Better Elections for Healthier Democracy

International Conference on      

     Local Self Government Elections

Oct 25 - Oct 26, 2018

Mumbai, India. 400 032

Host's First Message (June 25, 2018)

         State Election Commission, Maharashtra (SECM) proposes to host an International Conference of Election Commissioners / Authorities, responsible for conducting elections to the Local Self Government in order to share and disseminate the best practices adopted by the various democratic countries. This is probably the first attempt of its kind in the world towards making better elections for healthier democracy.

         Maharashtra is one of the biggest & most developed states of India having nearly 10% of population of the country. SEC Maharashtra returns more than 250 thousands elected representatives every 5 years in 388 Urban and 28,166 Rural Local Self Governments through more than 80 million electors. This mammoth task is done successfully with the help of all the stakeholders of democracy like political parties, voters, election managers, candidates, media, NGOs, Corporates etc.

         SEC Maharashtra has made continuous innovations to provide level playing field to all the political parties and candidtes to ensure the purity of elections.

         Realising the urgent need for all the democratic countries having Local Self Government to come on a single platform to discuss various issues of common concern, SEC Maharashtra proposes to host the above Conference at Mumbai which is well connected with all the major cities of the world.

         We would be extremely happy if the Election Commissioners / Authorities could give suggestions for making the said Conference a success, besides enthusiastically participating in the same.

         Keep Visiting our Web-site for regular updates.

Shri. Jageshwar S. Saharia, State Election Commissioner
State Election Commission, Maharashtra

Elections in India

India, a Sovereign, Socialist, Secular, Democratic, Republic with a Parliamentary system, adopted its constitution on 26th January 1950.

India, the largest democracy in the world with a three tier democratic structure of Governance i.e. National, Regional and Local Self-Government, comprises of 29 States and 7 Union Territories.

The House of People (Lok Sabha) at the National level has presently 543 members who are directly elected by the people of India. 66.4% (out of nearly 834 Million) voters exercised their right during the General Elections to Parliament in 2014.

Legislatures of the various States have similarly, directly elected members at the Regional level (Vidhan Sabhas). State Legislature, Maharashtra has presently got 288 elected members.

At the Local Self-Government level, India has got separate bodies both for Urban and Rural areas where Elections are conducted by the respective State Election Commissions.

Maharashtra has got 388 urban local self governments (Municipal Corporations, Nagar Parishads and Nagar Panchayats) and 28,166 rural local self governments (Zilla Parishads, Panchayat Samitis and Gram Panchayats) more than 250 thousand elected representatives.


Elections to Local Self-Governments, Maharashtra.

Elections to National and Regional Governments in India ( i.e. Parliament and State Legislatures) are conducted by the National Election Commission ( i.e. Election Commission of India) since adoption of Constitution in 1950. However, elections to the Local Self-Governments were conducted by the respective State Governments till 1992.

Realising the need to provide the Local Self-Governments their rightful place in the process of Nation building, Indian Constitution was amended in the year 1992 (73rd and 74th Amendments) providing for the following-

  1. Constitutional status to all the Local Self-Governments in the country.
  2. Reservation for women (minimum 33%) and backward classes (as per population).
  3. Compulsory election before the expiry of five years term.
  4. An independent Election Commission for conducting elections to all the Local Self-Governments in a free, fair and transparent manner, and
  5. A Finance Commission for recommending devolution of finances to the Local Self-Governments.

In pursuance to above, State Election Commission, Maharashtra was constituted as an independent Constitutional Authority in 1994. Elections to all the local self-Governments (approximately 28000 with more than 250 thousands seats, through approximately 80 million voters) are being conducted by the State Election Commission in a free, fair and transparent manner.

Aim of the Conference

To find ways and means to tackle the various challenges faced while conducting free, fair & transparent elections e.g.

  • Public ownership of democracy:
    How to ensure that the public takes ownership of democracy: Voter registration, voter turnout, ethical voting, citizen watch etc.
  • Inclusiveness:
    How to ensure that women, differently abled, marginalized and excluded segments of society are brought into the main stream
  • Use of modern technology to -
    (a) check misuse of money power / social media / fake news etc.,
    (b) create new channels for voter registration, voting etc.
  • Role of various Stakeholders like Corporates, Media, NGOs, Political Parties, Academic Institutions, Civil Society, Organizations, etc.

To have common platform for sharing experiences, best policies & practices in tackling the above challenges

To develop a system for conducting individual and/or collective research & new experiments

To submit recommendations to the respective Governments for appropriate action

Expected Participants

Election Commissioners / Authorities responsible for conducting the Local Self Government elections, including single Commissions handling all the three elections (National, Regional & Local Self Government)


Time (IST) Program Details

Inaugural Function

09.00 a.m. - 10.30 a.m.

