By Pradeep Kumar
ITANAGAR, Mar 18: Election Commission of India (ECI) has developed a citizen-friendly App – Citizen’s Vigilance (Cvigil) which stands for ‘citizens’ vigil’ to empower the people as partners of ECI in monitoring violation of model code of conduct (MCC) to justify American President Abraham Lincoln coining: “Government of the people, for the people, by the people”, shall not perish from the earth.
The vigilant citizen can click a picture or record a video of upto two minutes’ duration of the scene of violations of MCC. It could be distribution of money, liquor or any incentive amounting to MCC violation by any candidate, party worker or anyone including officials to upload to the app through smartphone. The app using geographic information system (GIS). It would locate the place automatically. The sender after successful submission gets a unique ID to track and receive updated follow up on her/his mobile, a senior Nirvachan Bhwan officer said.
A citizen can report many incidents to get a unique ID for each report while identity of the complainant will be kept confidential. The complaint would send information beeps to district control room from where a field unit will be sent to the spot. The field unit comprising of flying squads, static surveillance teams and reserve teams with a GIS-based mobile application (cVIGIL dispatcher) that would help reach the spot through navigation technology to take action.
If the incident is found correct, the information is sent to ECI’s national grievance portal for further action while the complainant is informed about action taken within a 100 minutes.
The App has inbuilt features to prevent its misuse. It will receive complaints only about MCC violations. The user will get 5 minutes to report an incident after having clicked a picture or a video. To prevent any misuse, the app will not allow uploading of pre-recorded or old images and videos. The App will not facilitate saving of the photos or videos recorded using the app into the phone gallery either. Further, the application will be active only in states where elections have been announced. The App becomes active only in an election-bound state, the officer said, adding the new App is expected to fill in all these gaps and create a fast-track complaint reception and redressal system.
Meanwhile, hundreds of flying squads comprising of magistrates and police personnel have been deployed 60 Assembly constituencies and both parliamentary constituencies, who are constantly monitored by officers from state control centre located at Nirbachan Bhawan here. The officers are strictly monitoring how those flying squads are maintaining vigil to ensure strict implementation of MCC through the best use of cVIGIL.
While talking to this editor, beeps were heard when the officer identified the place in his laptop. So many complaints have been received from alert citizens since MCC was effective on 05.03.19 and most of them were redressed while few are under progress. Moreover, any serious compliant beyond the purview of state authority will be forwarded to the ECI.
Moreover, the ECI has also launched a set of mobile apps and other online initiatives for electoral processes usable by candidates and political parties to submit mandatory filings/statements or seek certain permissions.
The Suvidha App is a single window system for both candidates and political parties to apply for permissions before conducting meetings, rallies, etc. This can also be done through the Android app. The ECI has also issued directions to give permissions within 24 hours once such a request is made. Its Android-based App helps a person to secretly send to it geo-tagged videos and photos of illegal money being distributed or a hate speech being made during polls. The citizens through this App can immediately report incidents of misconduct within minutes without rushing to DEO office to lodge a complaint. Moreover, any citizen could lodge complaint through 24X7 active toil free telephone 1950, he said, adding the ECI has also introduced Voters’ Helpline App through which all enrolled citizens could know their electoral roll status, he added.
Meanwhile, state’s press fraternity conducted a workshop on MCC involving Papum Pare and Capital Complex DIPROs in Arunachal Press Club here on Saturday.