NIOS Political Science (317) Notes|Chapter-18|Electoral System in India

NIOS Political Science (317) Notes|Chapter-18|Electoral System in India. Important questions for NIOS Political Science 317 Questions Answers brings you latest queries and solutions with accordance to the most recent pointers SOS . Students will clear all their doubts with regard to every chapter by active these necessary chapter queries and elaborate explanations that area unit provided by our specialists so as to assist you higher. These queries can facilitate students prepare well for the exams thanks to time constraint . NIOS Political Science (317) Notes|Chapter-18|Electoral System in India

HS 2nd years Solutions (English Medium)

NIOS Political Science (317) Notes|Chapter-18|Electoral System in India

 Intext Questions & Answers

 Q.1. Tick mark (✔) the appropraite alternative out of the four alternatives.

(i) Responsibility for conducting free and fair elections the four alternatives. rests on: 

  1.  The Chief Justice of India
  2. The Election Commission
  3. The President 
  4. The Comptroller and Auditor General 

Ans.: b) The Election Commission 

(ii) The Chief Election Commissioner is appointed by:

  1. The Chief Justice of India
  2. The President
  3. The Law Minister
  4. The Prime Minister

 Ans. b) The President 

Q.2. Fill in the blanks: 

(a) The Chief Election Commissioner is appointed for ___________ years. (four/five/six)

 Ans. : six 

(b) The procedure for the removal of Chief Election Commissioner is the same as that of the. (Speaker of the Lok Sabha/Judge of the Supreme Court/The Prime Minister of India) 

Ans.: Judge of the Supreme Court 

Q. 3. Match the following symbols with the respective Political Parties:

Indian National CongressLotus
Telgu Desamhand

Ans. : 

a) BJPlotus
b) Indian National Congresshand
c) Telgu DesamCycle

Q.4. Which of the following is referred to as Mid-term election? 

  1. the election held in middle of the year
  2.  the election held out of schedule 
  3. The election is held any time during the term when the ruling party loses a vote of confidence.

 Ans.: c) the election held any time during the term when the ruling party loses a vote of confidence.

 0.5. Which of the following is essential to be a voter? 

  1.  the person should be 21 years of age
  2. the person should be a citizen of India 
  3. the person should have passed secondary examination

 Ans.: b) the person should be a citizen of India 

Q.6. Who issues the notification for elections? 

  1.  Election Commission
  2. Returning Officer 
  3. President 

Ans. c) President

 Q.7. Which day is the last date for filing nominations?

  1.  4th day:
  2. 5th day 
  3. 7th day 

Ans. c) 7th day 

Q.8. Election schedule is spread over: 

  1.  7 days 
  2. 20 days
  3. 1 month

 Ans.: c) 1 month

 Q.9. Nomination papers should be duly proposed and seconded by:

  1.  2 voters of the concerned constituency. 
  2. 3 voters of any constituency 
  3. 4 voters of the concerned constituency. 
  4. 6 voters of the concerned constituency. 

Ans. : a) 2 voters of the concerned constituency.

 Q.10. Campaigning is stopped

  1.  12 hours before the polling.
  2. 24 hours before the polling.
  3. 48 hours before the polling. 

Ans.: c) 48 hours before the polling.

 Q.11. The polling booth is manned by the 

  1.  Polling Officers 
  2. Returning Officer 
  3.  Presiding Officer 

Ans.: a) Polling Officers 

Q.12. The Electronic Voting Machine can accommodate a maximum of: 

  1.  10 candidates
  2. 16 candidates 
  3. 20 candidates

 Ans.: b) 16 candidates

 Q. 13. Some of the notable shortcomings of the Indian Electoral system are

  1. __________________
  2. __________________
  3. __________________
  4. __________________


  1.  Money power
  2. Muscle power 
  3. Role of Caste and religion 
  4. Misuse of government machinery

 Q. 14. The most significant electoral reforms implemented in India are: 


(II) _________________

(III) _________________

(IV) _________________

Ans.: i) Lowering of voting age

 ii) Increasing the amount of security deposit 

iii) Introduction of Photo Identity Card 

iv) Introduction of Electronic Voting Machines 

Terminal Exercises 

1. What are the functions of Election Commission of India?

 Ans. The primary function of the Election Commission is to conduct free and fair elections in India. For this purpose, the Election Commission has the following functions:

 Delimitation of Constituencies

To facilitate the process of elections, a country has to be divided into several constituencies. 

