New Delhi: 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 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, 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. 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 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. 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 upon6 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.