National Voters Day
Voters play an important role in the democracy of the country India and in order to encourage young voters to take part in the political process, January 25th is been dedicated as “National Voters Day” (राष्ट्रीय मतदाता दिवस).
Why It is Celebrated
The day marks the foundation of the Election Commission of India who has the responsibility for ensuring that all elections are held in India without any discrimination. The Election Commission of India was established on 25 July 1950 and the celebration of National Voters Day started on January 25, 2011, and the scheme was announced by the then Prime minister of India Manmohan Singh. The main purpose of the celebration of this day is to instill a feeling of oneness among youngsters and make them aware of the important position they have in shaping the future of the nation.
Every year National Voters Day is celebrated with a particular theme, last year 2021 the theme was “Making Our Voters Empowered, Vigilant, Safe and Informed“. In the year 2019, the theme was ‘No Voter to be Left Behind‘ and the theme of the last year’s 2020 was ‘Electoral Literacy for Stronger Democracy’.
The Commission started a special program to make voters aware of the Election Commission, they adopted a new Systematic Voters Education and Electoral Participation Strategy (SVEEP) in 2009 to increase people’s participation in the electoral process. The Commission also started a special campaign to introduce new voters to the country every year. Under this program, youth are organized from time to time.
What is the purpose
The Election Commission conducts presidential, vice-presidential elections, Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and assembly elections in the country. The purpose of this day is to remind the voters of the country about their rights and duties towards democracy. Especially the young voters joining every year have to be included in this process. This day reminds the youth of the importance of new voters in nation-building, each new voter who attains the age of 18 need to register himself by filling a form and getting his/her Voter ID card.
Functions of Election Commission of India
The Election Commission of India has certain major functions to perform which are-
Ensuring that free and fair elections are conducted during Lok sabha and Rajya Sabha elections, State legislative assembly elections, President and Vice-president elections, Parliament and state legislature by-elections.
Preparation of electoral rolls and ensure that no voter who is registered to vote should be disallowed.
Appointing election observers to conduct free and fair elections.
Planning the election schedule and informing citizens through press conferences so that the prospective candidates can file for nominations.
The election commission performs some quasi-judicial functions to ensure the model code of conduct is followed.
Conducting by-elections in any constituency wherever need rises.
The election commission has the right to cancellation an election where malpractice got involved.
A new political party needs to get recognition from the Election Commission and then it is allotted a party symbol.
The Election Commission can also disqualify any candidate if they are found in malpractice and guilty.
It is the responsibility of the Election Commission to ensure that the code of conduct is followed during the election period.
The Election Commission has to monitor the behavior of political parties during the election period.
The Election Commission is responsible to provide information and regular updates to the media about the election.
Today on the occasion of National Voters Day, all of us should take a pledge to strengthen the democracy of our country through our vote.
The Election Commission of India on 25th January 2021 launched the digital/electronic version of the voter identity card under its Electronic Electoral Photo Identity Card (e-EPIC) program. Voters in India can download an e-elector photo identity card which is a non-editable version of the elector photo identity card.
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