In the last few years, the Election Commission of India has been making use of digital technology in an effort to bring transparency and accountability in the electoral process. As part of its initiative, the poll body launched the Suvidha app for candidates and political parties ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. According to the Election Commission, Suvidha facilitates political parties and their candidates to seek its permission before conducting any public meetings, rallies, etc.
Suvidha application was first deployed ahead of the Assembly elections in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal in 2016. The app is currently available on Google Play for download on Android phones version Ice Cream Sandwich and above.
Permissions within 24 hours
According to the Election Commission, the app allows candidates to check the status of their nominations, permissions and media applications filed via Suvidha portal. “The Election Commission is working towards easing the procedure for filling nomination, permissions and media certification during election period", the app’s summary on the Google Play store adds.
Contesting candidates can apply for permissions through the app or by visiting suvidha.eci.gov.in. The candidates need to enter their registered mobile number. They also need to enter the One-Time Password (OTP) before accessing the system.
Only those candidates whose nomination application have been submitted to the Returning Officer and agents of political parties who are registered with the Suvidha portal will be able to use the application.
The mobile application has two main modules — nomination and permission. The app allows candidates to view the affidavit and receipt relating to their nomination. Candidates can also check the status of their permission as well as the total count of such requests.
Through the app, a candidate can seek permission for holding meetings, processions and rallies. The candidate or the agent can also seek permissions for using loudspeakers, opening of temporary party office, utilising helicopters and helipad, stage and barricades. Since candidates cannot float advertisements without permission from the poll body, the app acts as a single window system to apply for necessary ‘media certification’.
The poll body has directed officials to give the required permissions to candidates within 24 hours of receiving the request. As per a report in the Hindustan Times, the poll panel had granted more than 50,000 such permits during the campaign season.
The app will also help candidates remain updated during the counting of votes. According to reports, candidates will be able to track the vote figures after every round of counting on 23 May.
Other initiatives of the EC
In the ongoing elections, the Election Commission has already launched a number of apps to help the common man participate in the electoral process.
In order to provide real-time information, the Election Commission of India released Voter Turnout app, also available on Google Play store for Android phones. The Voter Turnout app will provide citizens with the estimated voter turnout at a particular point of time. According to the Election Commission, the app is designed to provide not only the estimated voter turnout for every Lok Sabha constituency but also for the Assembly segments under it.
Before launching the Voter Turnout app, the poll body had released the CVigil app, which helps a person to secretly send geo-tagged videos and photos of illegal money being distributed or a hate speech being made during polls. The app works only when the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is in place in a poll-bound state. As per an April 2019 report, Kerala recorded the highest number of complaints regarding poll code violations, followed by Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
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Updated Date: May 21, 2019 22:17:43 IST