EC's Vision 2020 to ensure single window for all services: Nasim Zaidi

Chief Election Commissioner of India Nasim Zaidi has said the commission is currently working on an e-governance vision 2020 to provide inclusive, integrated single window view of services to all stakeholders in all phases of the electoral cycle using multiple channels of delivery.

Delivering the keynote address at a seminar on `Leveraging Technology for Transparent and Credible Elections', in New Delhi today, Zaidi said the EC already has a detailed project report based on service provider concept with five strategic goals and 11 mission mode projects. Under this, some of priority areas will be in mobile apps, social media, knowledge and learning management, Zaidi said, adding that consultations with stakeholders and industry are underway.

Further, Zaidi said, the ECI is preparing to work towards mobile and internet services segments of society for flow of election-related information and providing services. This, he said, will enhance transparency of election processes amongst electorates.

He said the commission is working on finding and evaluating appropriate ICT in preserving and disseminating right information to right people at right time.

Meanwhile, the India International Institute for Democracy and Election Management under ECI is setting up an e-learning centre for creation of live and virtual environment for capacity building.

Zaidi emphasised that use of technology has helped in countless ways in simplifying, streamlining and speeding up virtually all aspects of electoral cycles. Technological use has contributed enormously to transparency and credibility of the electoral processes. From the process of elector registration to polling booth management, voting process management, counting, trends and results dissemination requiring voluminous data crunching and effective process management, ICT has been providing significant support in different facets of elections in India, he pointed out

However, Zaidi said, ''the biggest challenge in using ICT by EMBs lies in relation to ICT security, certification and third party auditing. No electoral democracy can afford to have a technology that fails at its simplest and can be manipulated or subjected to malpractices at its worst. This can demolish the credibility of elections.''

The aim of the seminar is to share mutual experiences, so that EMBs can learn the information and communications technologies (ICT) tools required to enhance transparency and credibility of their electoral process.

Rasario Graciano De Los Santos, commissioner, Central Electoral Board, Domician Republic, also spoke at the occasion. Participants from Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) executive board, including Dominican Republic, Romania, Republic of Korea, Kenya, South Africa, India, Burkina Faso, Brazil, Kyrgyz Republic, Albania, El Salvador and Bosnia and Herzegovina and senior officers of ECI also attended the seminar organised by the ECI on the occasion of executive board meeting of A-WEB held in New Delhi on Monday.