Electoral Reforms In India

EC to launch app to help voters share malpractice proof


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Mains Paper 2: Polity | Salient features of the Representation of People’s Act

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Particulars of the App

Mains level: Steps for assuring free and fair elections


News

Model Code of Conduct Violation Reporting App

  1. The Election Commission will launch a multi-lingual mobile application empowering people across the country to share evidence of malpractice by political parties, their candidates and activists ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, directly with the electoral body
  2. The application helps prevent abuse of money and muscle power, allows for sharing of photos and short audio and video clips from the spot itself along with geolocation
  3. Through this mechanism, EC intends to encourage larger public participation in checking corrupt practices and ensuring a free and fair election process

Recent trials

  1. Such an application was made available for the first time in Bengaluru in the run-up to the recently concluded Karnataka Assembly polls
  2. As part of the implementation, the application will also be made operational in the coming Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh

Tackling social media

  1. The growing abuse of social media bots for influencing public opinion has emerged as another major challenge for the Election Commission and plans are on to devise a counter mechanism
  2. These bots are automated accounts often active on popular social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, which use Artificial Intelligence to trigger and influence political debates with an objective to shape public opinion.
  3. A social media cell is already functional in order to address such challenges in the cyber world
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