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IGNOU launches Voter Awareness Forum

17 January, 2019

As per the directive from Election Commission of India, Indira Gandhi National Open University launched Voter Awareness Forum (VAF) for university's employees. The VAF at government and other offices is part of the flagship programme ‘Systematic Voters’ Education & Electoral Participation’ (SVEEP) of the Election Commission of India to carry out various interventions for strengthening and enhancing quality electoral participation.

Dr. Monika Mishra, School of Sciences, IGNOU gave an introduction about the Voter Awareness Forum. Giving details about the Forum, she informed the gathering that "Voter Awareness Forum (VAF) serves the purpose of imparting voter education to all employees within an organization. Voter Awareness Forum (VAF) is an informal forum for generating discussions and awareness around the electoral process, on the how, what and where of registration & voting, through the medium of real-time activities.”

Ms. Vidya Sonal, Registrar, IGNOU welcomed the chief guests and formally inaugurated the forum. In her inaugural address, Ms. Sonal said that such events would help in sensitizing everyone about the need to exercise political franchise. She complimented the organizing committee for the initiative and extended full support to the forum and its activities.

Prof. D. Gopal, School of Social Sciences, IGNOU delivered an insightful lecture on “Role of Voters in Strengthening Democracy”. He reminded that for a thriving democracy an aware voter is a prerequisite and the collective power of voters can change government in a democratic setting. Before India gained independence only a few elites were part of the electing the representatives, Section 123 (Representation of the People Act, 1951) bestows equal right to each voter irrespective of caste, creed or religion etc., Prof. Gopal remarked. He also encouraged imparting education on the voting right to everyone early on so as to have a vibrant democracy. And ECI initiative is a welcome move in the direction, he observed.

Dr. Ranjan kumar, Member Board of Management, IGNOU said that political franchise has helped in liberating the mindset of the people in India and made even a common person empowered and felt contributing in the process of electing the government at center, state and panchayat levels.

An MCQ quiz was also conducted as part of the activities to create awareness and imparting voter education. The winners of the quiz will be announced on 25th January’2019 on the National Voters’ Day.

Dr. Amit Shrivastav, RSD proposed vote of thanks.