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States Report High EVM Failure Rate to EC

Context:

Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, many states have raised concerns of high EVMs failure with the Election Commission of India.

Relevance:

GS II- Polity and Governance

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Details
  2. About first-level check (FLC)
  3. Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)
  4. About Election Commission of India
  5. Structure of the Election Commission

Details:

  • As per the latest information obtained by an RTI activist, there were concerns within the Election Commission over the relatively high rate of Electronic Voting Machines during 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
    • Such instances during the polling process led to political uproar during last parliamentary elections.
    • AS per the latest RTI information, there are reports of a relatively high rate of breakdown of VVPATs and CUs continued to trickle in from the states throughout the FLC process.
    • Many officers from several state Chief Electoral Officers’ (CEOs) office have approached the EC requesting it of more machines because of the high failure rate. 

About first-level check (FLC):

  • It is the initial technical examination of the EVM’s Ballot Unit (BU) and Control Unit (CU) as well as the Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT).
    • The process is conducted in the six months leading up to the Lok Sabha polls at the district level under the supervision of a District Election Officer (DEO).
    • The EVM,, that malfunction during the FLC will be returned to the manufacturers, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) or Electronics Corporation of India Limited, for repair.

Electronic Voting Machine (EVM)

  • Electronic voting is the standard means of conducting elections using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in India.
  • The government-owned Electronics Corporation of India and Bharat Electronics designed and tested the technology in the 1990s.
  • They were gradually incorporated into Indian elections between 1998 and 2001.

About Election Commission of India

  • The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India.
  • The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country.
  • It is the Commission that decides the election schedules for the conduct of elections, whether general elections or by-elections.
  • ECI decides on the location of polling stations, assignment of voters to the polling stations, location of counting centers, arrangements to be made in and around polling stations and counting centres and all allied matters.
  • In the performance of its functions, the Election Commission is insulated from executive interference.
  • Part XV of the Indian constitution deals with elections, and establishes a commission for these matters.
  • The Election Commission was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950, hence it is a constitutional body. Article 324 to 329 of the constitution deals with powers, function, tenure, eligibility, etc., of the commission and the member.

Structure of the Election Commission

  • Originally the commission had only one election commissioner but after the Election Commissioner Amendment Act 1989, it has been made a multi-member body.
  • The commission consists of one Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
  • The secretariat of the commission is located in New Delhi.
  • At the state level election commission is helped by Chief Electoral Officer who is an IAS rank Officer.
  • The President appoints Chief Election Commissioner and Election Commissioners.
  • They have a fixed tenure of six years, or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
  • They enjoy the same status and receive salary and perks as available to Judges of the Supreme Court of India.
  • The Chief Election Commissioner can be removed from office only through a process of removal similar to that of a Supreme Court judge for by Parliament.

-Source: The Indian Express 


June 2024
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