Chief Guest

Shri. Ch. Vidyasagar Rao, Hon'ble Governor of Maharashtra

Session 1

11.00 a.m. - 01.00 p.m.

Public Ownership of Democracy

(How to ensure that the public takes ownership of democracy)

Lunch Break

01.00 p.m. - 02.00 p.m.


Session 2

02.00 p.m. - 04.00 p.m.

How to Check Misuse of Money Power etc.

Session 3

04.15 p.m.- 06.15 p.m.


(How to ensure that women, differently abled, marginalized and excluded segments of society are brought into the main stream)

Indian Cultural Program

07.00 p.m.- 09.00 p.m.


Time (IST) Program Details

Session 4

09.00 a.m. - 11.00 a.m.

How to Control Menace of Social Media, Fake News etc.

Session 5

11.00 a.m. - 01.00 p.m.

Role of Various Stakeholders

(Corporates, Media, NGOs, Political Parties, Academic Institutions, Civil Society etc.)

Lunch Break

01.00 p.m. - 02.00 p.m.


Valedictory Function

02.30 p.m. - 04.30 p.m.

Chief Guest

Shri. Devendra Fadnavis, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Maharashtra

Fee: No fees for participation

Travel & other expenses:

 -  Invited participants will be provided domestic hospitality i.e. lodging, boarding & local transport.

 -  International & domestic travel expenses will be borne by the respective participants.


The Leela, Mumbai
The Leela, Mumbai

Sahar, Andheri (E), Mumbai 400 059 India
Hotel Website
The Leela, Mumbai


Public Ownership of Democracy

How to ensure that the public takes ownership of democracy: Voter registration, voter turnout, ethical voting, citizen watch etc.


How to ensure that women, differently abled, marginalized and excluded segments of society are brought into the main stream

Social Media & Fake News

How to control menace of social media, fake news etc.

Misuse of Money Power

How to check misuse of money power etc.

Role of Various Stakeholders

Role of various Stakeholders like Corporates, Media, NGOs, Political Parties, Academic Institutions, Civil Society, etc.



Erik Asplund

Programme Officer, Electoral Processes Programme, International IDEA

Prof. Jagdeep Chhokar

Founder Member of National Election Watch & ADR, former Professor at IIM

Moiz Haque

Former Journalist and Senior Faculty at Department of Mass Communication, RTM Nagpur University

Shujau Hussain

President, Local Community Initiative (LCI), Maldives

Dharmendra Jore

Political Editor, MidDay, Mumbai, Chairman of Mumbai Press Club

Girish Vinayak Kuber

Editor, LokSatta

Indrani Malkani

Chairman of v Citizens Action Network (VCAN), Ashoka Fellow
Dr. George Mathew

Dr. George Mathew

Chairman, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi

Balsing Rajput

Police Officer, Speaker, Researcher, Technology evangelist and Ph.D in Cyber Economic Crimes
Dr Ajit Ranade

Dr. Ajit Ranade

Chief Economist at the Aditya Birla Group, Co-founder & Trustee of the Association for Democratic Reforms (NGO)

Bhim Raskar

Director of RSCD-Resource and Support Centre for Development

Milan Vaishnav

Director and a Senior Fellow, South Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace


The City of Mumbai

Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay is a major metropolis of India and is the capital of State of Maharashtra. Heavy industrialisation in Mumbai has turned it into commercial and financial capital of India. Having the largest and busiest sea and air ports, it controls the foreign trade of India in large numbers. Mumbai is famous for Bollywood, the home of Indian film industry.

Wherein October to March months are considered the best time to visit Mumbai, as air during these months is pleasant and these months are less humid. The temperature in Mumbai in October roves in between 20 degree and 35 degree. Weather will remain Humid and warm; cotton cloths are recommended.

There's a lot to observe, lots to know, and lots to enjoy in this ever lively Mumbai city of Maharashtra.


Registration is by Invitation Only

Request Invitation for International Conference on Local Self Government Elections: Please send us an email on below mentioned email ID to register your interest and apply for an invitation by providing your details such as Name, Designation, Organization Name, Address, Email, and Phone Number.

Get in touch


+91-22-22845900 / +91-22-22845114



State Election Commission
1st Floor, New Administrative Building, Hutatma Rajguru Chowk, Madam Cama Road,
Mumbai- 400032, Maharashtra, India