Living up to its billing as the largest democracy, Election Commission of India has now set up an institute to train personnel from struggling democracies who are seeking its help to conduct polls.
With requests from a host of countries to train poll officials, Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi and Kenya’s Election Commissioner Ken Nyaundi jointly inaugurated the India International Institute of Democracy and Election Management (IIDEM) on Friday.
The first course, for poll officials from Kenya, will begin on June 27. Besides training officials associated with elections at home and abroad, IIDEM will also run courses for mediapersons.
Quraishi told TOI, “The idea of the institute was conceived when we had to train polling personnel to deliver zero-error service for an 11-million electorate. Also, many countries have been requesting us to train their poll personnel.”
In April, Quraishi had led a four-member EC delegation to Cairo on the invitation of Egypt’s interim government, seeking assistance in conducting elections. In the past, the EC has helped Bhutan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Cambodia, South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria to conduct polls. The EC has also signed MoUs with the UN and electoral bodies of Ivory Coast, Mexico, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Brazil and Russia.