Addressing the young officers, Chief Election Commissioner Om Prakash Rawat reminded them of the IAS Academy theme song “Hao Dharmete Dheer, Hao Karomete Bir Hao Unnato Shir—Naahi Bhay. ie “Be firm in your faith, be courageous in action Keep your head erect—fear not”) exhorting them to fearlessly shoulder their responsibilities in coming days. Recapitulating early history of how even the Electoral Roll had to be arduously compiled in post-Partition circumstances, Sh Rawat apprised the Officers of the impeccable reputation India has now internationally attained in conducting efficient and peaceful elections.
The Chief Election Commissioner also asked the Officers to be prepared for facing the newer challenges like Data harvesting; targeted messaging & profiling; money and media influencers. He advised the officers to facilitate all stakeholders but to enforce discipline without laxity and with firmness, assuring them that the Commission would always back the officers upholding the law.
Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa in his address to the Officers reiterated the values of Impartiality and Neutrality in their conduct in ensuring lawful decisions even under trying circumstances to deliver the best possible services to the People of India. He said practical application of all the Rules/information imparted today in the workshop, along with their ability to harness technology, would stand them in good stead when they need to be the Commission’s interface with voters on the field.
The Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Sh Umesh Sinha pointed out that this Orientation has been a very opportune initiative taken by the Commission. Exposure to the Election Commission right at the start of their careers would equip them to effectively face the real life situations.
The day long programme consisted of sessions, taken by senior officers of the Commission, on Election Planning; deployment of observers; Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) activities; Process of drawing up the Electoral Rolls; Polling Stations Management; Use of Information and Communication Technology in electoral process and Knowledge of Legal framework. The sessions also included an exposure on key instructions and guidelines of the ECI’s Model Code of Conduct; Handling of Electronic Voting Machines and VVPATs issues; Expenditure Management as also Media & Social Media related aspects.