(GIST OF YOJANA) National Voters' Day 2020 Electoral Literacy for a Stronger Democracy [JANUARY-2020]

(GIST OF YOJANA) National Voters' Day 2020 Electoral Literacy for a Stronger Democracy [JANUARY-2020]

National Voters' Day 2020 Electoral Literacy for a Stronger Democracy


  • National Voters’ Day is celebrated since 2011 to mark the Foundation day of the Election Commission of India (ECI), which was established on this day in the year 1950. Every vote counts in the elections. NVD was initiated in 2011 by the Commission to highlight the value of vote and importance of every vote in democracy. NVD marks the Foundation day of Election Commission of India, which was established on this day in the year 1950.


  • The main purpose of the celebration is to encourage, facilitate, and maximise the enrolment, especially for the new voters. Dedicated to the voters of the country, the day is also utilised to spread awareness for effective participation in the electoral process.
  • Each year, simultaneous celebrations are organised at the National level. State level, district level down to the polling station level making it the largest celebration of democracy in the world.
  • National level function is organised at New Delhi by ECI where Hon’ble President of India graces the occasion as Chief Guest. Awards are given away to the National, Special and Zonal recipients besides the ‘Best State Award’ and ‘Media Awards’ for excellence, proficiency, and innovation in electoral process and outstanding performance.
  • Best Practices in Election Management in the fields of Voter Education, Security Management, Infrastructure Management, Expenditure Monitoring and Tackling Money Power, Use of Technology, Management of Electoral Rolls, Innovation etc. are considered.
  • The selection process is fairly comprehensive and aims at eliciting the best of the talent and performance among election officials and stakeholders. New voters (18+ years old) are given their Elector Photo Identity Card.

Voters’ Pledge:

  • We, the Citizens of India, having abiding faith in democracy, hereby pledge to uphold the democratic traditions of our country and the dignity of free, fair and peaceful elections, and to vote in every election fearlessly and without being influenced by considerations of religion, race, caste, community, language or any other inducement.
  • NVD celebrations focus on a specific theme every year. The theme sets the tone for the activities conducted throughout the year. Yearwise themes are as follows;
  • 2011: Greater Participation for a Stronger Democracy
  • 2012: Women’s Registration
  • 2013: Inclusion
  • 2014: Ethical Voting
  • 2015: Easy Registration, Easy Correction
  • 2016: Inclusive and Qualitative Participation; No voter to be left behind
  • 2017: Empowering Young and Future Voters
  • 2018: Accessible Elections
  • 2010: No Voter to be Left Behind
  • 2020: Electoral Literacy for a stronger Democracy

Electoral literacy programme:

  • ECI launched the Electoral literacy programme under SCALP on the eve of 8th NVD and by now about 5.8 lakh Electoral Literacy Clubs (ELC), Chunav Pathshalas, and Voter Awareness Forums have been set up across the country. These forums work on the principle of engaging the target populations through hands-on experience on the electoral process.
  • The ELCs operate at the level of schools, colleges, and other institutions of learning; Chunav Pathshalas operate at community levels; and the Voter Awareness Forums operate at the level of organisations including Government offices. The programme is envisaged to expand and cover all the institutions.
  • Mandate for universal equal suffrage emanates from Article 326 of the Constitution. The mandate was further enhanced with the Constitution (Sixty-first Amendment) Act, 1988 that reduced the voting age to 18 years. As per its mandate, the Election Commission made sustained efforts to enroll all eligible electors. Yet, voters’ apathy and lack of enrolment and participation of certain sections of society, especially the new voters (18+), was a challenge. During the Diamond Jubilee celebration in 2010, the Commission had a focused analysis of both, the enrolment and electoral participation, especially among the young voters.
  • The Commission decided to take up a rigorous exercise to identify all eligible voters attaining the age of 18 as on 1st January every year in each polling station area of the country, enroll them and handover their Elector Photo Identity Cards on 25 January. The initiative aimed at providing the youth a sense of citizenship, empowerment, and pride in electoral participation as also to inspire them in exercising the newly acquired franchise.
  • Thus as a measure of enhancing participation of citizens, especially the youth in democratic electoral process ECI decided to celebrate 25 January its Foundation Day, as the National Voters’ Day every year.

Key outcomes:

  • Outcomes in terms of enrollment of voters emanating from the initiative have been encouraging. The Lok Sabha Elections 2019 saw a historic voter turnout of 67.47% Voter turnout had increased to a record 66.44% in 20 14 from 58. 19% in 2009. The number of electors that was 83.4 crore on the eve of 2014 General Elections rose to 91 crore ahead of Lok Sabha Election 2019. This is an addition of over 7.46 crore electors which included 4.07 crore women and 3.3 crore men.
  • Moreover, women participation also increased to a historic 66.79% in 2019 reducing the gender gap to 0.01% as compared to 1.46% in 2014 elections. Also, with an aim to ensure accessible elections, 62 lakh Persons with Disability (PwD) electors were identified.
  • At present, about 91 crore Indian citizens are registered as voters. The Commission has demonstrated fulfillment of its mandate through conduct of successive elections in the country right from 1950 onwards. The strength of its electoral processes is seen both with awe and respect among democracies of the world. Today, the electoral operations of India are the largest in the world as demonstrated in the Lok Sabha Election 2019 where about 1.2 crore polling officials worked at over 10 lakh polling stations in the country.


  • A voter is the central unit of a democracy and its electoral processes. NVD connects voters with the electoral process and renews both, their relevance and contribution to the democracy.
  • NVD inspires the voters, the key stakeholder in democratic polity besides other stakeholders including election machinery. Today NVD initiative has been institutionalized as an annual feature for celebration of democracy and electoral participation in the country.

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Courtesy: YOJANA