Constituency It is territorial area from where a candidate contests elections

The task of delimiting constituencies is generally performed by the Delimitation Commission consisting of five serving or retired judges of the Supreme Court and the Chief Election Commissioner who is its ex-officio member. All secretarial assistance (at all levels, national, state, district) is provided to the Delimitation Commission by the Election Commission. The Delimitation Commission is constituted by the Government from time to time.

Preparation of Electoral Rolls 

Each constituency has a comprehensive list of voters. It is known as the Electoral Roll, or the Voters’ List. The Commission prepares the Electoral Roll for Parliament as well as Legislative Assembly elections. The Electoral Roll of every constituency contains the names of all the persons who have right to vote in that constituency. The electoral roll is also revised from time to time generally before every general election, by-election and mid term election in the constituency.

 General Election

Election to constitute a new Lok Sabha or Assembly is called General Election. By-Election If at any time there is a mid-term vacancy due to the death or resignation of a member either in Lok Sabha or Legislative Assembly only one seat falls vacant. The election for that seat is known as a by-election.

 Mid-term Election 

If the Lok Sabha or State Assembly is dissolved before completion of five years and the election is held to constitute new Lok Sabha or new State Assembly, etc. is called midterm election. 

The revision is carried out from house to house by the enumerators appointed by Election Commission and all eligible voters are registered. A person can be registered as a voter if he/ she fulfils the following conditions:

  1.  He/she is a citizen of India.
  2. He/she is 18 years of age.
  3. He/she is resident of the constituency. 

Recognition of Political Parties

 One of the important functions of the Election Commission is to recognise political parties as all India (National) (Regional) Political Parties. If in a general election, a particular party gets four percent of the total valid votes polled in any or State states it is recognised as an all India (National) Party. If a party gets four percent of the total valid votes in a state, it is recognized four as a State or regional party. (You will read in details about Political parties in the following Lesson in 191 The Indian National Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BP), the Communist Party of hot (CP, The Communist Party of India (Marxist) the haladjan Samaj Party (BSP) and the Nationalist Congress Party er at present (2006) majm recognised national parties 

Allotment of Symbol 

Political Parties have symbols which are allotted by the Election Commission. For example, Hand is the symbol of the lodian National Congress, Lotus is the symbol of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Elephant is the symbol of Bahujan Samaj Party. These symbols are significant for the following reasons 

  1.  They are a help for the illiterate voters who cannot read the names of the candidates. 
  2. They help in differentiating between two candidates having the same name.
SL. No.Chapters Link
1Meaning and Scope of Political ScienceClick Here
2Nation and StateClick Here
3Distinction Between Society, Nation, State and GovernmentClick Here
4Major Political TheoriesClick Here
5Preamble and The Salient Features of The Constitution of IndiaClick Here
6Fundamental RightsClick Here
7Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental DutiesClick Here
8Indian Federal SystemClick Here
9Emergency ProvisionsClick Here
10Union ExecutiveClick Here
11Parliament of IndiaClick Here
12Supreme Court of IndiaClick Here
13Executive in the StatesClick Here
14State LegislatureClick Here
15High Courts and Subordinate CourtsClick Here
16Local Government: Urban and RuralClick Here
17Universal adult franchise and the methods of representationClick Here
18Electoral System in IndiaClick Here
19National Political PartiesClick Here
20Regionalism and Regional PartiesClick Here
21Public Opinion and Pressure GroupsClick Here
22Communalism, Caste and ReservationsClick Here
23Environmental AwarenessClick Here
24Good GovernanceClick Here
25Human RightsClick Here
26India’s Foreign PolicyClick Here
27India’s Relations with USA and RussiaClick Here
28India and its Neighbors : China, Pakistan And Sri LankaClick Here
29Contemporary World OrderClick Here
30The United NationsClick Here
31United Nations’ Peace ActivitiesClick Here
32United Nations and Economic and Social DevelopmentClick Here
33Public Service CommissionsClick Here
34Administrative Machinery at the Centre, States and District LevelsClick Here
35Political Executive and BureaucracyClick Here
36Public Grievances and Redressal MachineryClick Here

