SVEEP or Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation is a programme launched by the Election Commission of India. The main aim of the programme is to inform and educate people about the importance of voting and to motivate voters. The Election Commission of India is hoping to make Indian Democracy more participative through SVEEP. It is designed based on the socio-economic and demographic profile of that state.
SVEEP started out as a small IEC activity before it was even given the name SVEEP. The programme was properly established and given its name in 2010. From 2009 to 2013, the phase covered over 17 General Elections to State Assemblies and even three revisions of the Electoral Roll.
Given below are the objectives of SVEEP.
- Educating individuals about the importance of voting
- Increase participation in elections through voter registration and turnout
- Increase participation in terms of ethical and informed voting process
- Consistent education about the democracy and voting process in India
Management structure of SVEEP
SVEEP has grown over the last six years since it was first established and has played a huge role in increasing the voter registration over the years. The programme follows a systematic management structure in order to contribute to the democracy of the country.
The SVEEP part of Electoral Commission of India prepares the policy, the framework, prepares interventions and ensures that the policies are implemented. It also focuses on educating the citizens of the country about the democracy and the importance of voting.
An officer in every State CEO’s office is instructed to take charge of the SVEEP programme. Representatives from universities, youth organisations, educational institutions and members of Civil Society groups form a core group and ensure volunteers for electoral participation.
At the district level, the administrative head of the district is responsible for the election management. More often than not, the district collector is the District Election Officer who implement the SVEEP programme at a district level. A SVEEP committee is formed at the district level which is headed by the Chief Executive officer of the Zilla Parishad and also the Chief Development Officer.
The ECI introduced the institution of Booth Level officers in 2006. These officers generally cover one or two polling stations and are responsible for maintaining the electoral roll.
Listed below are the different processes and the different components under them.
- Preparation of the National Framework plan
- Preparation of State SVEEP plans that are based on the state level gaps
- Preparation of District level SVEEP plans that are based on district level gaps
- Drafting the monitoring, feedback and evaluation process.
- Resource allocation
- Content creation for creatives
- Calendar of activities
- Formation of SVEEP Core Committee at State and District levels
- Appointment of Nodal officers at these levels
- Training the officers
- Situation Analysis through surveys for the gap analysis for specific regions
- Analysis of the gender gap
- Analysis of the registration gap
- Analysis of gaps in turnout
- Analysing the reasons for youth disconnect
- Identifying groups and communities that have the lowest participation and analysing the reason for low participation
Partnerships and Collaborations
- Universities of specific states
- Other educational institutions
- Youth organisations
- Government department
- Media Houses
- Corporate houses and PSU’s
- Individual volunteers
- Group volunteers
- Renowned individuals who are appointed as icons at National and State level
- Targeted interventions specific to the identified target group
- Interventions to bridge gender gap
- Interventions to solve youth disconnect
- Intervention to resolve urban apathy
National Voter’s Day
The Election Commission of India initiated the practise of celebrating National Voters’ Day in 2011. The National Voters’ Day which is celebrated on the 25th of January is considered to be one of the best initiatives of SVEEP. The day has been celebrated since 2011 in an initiative to increase the enrolment of voters in the country.
SVEEP has taken several measures to ensure the facilitation of voters. Listed below are some of the measures taken by the committee to facilitate every process of voting.
Facilitation for registration
- Online registration is available on the ECI official website or the CEO’s website
- Name search facility on the electoral roll and CEO’s website has been arranged
- SMS based service for searching names and poll booths
- The committee holds special registration camps
Facilitation for Voter turnout
- Extension of poll hours to 11 hours in most regions to facilitate voting
- Basic minimum facilities such as drinking water, ramps, restrooms provided at every polling booth
- Separate queues for men and women voters
- Elderly and physically challenged given the first preference at the voting
- Model Polling stations established at various locations to provide additional facilities
Events by SVEEP
Given below is a list of physical events and activities held by SVEEP in order to motivate and mobilise the voters.
- Events such as drawing, debates on elections and votings in educational institutions
- Local and folk art competitions for the rural women
- Songwriting and music competitions in public places to pique interest among the younger generation