Ahead of Assembly Elections – 2018: Training for Poll Officers

Mysuru: With the State going to polls in a couple of months, a two-day training programme for State-Level Master Trainers (SLMTs) began at Administrative Training Institute (ATI) on Lalitha Mahal Road here this morning.

Two officials of Gazetted Officer Rank from each district of the State are taking part in this programme, which is an initiative of the Election Commission of India (ECI) to train officials on ensuring free, fair and hassle-free polls in the State.

Speaking after inaugurating the programme, Deputy Commissioner D. Randeep said the Election Commission has organised this programme in order to ensure smooth polling process in the State.

Pointing out that the SLMTs’ trained here by National-level Master Trainers (NLMT) will be tasked with training District-level Master Trainers (DLMT) and other subordinate officers, the DC highlighted the importance of the programme and said that it provides a deep insight into the latest developments in various aspects of the election process.

Observing that a proper election management plan is key for the success of elections, Randeep said that the ECI has given a strict direction on training Booth-level personnel, who are a vital part of the election management system.

Underlining the role of electronic and other media in reporting any kind of code of conduct violations, the DC emphasised on the need for keeping a tab on social media too, for preventing any possible misuse by political parties, with polls round the corner. The DC further said that the training programme apart from covering all aspects pertaining to the functioning of EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines) and VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail), will also delve  on handling postal ballots and e-voting process.

ATI Joint Director V. Bhagyalakshmi,  in her address, said that a total of 600 polling officers from across the State have undergone poll training here in batches last month.

Declaring that ATI has evolved a plan to train poll officers at different levels on all aspects of the election process, Bhagyalakshmi said she was one of the two officials from the State who were sent by the Union Government‘s E-Governance Department to Estonia in Europe to study the election process there.

Pointing out that Estonia, a country with 14.5 lakh population, has recorded a 100 per cent voter turnout, she stressed on the need to educate the voters on E-voting and other latest voting forms and techniques to ensure maximum polling in the country.

NLMTs’ Himamshu Parekh of Gujarat, Narayan S. Navti of Goa and S.S. Biradar of Karnataka and other officials were present.

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