New Delhi: The Election Commission on Tuesday appointed 42 awareness observers for Assembly polls in Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Rajasthan, who will oversee management of the electoral process, help in increasing voter turnout and keep an eye on paid news.
A majority of them have been posted in Madhya Pradesh followed by 11 in Rajasthan and nine in Chhattisgarh, while Delhi has three and Mizoram two. The observers, comprising of public relations and information service, were today given training on their functions and roles.
In another first, the Commission has decided to appoint central awareness observers during the coming assembly elections, each of whom will take care of three districts. They will see the level of information, motivation and facilitation of voters by the EC.
Awareness Observers will be deployed in two phases of seven days each and will observe interventions undertaken by the poll machinery to bridge the gap in people`s participation in the electoral process particularly in voters` turnout.
Their first deployment will be one week before the notification is issued and again a week before polling.
They will also monitor various media-related aspects of the Representation of People Act 1951 and also observe the mechanism directed by the Commission at district levels on checking the problem of `Paid News`.
These observers will interact with district electoral officers and bring the problems to their notice as also to the Commission. They will also interact with SVEEP nodal officers and district SVEEP committees.
They will also oversee effective functioning of Medical Certification and Monitoring Committees (MCMCs) formed in each district for checking paid news as well as media-related violations.