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by NewsGram Staff



Image Credit: Wikipedia.

EVMs have become an integral part of Indian Electoral Process and as the Delhi Assembly Elections 2015 are soon to begin, NewsGram takes a last-minute look into the heart of the matter.

Less than 12 hours later, the voting process would begin in Delhi to bring the next government to power. All the contesting parties have campaigned aggressively to woo the voters. With poll surveys swinging both towards BJP and AAP, it remains to be seen who the majority of people would entrust with their votes.

As the days of the ballot system and bogus voting are long gone, the whole voting process would be conducted through EVMs (Electronic Voting Machines), also known as Indian Voting Machines. EVMs were first brought into the the elctoral process in 1999 in certain constituencies and implemented completely in 2004 elections. Over the years, the EVM has gone through some technical and security revisions and the current model is termed ‘Post-2006’ Evm.

A couple of days earlier, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal raised concerns about the probability of tampering of the EVMs. The Election Commission of India, however, reassured him that the machines are fool-proof and under appropriate security. Despite the Election Commission’s denial that EVMs can be hacked, various technical experts in the past have shared doubts about its reliability and infallibility.

In April 2010, a research team led by Hari Parasad, Ron Gonggrijp, and J. Alex Halderman from an independent forum, VeTa, demonstrated in two different ways how the EVM can be tampered with before or after the voting. Earlier to this, an international conference on tamperability of Indian EVMs was chaired by politician and economist Dr. Subramanian Swamy, concluding that the EVMs did have transparency issues. Dr. Swamy took the matter to the court in 2012 w.r.t (Writ Petition (Civil) No. 11879 of 2009). Convinced that the machine was not tamper-proof, the Delhi High Court advised the ECI to hold wider consultations in this matter.

While the developed countries across the globe have discarded the electronic system of voting for the sake of accuracy and preferred to use the ballot system instead, the Election Commission of India has brought itself in the eye of debates over its use of the EVMs time and again.

Owing to such controversies, in the general elections 2014, ECI introduced EVMs with voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) system. This method is applied to simultaneously record the vote on paper which helps prevent any electronic malfunction or fraud as the voter can verify that their vote was cast correctly. This also means that a manual vote count can be done in case the recounting of votes is necessary. The system was implemented in 8 of the 543 parliamentary constituencies as a pilot project.

In Delhi Assembly Elections 2015, VVPAT system would be implemented in New Delhi and Cantonment constituencies. The question is why not cover most of the constituencies under this system if the ECI needs to establish more reliability in the electoral medium it advocates without hesitation. The outcome of the poll would have the last say.


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Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Killer Smog in Delhi.

Developed by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, a Decision Support System (DSS) that extends the ability of the existing air quality early warning system (AQEWS) to have decision-making capability for air quality management in Delhi-NCR was launched on Tuesday.

The website for the DSS (https://ews.tropmet.res.in/dss/) is designed to help the Commission for Air Quality Management for NCR and Adjoining Areas (CAQM) by delivering quantitative information about the contribution of emissions from Delhi and its 19 surrounding districts; the contribution of emissions from eight different sectors in Delhi; and the contribution from biomass-burning activities in the neighbouring states.

These information would assist in managing the air quality in a timely manner, a release from the Ministry of Earth Sciences said.

The need was stated by the CAQM, which was formed by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, during a meeting held in January 2021.

Recently, the Commission reviewed the progress made by IITM and had in principle approved the current version of DSS for air quality management in the Delhi-NCR. The IITM has also developed a new website for DSS with the entire system made operational, the release said.

Union Minister of State for Earth Sciences, Jitendra Singh, while launching the website for AQEWS on the occasion of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' week organised by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, said, "DSS is a significant contribution to 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' on behalf of MoES and IITM and suggestions are invited on this issue."

The website also has a feature whereby the users can create their own emission reduction scenarios (from 20 different districts, including Delhi) so as to examine the possible projected improvement in air quality in Delhi for the next five days.

"This information would explicitly highlight the most important emission sources responsible for the degradation of air quality in Delhi and suggest possible solutions to ameliorate the same. With a plethora of quantitative data, the AQEWS integrated with DSS could become a user-friendly tool for air-quality management in and around Delhi," the release said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Delhi, India, Pollution, IITM, Ministry of Earth Sciences


Photo by GOI.

On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020

On the first day of the two-day meeting of BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders on Tuesday, discussions were held on important issues related to education and the National Education Policy-2020. Apart from senior RSS leader Suresh Soni, representatives of various organisations associated with the Sangh Parivar -- working in the field of education -- were present in the meeting in New Delhi.

According to sources, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who attended the meeting on behalf of the government, shared information related to the National Education Policy-2020 and the government's policy on important issues related to the education sector. Pradhan also shared details of the efforts being made by the government in the field of education.

Discussions were also held regarding the impact of the situation arising out of Corona and how much it has affected the education sector. In the meeting, the RSS leaders asked several questions and provided suggestions to the Union Minister regarding the education policy of the government.

According to the sources, RSS wants the policy to be implemented expeditiously. All aspects related to the policy were discussed in Tuesday's meeting. On the second and the last day of the meeting on Wednesday, special issues related to education will be discussed in which representatives of various organisations of the Sangh, Union Ministers and several BJP leaders will be take part.

Meanwhile, in order to convey its point of view to the government on various issues, the Sangh keeps on calling such coordination meetings related to specific issues, in which RSS representatives -- working in that particular area -- provide feedback to the government. (IANS/JB)


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