Technology driven processes became all the more important in view of Covid 19, the Chief Election Commissioner said

Pointing out that the technological advancements and its impact on election management is of critical importance, Chief Election Commissioner of India Sushil Chandra on Wednesday said that technology has been extensively used to make elections more participative, accessible and transparent.

Speaking at the 11th Annual Meeting of the Forum of the Election Management Bodies of South Asia (FEMBoSA) for 2021 on the theme ‘Use of Technology in Elections’, Chandra mentioned that keeping pace with the rapid strides of technology, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has digitized many processes.

Technology driven processes became all the more important in view of Covid 19 situation by helping minimize person-to-person contact, he observed during the meet.

The meeting held in the virtual mode was hosted by the Election Commission of Bhutan. Alongside India, delegations from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka participated in the day-long event, the Election Commission of India said.

CEC Chandra shared India’s experience of conducting Assembly elections in Bihar in November 2020 and Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and Puducherry in March/April 2021 during the tough, testing times of COVID 19 pandemic.

The Chief Election Commissioner stated that FEMBoSA represents a very large part of the democratic world and is an active regional cooperation association of Election Management Bodies. Its logo with golden pearls stands for the eternal values of transparency, impartiality, democracy and cooperation, he added.

ECI looks forward to further strengthening its interaction with FEMBoSA member EMBs in promoting activities of the Forum as per its objectives, and empowering fellow EMBs through sharing the skills and capacity building efforts in cooperation with the Members, Chandra stated.

During the meeting, CEC Chandra, as the outgoing Chair of FEMBoSA, handed over the Chairmanship of FEMBoSA to Dasho Sonam Topgay, Chief Election Commissioner of Bhutan.

Accepting the responsibility of Chairperson of the Forum, Dasho Sonam Topgay, CEC of Bhutan thanked the delegates for the trust and confidence reposed in the Election Commission of Bhutan.

He assured FEMBoSA members that Bhutan shall work with utmost devotion to carry forward FEMBoSA's objectives to promote contact among the Election Management Bodies of the SAARC countries, share experiences with a view to learning from each other and cooperate with one another in enhancing capabilities of the Election Management Bodies towards conducting free and fair elections.

A Thimphu Resolution was unanimously adopted by the FEMBoSA members to extend tenure of chairmanship to two years during the current pandemic situation.

The resolution document noted the commendable efforts put in by ECI and IIIDEM in capacity development of members from FEMBoSA.

IIIDEM and ECI would continue to organise customised programs for the needs of member countries with mutual cooperation and support.