavasa said the officers should attend to it promptly. Familiarisation with laid down instructions and attention to specific details of additional facilities being initiated in Delhi Elections, such as Absentee Voter Facilitation to essential services categories, 80+ aged voters as also marked PwDs; QR code reader on Photo Voter Slips, would aid efficacy of Observers assigned the duty. He advised officers to be proactive to redress complaints and ensure impartiality while discharging their duties.
    Speaking to the group, Election Commissioner Sh Sushil Chandra drew the attention of the Officers that as Observers they have a statutory duty to perform on behalf of Election Commission of India. He said the Officers so deputed, need to be neutral and impartial in discharge of their duties and be the actual face of ECI on the ground. He stated that the Observers should ensure strict compliance of ECI's rules and Standard Operating Procedures like amenities at the polling booths, vulnerability mapping or compliance of Non-Bailable Warrants, deposition of licensed arms and strict compliance of expenditure management norms.
                The half-day long briefing sessions held today had comprehensive briefing by the Secretary General ECI Shri Umesh Sinha on Election Planning, Security Management & SVEEP aspects; by the Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Sandeep Saxena, who is also Delhi State in-charge at ECI, on Electoral Roll issues and IT applications; session on EVM VVPAT Management System by Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Sudeep Jain and on legal issues by Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Chandra Bhushan Kumar. Director Expenditure Sh Vikram Batra gave an overview of Expenditure Management issues and DG Communications Shri Dhirendra Ojha briefed the Officers on aspects of Paid News, Media Certification and Monitoring Committees as also Social Media.
                It was particularly pointed out to the Observers that while in recent Jharkhand elections, Postal Ballot Facilitation for the Octogenarians and PwD voters was introduced on pilot basis, the optional facility of being able to cast vote from home would be extended across all 70 ACs of Delhi to voters above age of 80 years; marked PwDs as also to persons employed in essential services like Delhi Metro on-duty staff on polling day, Northern Railways Transportation s (Passenger and Freight ) services as also media persons for whom authority letters have been issued for covering poll-day activities in NCT of Delhi. IT applications like the Enabling Communication in Real-time Environment (ENCORE), an integrated portal to be used by Election Officers for overall management of aspects such as Candidate nominations, uploading of affidavits, Assigning symbol, Scrutiny of candidates nominations, Scrutiny of Candidate Permissions, Counting of Votes and Results dissemination etc. will be utilised for efficient and faster functioning. Other Apps to facilitate QR Code reading of Photo Voter Slips etc. would also be put in use in at least 11 ACs to ensure free, fair, peaceful, inclusive, accessible, ethical and participative election.
     
     
     
     

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  11. CEC Sh Sunil Arora Assumes Chairmanship of The Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA) for 2020

    No. ECI/PN/12/2020          
    Dated: 24th January, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
     
    CEC Sh Sunil Arora Assumes Chairmanship of The Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA) for 2020

    10th Annual Meeting of (FEMBoSA) & International Conference on ‘Strengthening Institutional Capacity’ concludes at New Delhi
     
