One of the fundamentals of democracy is free and fair elections. The duty of the Election Commission of India is to ensure a smooth election process. The autonomous authority needs to maintain law and order during the election processes. It has the power to take any required action in case the situation gets out of control. After going through these essay you will be able to know – what is election commission of India and what are the roles and responsibilities of election commission of India; improvements made by the election commission of India in the election process; important facts about the election commission of India; criticism faced by the election commission of India etc.
Long and Short Essay on Election Commission of India
Essay on Improvements Made by the Election Commission (250 words)
Election Commission of India was formed in the year 1950. It consisted of a Chief Election Commissioner who was assigned the task to administer the election processes in the country. In 1989, two more members were added to the commission. The Election Commission is doing a commendable job ever since it came into form. It requires handling a number of tasks in order to ensure smooth and fair elections across the country. For this purpose, the Election Commission of India has made many revisions and improvements in the electoral system of the country.
Improvements Made by the Election Commission of India
Here are the key changes made by the Election Commission of India to enhance the election process:
- Introduction of Electronic Voting Machine
The paper ballot was completely replaced by an electronic voting machine (EVM) in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. This step was taken to ease the election process. However, it has been under the radar ever since. The losing parties often claim that the EVM was tampered to declare results in favor of the winning party. However, the Election Commission maintains that EVM cannot be tampered with and can be trusted completely.
- Introduction of Voter ID
The voter ID card is issued to Indian citizens who are 18 years of age or above. Issued by the Election Commission of India, this is the identity proof required to cast vote in the country. It was introduced in the year 1993.
- Introduction of NOTA
The Election Commission introduced the NOTA option which means “None of the Above” in the EVM. Voters who do not find any party/candidate fit for the position can press NOTA to show their disapproval. NOTA was introduced n 2014 and a specific symbol (ballot paper with a black cross) was assigned in September 2015.
- Model Code of Conduct
Election Commission of India has come up with a Model Code of Conduct which every political party needs to follow, in order to ensure a free and fair election. The Election Commission can take action against any party which fails to follow the set code.
The changes brought about by the Election Commission of India have eased the election process in the country.
Descriptive Essay about the Election Commission of India (400 words)
The Election Commission of India, headquartered in New Delhi, consists of three major members. These include the Chief Election Commissioner and two election commissioners. These members are entrusted to head the commission and conduct free and fair elections in the country. The Election Commission is given complete authority to do what it takes to ensure free and fair elections in the country.
Important Facts about Election Commission of India
Here are a few important facts about the Election Commission of India:
- Election Commission of India was formed in the year 1950.
- Election Commission is an independent and permanent body.
- The Election Commissioner operates under Article 324 of the Indian Constitution.
- The Chief Election Commissioner and other two election commissioners that head the Election Commission of India are selected by the president of the country.
- The election commissioners serve a term of six years in office or up to the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier.
- A subsidiary of the Election Commission is formed in every state of India. This is referred to as the state election commission.
- Election Commission needs to handle several tasks such as planning election schedules, preparing electoral rolls, assessing new political parties and validating them, appointing election observers, preventing/ taking action against any malpractice including booth capturing, vote-rigging, etc and canceling the elections (if needed).
- Election Commission became a permanent three members headed body after the Constitution Amendment Act, 1993 was passed.
- In case the existing laws appear weak/ inadequate while taking charge of a critical situation during the election process, the Election Commission of India has the power to act in a manner it deems appropriate to handle the situation.
- The Chief Election Commissioner can be asked to step down from his position by a two-third majority in the parliament in case of charges of inappropriate behavior. The other two commissioners can be removed by the president. The chief election commissioner has the authority to recommend names to the president for the removal of election commissioner, based on which he can take the decision.
- Initially, the paper ballot was used to cast vote. However, with the advances in technology, the Election Commission decided to replace it with an electronic voting machine. This machine is easy to use and has improved the election process. However, it has also received a lot of criticism. Many political parties claim that it can forge poll results.
India is the largest democracy in the world. Conducting elections in the country that has over 8 00,000 polling booths is indeed the largest political activity organized worldwide. The Election Commission of India has received praise for accomplishing this massive task successfully over and over again.
Essay on Criticism Faced by Election Commission of India (500 words)
Election Commission of India, consisting of a total of three members, is an autonomous body. It has been assigned the humongous task of managing the entire election process. The process involves handling a number of big and small tasks to ensure smooth elections.
Criticism Faced by Election Commission of India
The members of the election commission have been working hard to fulfill the responsibilities assigned to them. They have brought about many changes in the election process to ensure fair elections in the country. However, despite all their efforts, the election commission has faced severe criticism several times since its inception.
- The EVM Issue
One of the major criticisms that the electoral system in our country has faced is the introduction of electronic voting machines. The Election Commission of India introduced these well designed and easy-to-use voting machines with the intent to improve the election process. However, the authenticity of these machines has always been questioned and debated. These machines are said to be vulnerable to fraud.
