Election Commission Current Affairs - 2019
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Gujarat will become first big state to use Electronic Voting Machine (EVMs) equipped with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in coming Assembly elections to make election process more transparent.
It was announced by Election Commission of India. Gujarat will be second state after Goa to use VVPAT system for the Assembly elections in entire state.
The VVPATs will cover all 50,128 polling booths during 2017 Gujarat Assembly elections. As many as 70,182 VVPAT machines will be used during election elections. Earlier, VVPATs were used on pilot basis in limited polling booths of state in 2012 elections.
Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT)
The VVPAT is a method that provides feedback to voters after they cast their votes in EVMs. It is independent verification printer machine attached to EVMs. It allows voters to verify if their vote has gone to the intended candidate. Thus, ensure free and fair elections.
In the VVPAT system, when voter presses button for candidate of his choice in EVM, a paper slip containing serial number, name of candidate and poll symbol will be printed for voter. The paper slip will be only visible to voter from glass case in VVPAT for seven seconds, after that slip will be cut and dropped into drop box in VVPAT machine. VVPAT machines can be accessed by polling officers only.
Purpose of VVPAT
VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for EVM designed to (i) allow voters to verify that their votes are casted correctly, (ii) detect possible election fraud or malfunction and (iii) Provide a means to audit the stored electronic results.
Incumbent Vice President Hamid Ansari’s term comes to an end on August 10, 2017. Election Commission of India (EC) has issued a notification, the process of filing nominations for the vice presidential election.
About office of Vice President
The officer of Vice-President is second highest public office in India. He has second rank in the order of precedence. Practically, office of Vice President has been created to provide political continuity of the Indian state. His main function is in the form of ex-officio Chairman of Rajya Sabha. He works as acting president when president is not available.
As per article 66, the candidate contesting for election of Vice-President of India should be citizen of India, completed age of 35 years and must be qualified to become a member of Rajya Sabha. He must not hold an office for profit. A candidate’s nomination paper needs to be subscribed by at least 20 electors as proposers and at least another 20 electors as seconders.
Note: Presidential candidate should be qualified to become a member of Lok Sabha, Vice-presidential candidate should be qualified to become a member of Rajya Sabha.
Like Presidential election, Vice Presidential election is also indirect and is held via system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote. The electoral college of Vice President includes elected by elected members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Unlike in Presidential election, MLAs or MLCs from state assemblies have no role to play in Vice Presidential election.
Term and removal
The term of office of the Vice President is five years. The term may end earlier by resignation which should be addressed to the President. The term may also terminate earlier by removal. There no impeachment process to remove Vice President.
The Vice President can be removed by a resolution passed by the members of the Rajya Sabha. To move such resolution, a 14 days’ notice is to be given. Such a resolution, though passed by the Rajya Sabha only, but must be agreeable to the Lok Sabha.
Functions of Vice President
Vice President is the ex-officio Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. However, during the period when he acts as the officiating President of India, he shall not act as chairman of the Rajya Sabha and shall not be entitled to the salary or allowances payable to the chairman of the Rajya Sabha.
According to Article 65, in case the President is unable to discharge his duties for reasons such as illness, resignation, removal, death or otherwise, the Vice President shall carry out functions of the President. In such case, he will be entitled for the salary, allowance and all privileges of the President.