    New Delhi Resolution Unanimously Adopted by FEMBoSA Members 
     
    Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Sunil Arora today assumed Chairmanship of The Forum of the Election Management Bodies (EMBs) of South Asia (FEMBoSA) for the year 2020. The Outgoing Chair of FEMBoSA, Mr. K.M.Nurul Huda,  CEC of Bangladesh handed over the Logo of FEMBoSA to the Incoming Chair, Mr. Sunil Arora at the 10th Annual Meeting of  FEMBoSA  held in New Delhi today.
    In his address, Mr. Nurul Huda stated that in keeping with the objectives of the Forum, members have been sharing experiences and skills and taking steps to enhance cooperation with other EMBs.   EMB Bangladesh presented the Stewardship Report on the activities of FEMBoSA members during the last year.
    Accepting the responsibility as Chairperson of the Forum, Sh Arora thanked the delegates for the trust and confidence reposed in the Election Commission of India. Sh. Arora said “The democratic scaffold and superstructure can be enacted and strengthened on the principle that the political power is validated by the will of the people. In democracy, power is won and legitimized only by regular elections, based on the universal, equal, direct and freely expressed suffrage”. Strong participatory and inclusive democracies are better able to ensure good governance and empowerment of all the citizens, he said. Sh. Arora added that for Capacity Building, Election Commission of India has established the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) in June 2011. 
    FEMBoSA was established at the 3rd Conference of Heads of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) of SAARC Countries held at New Delhi in May, 2012. With its eight members, FEMBoSA represents a very large part of the democratic world and is an active regional association of EMBs.  Annual FEMBoSA meeting is held by rotation among the members.  The last (9th) annual meeting of FEMBoSA was held in Dhaka in September 2018.
    A New Delhi Resolution was unanimously adopted at the 10th FEMBoSA Annual Meeting today by the seven FEMBoSA members present at the meeting. The Members resolved to : Implement the Work Plan for 2020 as approved by the member EMBs in the 10th Meeting of FEMBoSA; Cooperate in capacity building of the member countries; Host election visitor programmes in the respective countries as feasible; Provide technical assistance to the members as requested and as feasible; Actively share best practices and knowledge in ICT tools and modules being used by the member EMBs and to develop standards for sustainable use of ICT in elections; Take steps to curb use of money power and muscle power; Enhance and ease participation of Persons with Disabilities and Senior Citizens in the election process; Maintain the permanent content management based web portal of FEMBoSA to share information among the EMBs through the www.fembosa.org web portal; Design and implement regional research projects.
    The Work Plan for 2020 on ‘Use of Technology in Elections’ calls for Members to undertake projects and initiatives on various aspects of use of technology in elections and present a report on their experiences and challenges faced in this regard at the next FEMBoSA Meeting. 
    On the sidelines of the Conference, ECI renewed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation in the field of election management with the Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan. The MOU was signed by H.E. Mrs. Hawa Alam Nooristani, Chairwoman, IEC Afghanistan and by Shri Sunil Arora, CEC on behalf of ECI.   An MoU for cooperation in the field of election management was also signed with the Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE) of Tunisia.  The MOU was signed by H.E. Mr. Nabil Baffoun, President, ISIE of Tunisia and by Shri Arora.
    An International Conference was also organised today on the theme “Strengthening Institutional Capacity”, where nearly 30 delegates gathered to attend the International Conference. The day long International Conference included delegates from participating FEMBoSA members as also participants from EMBs of Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgystan, Mauritius, Tunisia and three International Organisations viz. the A-WEB, International Foundation of Electoral Systems and International IDEA. Presentations were made by delegates from ECs of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Kyrgyz Republic, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, IFES and Intl. IDEA. The representatives shared their experiences, best practices and initiatives. Experts also analysed barriers, policy interventions, strategies, programmes, good practices and technological innovation for strengthening Institutional capacity of EMBs.   
    On this occasion, CEC Sh Sunil Arora along with the two Election Commissioners of India Sh. Ashok Lavasa and Sh. Sushil Chandra and Secretary General, ECI Sh Umesh Sinha also launched the 10th issue of ECI’s magazine – ‘VOICE International’ which carries articles on the theme of “Innovative Methods of Voter Registration”. The 4th Issue of magazine “My Vote Matters” was also released on the occasion. A webportal on Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) was also unveiled. IIIDEM will host A-WEB Centre for documentation, research and training for sharing the best practices and capacity building of officials of A-WEB members. The Commission also released “ICT 2020; a compendium of 20 Apps for Election”.
    Election Commission of India has endeavoured to play a pioneering role in organizing free, fair and credible elections in a participative manner in the largest democracy in the world.  It enjoys impeccable reputation in imparting knowledge and sharing skills and best practices with other EMBs through its robust international cooperation programme.  In September 2019, ECI took over as Chair of the 115 member Association of World Election Bodies for 2019-21 term.  Earlier today, ECI assumed Chairmanship of FEMBoSA for 2020.  ECI remains committed to the ideals and objectives of these Associations and looks forward to further strengthen its cooperation and interaction with fellow EMBs to spread the march of democracy globally.
     
     
     
     
     
     

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  12. 10th National Voters’ Day celebrated to mark the Foundation Day of ECI

    No. ECI/PN/13/2020          
    Dated: 25tH January, 2020
    PRESS NOTE
    10th National Voters’ Day celebrated to mark the Foundation Day of ECI
    The 10th National Voters’ Day (NVD) was celebrated across the country today. President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind presided over the national level event held at New Delhi. Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Union Minister for Law & Justice, Communications and Electronics and Information Technology also graced the event as the Guest of Honour. The Chief Election Commissioner Shri Sunil Arora, Election Commissioners Shri Ashok Lavasa and Shri Sushil Chandra, Secretary General Shri Umesh Sinha and Director General Shri Dharmendra Sharma received the dignitaries on the occasion.
    The theme for NVD 2020 was ‘Electoral Literacy for Stronger Democracy’ reiterating the commitment of Election Commission of India (ECI) towards electoral literacy for all to ensure maximum participation and informed & ethical voting. This year marks an important milestone in the history of Indian democracy as Election Commission of India (ECI) completes 70 years of its journey.
     
