What is National Voters' Day: History, Importance And Celebrations
|National Voter's Day falls on January 25th. Photo: Jagran Josh|
What is National Voters' Day?
National Voters' Day is observed across India on January 25 every year to encourage youths to take part in the electoral process. It was first observed in 2011 after the Cabinet, under the leadership of former Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, approved it, says Jagran English.
"In order to effectively deal with this problem, the Election Commission has decided to take up a vigorous exercise to identify all eligible voters attaining the age of 18 years as of January 1 every year in each of the 8.5 lakh polling stations across the country," said the Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni.
History of National Voter's Day
|Photo: Free Press Journal|
The National Voters’ Day has been celebrated on January 25 every year since 2011, all across the country to mark the foundation day of the Election Commission of India, i.e. January 25, 1950. The main purpose of the NVD celebration is to encourage, facilitate and maximize enrolment, especially for the new voters. Dedicated to the voters of the country, the day is utilized to spread awareness among voters and for promoting informed participation in the electoral process. New voters are felicitated and handed over their Elector Photo Identity Card (EPIC) in the NVD functions, Yahoo News cites.
2021 National Voters’ Day Celebrations
During the event, the President of India will confer the National Awards for the year 2020-21 and launch ECI’s Web Radio: ‘Hello Voters’. The National Awards for the Best Electoral Practices will be conferred on State and District level officers for their outstanding performance in the conduct of elections in different spheres such as IT initiatives, Security Management, Election Management during COVID-19, Accessible Election and contribution in the field of voter awareness and outreach. National Awards will also be given to important stakeholders like national icons, CSOs and media groups for their valuable contribution towards voters’ awareness, according to Free Press Journal.
ECI’s Web Radio: ‘Hello Voters’: This online digital radio service will stream voter awareness programs. It will be accessible through a link on the Election Commission of India website. The programming style of Radio Hello Voters has been envisaged to match that of popular FM radio services. It will provide information and education on electoral processes through songs, drama, discussions, sports, stories of elections etc. in Hindi, English and regional languages from all over the country.
This will be the eighth National Voters' Day (NVD) and will be used to spread awareness among voters regarding effective participation in the electoral process, noted NDTV.
To increase people's participation in the electoral process, the Election Commission of India adopted a Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation strategy in 2009 and it got reflected in a range of policy initiatives, programs and activities. It's popularly known as SVEEP.
In poll-bound Meghalaya, the Election Commission will felicitate 133-millennium voters - the voters born on January 1 in the year 2000 and have attained the age of 18 on the first day of this year. In Manipur, the National Voters' Day will be celebrated with the theme "Assessable Elections" and new electors will be felicitated.
In Haryana, activities to promote electoral participation like rangoli making, essay writing, declamation competitions, street plays and rallies by students would be held. In Bengaluru, the Election Commission has decided to use millennial voters as ambassadors under Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP).
Through National Voters' Day, the Election Commission's objective is to increase enrolment of voters, especially of the newly eligible ones. The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering election processes in the country and founded in 1950. It administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, state legislatures and the offices of the President and Vice President in India.
e-EPIC Program to be Launched
|Photo: Bold Sky|
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will launch the e-EPIC program and distribute e-EPICs and Elector Photo Identity Cards to five new voters. e-EPIC, a digital version of the Elector Photo Identity Card can be accessed through the Voter Helpline App and websites https://voterportal.eci.gov.in/ and https://www.nvsp.in/. Prasad will also release three publications of the Election Commission during the event. Copies of these documents will be presented to the Honourable President of India. Details of the publications are given below:
Conducting Election During Pandemic- A Photo Journey: This photo book encapsulates the challenging journey of conducting elections amidst a pandemic. The Commission successfully conducted several elections in the country, beginning with the Biennial Election to the Rajya Sabha. This was followed by Legislative Assembly Elections in Bihar, one of the biggest such exercises throughout the world during the pandemic.
What is e-EPIC and how can I download it?
e-EPIC is a non-editable secure portable document format (PDF) version of the EPIC that will have a secured QR code with image and demographics like serial number, part number, etc.
Voters can be downloaded the e-EPIC on a mobile or a computer and can store it digitally. This is in addition to physical IDs being issued for fresh registration.
Here it is noteworthy to mention that e-EPIC can only be downloaded by authenticating mobile numbers.
Bye-Elections were also conducted for 60 constituencies in various states of the country. SVEEP Endeavours: Awareness initiatives during Lok Sabha Election, 2019: This book provides a detailed insight into voter awareness interventions, innovations and initiatives during the 17th General Election, conducted in 2019. It documents the spirit of ‘Desh Ka Mahatyohar’, the biggest festival of democracy celebrated across the nation cutting through the barriers of gender, caste, creed and religion. Chalo Karen Matdaan: It is a comic book that aims at voter education in a fun and thought-provoking way. Targeting young, new and future voters, this comic contains interesting and relatable characters to educate voters at large on electoral processes.
The Theme for National Voter's Day 2021
The theme for this year's National Voters' Day is "Making our voters empowered, vigilant, safe and informed." This year ECI would have a bigger challenge ahead of them as due to Covid 19, people would be reluctant to come out and vote.
Moreover, organizing elections in the biggest democracy in the world while keeping all health regulations in mind as first priority would definitely be public safety, is a daunting task for ECI. However, with the vaccination process gaining pace and youth becoming more vigilant and active, ECI's task looks tough but possible.
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