November 30, 2016. Noida: The Shiv Nadar School, Noida today hosted the honorable Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) of India – Dr. Nasim Zaidi for a special interactive session on elections and electoral governance. Dr. Zaidi was accompanied by Shri Umesh Sinha, the Deputy Election Commissioner and Ms. Padma Angmo, the Director, Election Commission of India. Shri Dhirendra Ojha, Director, Election Commission of India; Shri N. P. Singh, the District Magistrate of Gautam Budh Nagar, was also a part of the visiting delegation.
This was the first time that the Election Commission organized such an event in a school, targeted to educate, inform and sensitize the upcoming generation of voters in the country. In order to make the learning more experiential, a Model Polling Booth was established at the school, complete with Poling Offers and EVM Machines, where in the students got a taste of the actual voting process.
As a part of his address, Dr. Zaidi informed the students about the role of the Election Commission of India and about his own role and responsibilities as the CEC. He made students understand the vast and intense nature of electoral process in India and the active involvement of the commission in ensuring free, fair and peaceful nature of election in the country – imperative for the effective functioning of a democracy. Dr. Zaidi drew the attention of the students towards the general apathy witnessed in the younger generation about the voting process and how this needs to be rectified to safeguard the future of the Indian democracy. The technological advancements and reforms underway to make the election process more participative and inclusive were also shared with the students.
In the open session following his address, the students from the Shiv Nadar School asked some interesting questions. These included queries on the efficacy of NOTA (against all or scratch vote), the wastage of resources in conducting multiple elections for state and centre legislature and also about the impact of demonetization on the immediate next elections in the country. A student also sought to understand how does the CEC manage to withstand the political pressure he might encounter during the course of discharge of his duties, to which, the Dr. Zaidi responded by quoting two core values he observes in life – integrity and transparency.