    President Sh. Ram Nath Kovind hailed the varied interventions taken up by ECI for the successful conduct of the 17th Lok Sabha Election in a free, fair and transparent manner. The President particularly appreciated the initiatives for reaching out to voters in the remotest corner to include their names in the electoral roll and to encourage them to exercise the Right to Vote, resulting in the historic voter turnout of 67.47%.He congratulated the new six new voters particularly who were given the Electoral Photo Identity Cards today. The President also particularly mentioned the Universal Adult Suffrage principle which helped all Indian eligible citizens to vote from the very beginning of the journey of Indian republic. Shri Kovind also took note of the special efforts undertaken by Election Commission of India to ensure that the gender gap was reduced to less than 0.1% in the last Lok Sabha General Election. He particularly lauded the Electoral Literacy Clubs’ efforts and use of vernacular language in reaching out to even in the remotest areas.
     
     
    On this occasion, the President gave away the National Awards for the Best Electoral Practices to Officers for their outstanding performance in the conduct of elections in different spheres. The district administrative and Security Officers were lauded for their efforts to ensure enrollment of new eligible voters with sustained efforts, launch of SVEEP Apps to facilitate polling experience, conduct of elections with innovative means, facilitating Persons with Disabilities at polling booths as also working amidst challenging circumstances such as severe cyclonic storm or coordinating security grid mechanisms. In addition, awards were also conferred on CSOs, Govt. Departments and Media Houses for their outstanding contribution in the field of voter awareness and outreach. 
     
    Two books were launched by Union Minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad and presented to the Hon’ble President. The first book was Belief in the Ballot-II, an anthology of 101 human stories from across the nation about Indian elections. An amalgamation of daring, interesting and inspiring stories of both election officers and voters, this anthology presents experiences of courage, sacrifice and dedication of the election personnel as well as the enthusiasm and commitment of the voters. 
    The second book launched was The Centenarian Voters: Sentinels of Our Democracy. This collection enumerates the stories and experiences of 51 centenarians across India, who braved difficult terrain, poor health and other challenges to come out and vote.
    Chief Election Commissioners and senior officials from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Maldives, Mauritius, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Tunisia graced the occasion. Reputed international organisations working in elections such as A-WEB, IFES and International IDEA were also a part of the occasion. Members of Political Parties, Members of Parliament besides Diplomats from various countries and representatives from national and international organizations working in the area of democracy and elections also attended the national function.
    The National Voters’ Day (NVD) is celebrated all over the country on January 25 every year since 2011 to mark the Foundation day of Election Commission of India, which was established on this day in the year 1950. This year, the celebrations were spread over three days to mark the 70 illustrious years of ECI establishment. On 23rd January, the Commission organized the first ever annual lecture series in memory of the first Chief Election Commissioner of India, Shri Sukumar Sen. Hon’ble former President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee, delivered the keynote lecture. On 24th January, an International Conference on “Strengthening Institutional Capacity” was organised.
    The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to encourage, facilitate and maximize the enrollment, especially for the new voters. Dedicated to the voters of the country, the Day is utilized to spread awareness among voters for promoting informed participation in the electoral process.
    Download link for National Voters’ Day Brochure: https://ecisveep.nic.in/files/file/1200-national-voters-day-2020-brochure/
     
     
     
     
     
     

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  13. Shri Pranab Mukherjee delivers the 1st Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture hosted by Election Commission of India to mark its 70th year of inception

    No. ECI/PN/10/2020      
    Dated: 23rd January, 2020
     
    PRESS NOTE
     
    Shri Pranab Mukherjee delivers the 1st Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture hosted by Election Commission of India to mark its 70th year of inception
    Reprint of the Report on India's First Election released by Shri Pranab Mukherjee;  Postal Stamp in memory of Shri Sukumar Sen unveiled
     
