ISB Updates

ISB hosts a session with Chief Election Commissioner of India

In a one of its kind session the Chief Election Commissioner of the country, Dr. Nasim Zaidi, addressed the ISB fraternity at the Indian School of Business, Mohali campus. The session was centered on the important issue of ‘Financing of Political Parties and Implications’.

Dr Zaidi was welcomed by Pradeep Singh CEO, Mohali Campus, and Deputy Dean, who also knows him personally. Madhav Lal Executive director, Bharati Institute of Public Policy, introduced Dr Zaidi to the gathering that included, among other dignitaries, senior politicians of the state of Punjab. The address was encapsulating and was punctuated with such great insights that it stretched an hour beyond the stipulated time.

Dr. Zaidi educated the audience about the major duties of the election commission in ensuring free and fair elections. On the particular topic of political party financing, Dr. Zaidi covered the legalities, current practices and recommendations for improvement in the funding of political parties. The plethora of information pertaining to the funding of parties, by large business houses and corporates, the rules for political parties’ financial limits for the election processes, the role of civic societies and individuals (media, RTI activists) etc., held the audience in a bind. Dr. Zaidi touched upon the Income-tax Act 1961 amendments that will make the financial machinery of political party funding more robust, transparent, inclusive and fair.

The session concluded with an exciting question and answer session where in Dr. Zaidi responded to each participant with great fervor. The audience got to know of the hot topics of criminal offenses that plague the elections, evaluation of funding mechanism and overall financial status of the political parties by the election commission, role of various democratic machineries during elections, simultaneous election process, requirement of manifesto analysis in developing accountability, universal suffrage philosophy of Indian electorate operation etc. As much as the audience was spell bound by the speaker, Dr.Zaidi himself was appreciative of the insightful questions that the students posed.

This informative session left every participant with a better understanding of the sensitive topic of political party funding. The session offered a glimpse of the various opportunities that are available in this segment for social entrepreneurship, technology innovation and collaboration through research. Mr Zaidi’s perspectives and his several suggestions gave the audience much hope of improvement in the Indian election mechanism.

Dr Nasim Zaidi with the students of Management Programme in Public Policy(MPPP)

Story by Arpitha Rao PGP Co2018