Objective analysis of ECI in India

Initiatives Taken By ECI:

  • Electoral Photo Identity Cards (EPICs) were issued in 1993 to prevent electoral fraud. From the 2004 elections, these were made mandatory.
  • Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were introduced to improve reliability and efficiency.
  • Declaration of assets and criminal cases pending against candidates made mandatory while filing of nomination form.
  • Computerized electoral rolls.
  • Systematic Voters’ Education and Electoral Participation program, better known as SVEEP, is the flagship program of the Election Commission of India for voter education, spreading voter awareness and promoting voter literacy in India.

Challenges

  • It cannot deregister political parties: Despite being the registering authority for political parties under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, it has no power to de-register them even for the gravest of violations.
  • Its expenditures are made from consolidated fund of India. That is, they are voted upon in the parliament. This affects the independence and autonomy of Election Commission.
  • At present only Chief Election Commissioner has security of tenure, not election commissions: the two Election Commissioners can be removed by the government on the recommendation of the Chief Election Commissioner.