Many political parties have claimed that these machines can be attacked to alter the election results and are thus a hindrance in conducting fair elections. The Congress Party even demanded the Election Commission to stop the use of EVM and switch back to the paper ballot system to ensure transparency and avoid fraud of any type.
Responding to these serious claims and charges, the Election Commission invited the parties to an open hacking contest which they named, the Hackathon. Their response towards the charges thrown at them showed their confidence about the system they had implemented.
The event organized on 3rd June 2017 saw only two parties registering for it even though many big parties had made serious attacks on the same. These were the NCP and CPI (M). However, even these parties did not participate in the Hackathon. The Election Commission demonstrated the use and functionality of EVM and VVPAT machines during this event.
- Other Reasons for Criticism
Voters have criticized the Election Commission for incomplete voter lists that barred them from casting their votes. The serious claim had been made by many voters in Mumbai including some high profile names.
In an attempt to ensure free and fair elections, the Election Commission introduced the Model Code of Conduct. This code of conduct bars political parties from belittling each other in an attempt to acquire votes. During election campaigns, many political parties speak highly of themselves and criticize the opposition parties. Election Commission has been taking action against such hate speeches.
It has issued notices to parties indulging in the same. However, it has been criticized for being biased to certain parties. Responding to these accusations, the Election Commission has said that it has taken a stand and issued warnings based on substantive proof and will continue to do so to ensure fair play.
Election Commission’s ill-preparedness to guard to electors with disabilities has also been criticized.
The Election Commission of India has introduced several changes in the election process ever since it started off. While it has largely been praised for the improvements made and for efficiently conducting elections in one of the largest democracies in the world, it also had to bear some criticism as discussed above. However, despite the condemnation, the Election Commission continues to work with dedication.
Essay on the Role and Responsibilities of Election Commission of India (600 words)
Election Commission of India has been assigned a great responsibility. Its key role is to oversee the process of elections in the country and ensure smooth completion of the same. To further this objective, it needs to perform several functions. Consisting of a three-member group, the Election Commission of India has the power to seek help from other government officials and professionals to accomplish various tasks related to the election process, if the need arises.
Role and Responsibilities of the Election Commission of India
Here is a closer look at the various responsibilities and functions of the Election Commission of India:
- Election Commission of India needs to conduct the following elections:
- Lok Sabha elections
- Rajya Sabha elections
- Parliament and State Legislature by-elections
- President and Vice President elections
- The Election Commission also makes arrangements for by-elections and conducts them if needed.
- The Election Commission requires planning the election schedule. A lot of planning goes into it. The Chief Election Commissioner of India announces the schedule via a press conference. The prospective candidates can file for nominations thereafter.
- The Election Commission thoroughly assesses any new political party formed to contest elections. It is only after proper scrutiny that the Election Commission recognizes and validates the newly formed party. EC also assigns a symbol to the party.
- The Election Commission needs to prepare the electoral rolls for the election. It should ascertain that the electoral rolls prepared are correct. Every voter registered to vote should be allowed to do so.
- The Election Commission applies the Model Code of Conduct in the areas where the elections are to be held. It also keeps a check on whether the code of conduct is being followed or not. It issues notices to the parties violating the defined code of conduct.
- The Election Commission of India also needs to appoint election observers to make sure the elections are conducted in a fair manner. It needs to invest time, looking for reliable candidates to handle this position.
- The Election Commission must see to it that there occurs no incident of booth capturing, false voting and vote-rigging. In order to bar these malpractices, it can request the government for deploying the police or the army officials near the polling booths.
- The Election Commission needs to constantly watch the behavior of all the political parties during the elections and ensure they follow the code of conduct.
- Malpractices such as booth capturing and vote-rigging demand cancellation of elections in those particular areas. It is the responsibility of the Election Commission to cancel the polls during such times of crisis. The autonomous body subsequently requires announcing fresh election dates and make the required arrangements for the same.
- The Election Commission also needs to identify the candidates who have not filed their election returns on time and disqualify them subsequently.
- The Election Commission also needs to keep an eye on the MPs and MLAs to ensure they aren’t indulging in any malpractices. In case they are found doing so, then EC needs to inform the same to the president and advise him to take necessary action.
- The Election Commission needs to feed media with regular updates regarding the preparation of the upcoming elections.
- The Election Commission needs to review the election process regularly and look for new and innovated ways to enhance it. It has incorporated many new methods in the past.
The role of the Election Commission is not easy. It needs to stay vigilant at all times and observe every little detail to make sure the elections are conducted efficiently without any glitch. A lot of hard work goes into this. EC begins preparing for the same months before the commencement of elections and needs to be on its toes until the polling results are out.