As a part of the series of training programmes for the officers of the civil service in Punjab, the Mahatma Gandhi State Institute of Public Administration, Punjab in collaboration with India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management, (IIIDEM) New Delhi and the Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab organized the 13th In-Service Training Programme. Over 80 young officers, belonging to the IAS and the PCS attended the programme. The focus of the programme was to equip the trainee officers and re-orient the serving officers on election processes ahead of the coming general assembly elections in Punjab. In his brief inaugural address, the Chief Secretary, Mr. Sarvesh Kaushal asked the officers to equip themselves fully with the up-to-date rules, procedures and guidelines issued by the Election Commission so that there should be no mistake at any level during the electoral process. He also asked the officers to read relevant Manuals and Acts and acquaint themselves with legal provisions to ensure accuracy and fairness in the electoral management process.
Exhorting the officers to bring about attitudinal change, Mr. Kaushal said that performance of the officers in their respective assignments must reflect sense of responsibility and propriety especially during public dealing. He stressed upon the need for the officers to be accountable and to do periodical appraisal of their work. In every situation, the officers must visualize the problem areas and use their expertise in the accomplishment of the set goals. He advised MGSIPA to equip the trainee officers with case studies on attitudinal change, personality development and versatility.
Mr. V K Singh, Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab in his address to the participants of the programme described the paradigm shift in preparation of electoral rolls and the benefits that are offered by creating database of electoral rolls in the country. He briefly discussed the Nomination and Withdrawal procedure’ during elections and elaborated the role of Returning Officer. Mr. Singh advised all the officers to thoroughly familiarize themselves with various aspects of the conduct of elections. He also discussed in detail the preparedness of the State for the next Assembly Elections.
In the technical session, Mr. K.F. Wilfred, Principal Secretary, ECI while giving details of nomination and scrutiny of nomination papers, said that it is a vital part of the electoral process and the officers must be very cautious and follow the guidelines issued by the Election Commission. He also highlighted the salient features of withdrawal of candidature and allotment of symbols to the contesting candidates.Later, Mrs. Shalini Chetal, National Level Master Trainer (NLMT) from Haryana spoke about the model code of conduct during elections and Mr. Ajay Aswal, NLMT from Rajasthan spoke on poll day arrangement and polling party.In her concluding remarks, Mrs. Raji P. Shrivastava, Secretary Personnel-cum-Director, MGSIPA said that electoral management process involves a huge exercise of human effort and the officers must prepare themselves to meet the challenges that inevitably occur during a process of such magnitude. She said that the officers must adopt the training skills and strategies imparted in this training programme by the senior ECI officers and Master trainers.