    Election Commission of India today organised the 1st Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture instituted as a tribute to the first Chief Election Commissioner of India. Sh Sen had served as the first Chief Election Commissioner of India from 21st March 1950 till 19th December, 1958. 
    Former President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee delivered the inaugural lecture on electoral processes of India and challenges of our electoral systems. Sh Mukherjee's lecture highlighted the importance of institutions in our National evolution. 
    Speaking on the occasion, Sh Mukherjee described Sh Sukumar Sen as "chosen to play obstetrician and to deliver Indian democracy’s first crop of nearly three thousand elected representative. Realising with surprising 
    un-I.C.S. humility that democracy likes its mechanics to be as self-effacing as possible, the Chief Election Commissioner became an unseen, undogmatic influence patiently judicial in his attitude to parties but insistent in regard to the machine he wielded".   Sh Mukherjee noted "Free, fair, popular and credible elections are a cornerstone, indeed the life blood of Democracy. Sen, by seamlessly conducting the first two general elections, aided India’s transition from a Crown colony to a sovereign Democratic Republic in practical terms.
    Sh Mukherjee recalled that "The Constituent Assembly of India, which prepared the Constitution, had intensely debated the issue of universal adult franchise. It had unhesitatingly adopted the principle of adult suffrage with the full knowledge of the difficulties involved." The Former president said "The foremost achievement of the First General Election lies in the fact that it cemented and painstakingly brought about unification of India". Indian democracy and its inherent power of assimilation has successfully thwarted insurgency and separate movements and elections have successfully co-opted varied groups into the electoral mainstream, he stated. "Indian Democracy has been tested time and again. Consensus is the lifeblood of Democracy. Democracy thrives on listening, deliberating, discussing, arguing and even dissent. Enthusiastic participation of people in the electoral process is the key to healthy democracy", he underlined.
    Speaking about the role of Election Commission, Sh Pranab Mukhejee said, "In my opinion, the Election Commission of India, respected and revered by the people and feared by the participants of elections, has mostly stood the test of time. The role of the Election Commission in the practical play of democracy in India has been simply outstanding. The challenges it has had to face have been daunting. The management of an electorate of over 900 million in 2019 that is nearly the combined population of third, fourth and fifth largest nations in the world, and ensuring fair polling is not an easy job. I compliment the Election Commission for this laudable achievement."
    Taking note of some of  the challenges that our electoral system  faces, Sh Mukherjee spoke of embargo on the sanctioning and implementation of developmental projects; Disproportionately large size of the electorate vis-à-vis the number of public representatives as also adequate representation of women in Parliament and the Assemblies that has emerged as a major area of concern. Highlighting the importance of institutions, Sh Mukherjee complemented "If democracy has succeeded, its largely due to the perfect conduct of elections by all Election Commissioners starting from Sukumar Sen to the present Election Commissioners". There can be no room for speculation that challenges the very basis of our democracy. People's mandate is sacrosanct and has to be above any iota of reasonable doubt, he emphasized.
    Earlier, in his opening remarks, Chief Election Commissioner Sh Sunil Arora said "Election Commission of India is indebted to Shri Pranab Mukherjee for kindly agreeing to deliver the First Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture. There could not be a harmonious combination of theme and the speaker for this evening - a savant and a rajrishi". Shri Mukherjee, is considered a living encyclopedia of political, constitutional and historical matters. He was honoured with Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 2019 for his distinguished contribution to public affairs. "Shri Mukherjee, as President of the republic, had addressed ECI's National Voters Day event twice in 2016 and 2017. We are delighted to have him back to deliver the inaugural Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture", Sh Arora added. He also elaborated that the objective of this lecture is to make a positive intervention in the democratic and electoral discourse, within the ambit of the Constitutional mandate of the Election Commission of India. ECI wishes to involve a wide cross-section of people including political parties, leading constitutionalists, legal luminaries, academicians, civil society activists in it. He also remembered Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on his 123rd birth anniversary today. 
    Shri Ashok Lavasa, Election Commissioner welcomed the gathering and Shri Sushil Chandra, Election Commissioner thanked the audience on this momentous occasion.
    It may be recalled that Sh Sukumar Sen commendably conducted the first two Lok Sabha elections of India held in 1952 and 1957 simultaneously with the Legislative Assembly Elections based on universal adult franchise under challenging circumstances and little precedence to guide him. On this occasion a reprint of the Report on India's First Election was released by Shri Pranab Mukherjee as also a postal stamp in memory of Shri Sukumar Sen was unveiled.  It is proposed that every year a leading figure, whether from India or abroad, who had made a recognizable contribution in furthering democracy, would be invited to deliver the lecture.
    Today's lecture was attended by Mr. Sen’s family members, grandchildren Dr Asis Mukerjee, Mrs Shyamali Mukerjee, Sanjiv Sen, Sonali Sen, Debdatta Sen, Sujaya Sen and great grandchildren Aditya Vikram Sen, Arjun Veer Sen as also a wide cross section of invitees from National Political Parties, Members of the Academia, Civil Society Organisations, senior civil servants, media persons as also the international delegates who have gathered in New Delhi to attend the 10th Annual Meeting of The Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South  Asia (FEMBoSA) & an International Conference on ‘Strengthening Institutional Capacity’ being hosted by ECI on 24th of January 2020. 
     
     
     
     
     
     

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ECI Main Website

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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