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IIIDEM Conducts Training on Election Management for SAARC Nations

The India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM) has conducted training on Election Management of SAARC Countries.

It was conducted by Election Commission of India (ECI) and sponsored by the Union Ministry of External Affairs with aim of promoting free, fair, peaceful and inclusive elections.

Key Facts
  • The training course is attended by delegates consisting of Election Management Bodies (EMBs) from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan and Afghanistan.
  • The 11 day (5th to 15th December 2016) course encapsulates several sessions on principles and practices for election management.
  • During the program, the 28 participants from these 6 SAARC countries will share their experiences on election situation in their respective countries.
  • Additionally, it aims to train officials on various aspects of election management like capacity building of stakeholders, code of conduct, voter inclusion and registration etc.
  • It will have participatory sessions on ‘Free, Fair Elections and International Standards,’ ‘Principles of Voter Registration and Type of Voter Registers’ and ‘Electoral Systems and Practices’.

About India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIIDEM)

  • IIDEM is an advanced resource centre of learning, research, training and extension for participatory democracy and election management.
  • It has been developed in collaboration with the Union Government, United Nations, Commonwealth and inter-governmental organisations like Sweden based International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA).
  • It is a national and international hub for exchange of good practices in election management.
  • It has four components (i) Training and Capacity Development, (ii) Voter Education and Civic Participation, (iii) Research, Innovation and Documentation and (iv) International Projects and Technical Collaboration.

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Lok Sabha passes Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016

Lok Sabha has passed Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 to grant voting rights to people who became citizens of India following the exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh.

The bill seeks to amend the Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1950 and the Delimitation Act, 2002. These Acts regulate allocation of seats to the Lok Sabha and state legislatures and delimitation (fixing boundaries) of parliamentary and state assembly constituencies.

Key facts

  • This bill aims to empower the Election Commission of India (ECI) to carry out delimitation in areas that were affected by the enactment of the Constitution (100th Amendment) Act, 2015.
  • Under the 2015 Act, enclaves were exchanged between India and Bangladesh. India received 51 enclaves from Bangladesh and transferred 111 enclaves to Bangladesh in July 2015.
  • The bill empowers ECI to amend the delimitation order for (i) Include in the relevant constituencies the Bangladeshi enclaves that were transferred to India. (ii) Exclude of relevant constituencies in the Indian enclaves that were transferred to Bangladesh.

The RPA, 1950 and Delimitation Act, 2002 provide the ECI the responsibility to maintain up-to-date delimitation orders. Delimitation orders specify the boundaries of territorial constituencies.

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Union Government to allow e-Postal Ballot System for Overseas electors

Union Government is going to allow e-Postal Ballot System and Proxy voting to Overseas electors as an alternative voting option.

This information was given by Union Law Minister Sadananda Gowda in a written reply in the Rajya Sabha.

Key facts

  • The e-Postal Ballot System: It envisages providing blank ballots electronically to the Non Resident Indian (NRI) voters and thereafter after casting vote they can return it by normal post.
  • Proxy voting: It would allow such overseas voters to appoint a proxy after following certain formalities and exercise his/her franchise.

However to give legal status this proposal, amendment are to be made in The Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1950 and 1951. But time frame to implement it will come after approval of amendment to RPA by both the Houses of the Parliament.

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