Election Commission Current Affairs - 2019
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Election Commission directs all State district collectors to set up district level panels to monitor paid news
In the wake of increasing incidence of paid news and upcoming Rajasthan Assembly polls, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has directed all State district collectors to set up district-level Media Certification and Monitoring Committee. ECI has also recommended an amendment to the Representation of People’s Act, 1951, to include paid news as a corrupt practice.
What will be the role of the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee?
The Media Certification and Monitoring Committee is part of a three-tier apparatus — at the District, State and Central level. The Committee will be engaged in suo motu as well as complaint-based monitoring of paid news. If it is established that a candidate has paid for news, the amount paid will be included in his/her election expenditure and he/she will have to furnish this expenditure to the returning officer within 30 days of the elections.
Election Commission planning to replace current laminated Elector’s Photo Identity Cards (EPIC) made of paper with black and white photograph with driving licence or a credit card like hard plastic cards. But, it will not be a smart card like a driving licence.
EC is now considering altering it at the pan-India level to a credit card like hard plastic card. The fresh voter card will be first issued free of cost in Assam and Nagaland. Almost 95 % of India’s over 700 million voters are covered by EPIC except in Assam and Nagaland.
The current EPIC costs about Rs 10 to Rs 12, but the more resilient EPIC will come for less than Rs 50. The EC will bill a fee for the same from the voters having the present EPIC to change over them into hard plastic cards. The voter will have a choice to opt convert his old card into the new version.