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  • Category: India

    Having permanent bureaucracy for Election Commission in India?

    In India the main reason for seeing elections as a burden arises from the fact that officials from various departments are deputed during elections. Also, the adhoc nature of preparation makes an impression that election time becomes sleepless nights for officials. This increases the burden and reduces efficiency in conducting a fair election. Also since officials have to return to their parent departments after the adhoc period exercise. Instead Election department can have permanent bureaucracy. Elections involve issuing ID cards, independent assessment of each constituency, conducting elections and various other related works. Hence separate officials should be posted to reduce the burden to a great extent and to make it effectively independent.
  • #618264
    Though the author made a wonderful suggestion to streamline the staff required for the election duties on permanent basis, what I feel that it is not possible as the big elections are held once in five years and for that EC cannot have permanent staff with over head expenses every month. By the way the present set up of hiring the government employees and bank employees and also teachers is the viable option before the EC as they have to spend money as little for the two or three days duty. But if permanent staff are recruited, then the overheads for the EC would be much. Already the country is facing huge amount of expenses by having staggering elections in many places and if the author suggestion has to be taken then the over head expenses would be manifold. Instead EC can seek votes from voters through Aadhaar activation on line method and that would save lots of money in future.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #618265
    It will become a very big establishment. The election commission in the centre and again at the state level in each state is to be appointed. And the works in the department will be full only at the time of elections. Elections will be held once in 5 years. The work will be more just before the elections say maximum one year before the elections. After the elections again for 4 years, there may not be full work. So I think the idea is not practicable. Instead of that, the government can think about outsourcing the work. These days many government works are outsourced. The issue of aadhaar cards is outsourced. Similarly the water bills, the power bills are being done by outsourced party only. Similarly, the voter card registration can be introduced online with fingerprints so that rigging can be prevented. With Aadhaar number, you can go to any eseva centre and register your name for the voter card. This can be done as and when required. Some modernisation will bring in a lot of changes.
    always confident

  • #618317
    It's important to have a free and fair election process with good supporting staff but can we afford to have a separate workforce only for that purpose? would it be cost-effective? Maybe not.The current trend is to integrate workforce and reduce the overheads in many private organisations to be productive with less manpower. We can draw from the government staff and the underutilised retired government staff force who would be kind enough to help the electioneering process. Dr.Rao's idea of outsourcing is also good as long as the cost is kept at an acceptable phase. Or, we have to create a departmental workforce and have them to multitask by making them responsible for identity proof cards, census and related public population related data capture so that they are kept occupied.

  • #618390
    The first reasons not to have permanent staff set up s that it will not be cost-effective or productive.
    But the main reason is that permanency will create vested interests. Election commission has to conduct elections in an unbiased way. If the election staff are permanent employees, then they will naturally become government employees and will not be able to be free and fair.
    Even in the case of government employees and bank staff, there is periodical and regular transfer to prevent developing vested interest at a place.

    Now when the personnel are deputed from various sources, they do not have any particular permanent bias toward the election department except for conducting the given task during the elections as per rules and guidelines in force. Before or after the elections they are not accountable or connected to the candidates . So they can be free and fair for the task.

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