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Election Commission Partners with Indian Banks’ Association and Department of Posts to Boost Voter Awareness

New Delhi: In a pioneering move, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with two distinguished organizations, the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) and the Department of Posts (DoP), to escalate its voter outreach and awareness initiatives in anticipation of the upcoming General Elections to Lok Sabha 2024. This initiative is a continuation of ECI’s relentless endeavors to enhance electoral awareness across the nation. Recently, ECI had inked an MoU with the Ministry of Education to formally integrate electoral literacy into the educational curriculum of schools and colleges. The MoU was signed in the presence of Chief Election Commissioner Shri Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Shri Arun Goel. Sh Vineet Pandey, Secretary, Department of Posts, Shri Sunil Mehta, Chief Executive, IBA, and other officials from the Department of Posts, IBA, and ECI graced the occasion.

Under the MoU, IBA and DoP, along with their members and affiliated institutions/units, will provide support to promote voter education through their extensive network on a pro-bono basis. This collaboration aims to empower citizens with knowledge about their electoral rights, processes, and steps for registration and voting.

Key highlights of the MoU include:

Prominent Display on Websites: Members and affiliated institutions/units will prominently display voter education messages on their websites, directing visitors to learn more about the electoral process.

Dissemination through Promotional Channels: Voter education content will be disseminated through various promotional channels, such as social media and customer outreach platforms of member institutions, ensuring widespread awareness among stakeholders and the public.

Physical Displays at Key Locations: Voter education messages will be displayed in the form of posters, flex, and hoardings at office infrastructure/premises at major locations, reaching customers at key touchpoints.

Establishment of Voter Awareness Fora: All member institutions under IBA & DoP will establish Voter Awareness Fora to engage employees and customers in discussions and initiatives related to voter education.

Integration in Employee Training: Sensitize about the training module on Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation (SVEEP) in the regular orientation programs of employees of IBA & DoP.

Special Postal Cancellation Stamp: The Department of Posts will affix a special cancellation stamp bearing voter education messages on postal articles.

Despite successfully managing and conducting elections over the years, with a significant increase in elector participation, there remains a concern about a substantial number of electors (around 30 crore out of 91 crore) not casting their votes in the General Election to Lok Sabha 2019. With a voting percentage of 67.4%, the Commission has taken this as a challenge to improve upon.

This collaboration with IBA and the Department of Posts signifies a significant stride towards strengthening democracy by empowering citizens with knowledge and awareness about their electoral rights and responsibilities. Both organizations are committed to fostering a culture of informed and active participation in the electoral process through concerted efforts.

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