 2. Explain briefly the electoral process followed during Lok Sabha or Assembly Elections. 

Ans, Elections in India are conducted according to the procedure laid down by law. The following process is observed. 

Notification for Election

 The process of election officially begins when on the recommendation of Election Commission, the President in case of Lok Sabha and the Governor in case of State Assembly issue a notification for the election. Seven days are given to candidates to file nominations. The seventh day is the last date after the issue of notification excluding Sunday, Scrutiny of nomination papers is done on the day normally after the last date of filing nominations. The candidate can withdraw his/her nomination on the second day after the scrutiny of papers. Election is held not curlier than the twentieth day after the withdrawal.

 Filing of Nomination 

A person who intends to contest an election is required to file the nomination paper in a prescribed form indicating his name, ago, postal address and serial number in the electoral rolls. The candidate is required to be duly proposed and seconded by at least two voters registered in the concerned constituency. Every candidate has to take an oath or make an affirmation. These papers are then submitted to the Returning Officer designated by the Election Commission 

Security Deposit 

Every candidate has to make a security deposit at the time of filing nomination. For Lok Sabha every candidate has to make a security deposit of Rs.10,000/- and for State Assembly Rs. 5,000, But candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are required to deposit Rs. 5,000/- for if contesting the Lok Sabha elections and Rs. 2,500/- for contesting Vidhan Sabha elections. The security deposit is forfeited if the candidate fails to get at least 1/6 of the total valid votes polled. 

Scrutiny and Withdrawal

 All nomination papers received by the Returning Officer are scrutinised on the day fixed by the Election Commission. This is done to ensure that all papers are filled according to the procedure laid down and accompanied by required security deposit. The Returning Officer is empowered to reject a nomination paper on any one of the following ground:

  1.  If the candidate is less than 25 years of age. 
  2. If he/she has not made security deposit.
  3. If he/she is holding any office of profit. 
  4. If he/she is not listed as a voter anywhere in the country The second day after the scrutiny of nomination papers is the last date for the withdrawal of the candidates. In case that day happens to be a holiday or Sunday, the day immediately after tha is fixed as the last day for the withdrawal.

 Election Campaign

Campaigning is the process by which a candidate tries to persuade the voters to vote for him rather than others. During this,period, the candidates try to travel through their constituency to influence as many voters as possible to vote in their favour. In recent times, the Election Commission has granted all the recognised National and Regional Parties, free access to the State owned electronic media, the All India Radio (AIR) and the Doordarshan to do their campaigning. The total free time is fixed by the Election Commission which is allotted to all the political parties. Campaigning stops 48 hours before the day of polling. A number of campaign techniques are involved in the election process. Some of these are:

  1.   Holding of public meetings
  2. Distribution of handbills, highlighting the main issues of their election manifesto (election manifesto is a document issued by a political party. It is a declaration of policies and programmes of the party concerned – about this you will read in detail in the following Lesson 19.
  3. Door to door appeal by influential people in the party.
  4. Broadcasting and telecasting of speeches by various political leaders. 

Model Code of Conduct 

During the campaign period the political parties and the contesting candidates are expected to abide by a model code of conduct evolved by the Election Commission of India on the basis of the consensus among political parties. It comes into force the moment schedule of election is announced by the Election Commission. The code of conduct is as follows:

  1.  Political Parties and contesting candidates should not use religious places for election campaigns.
  2. Such speeches should not be delivered in a way to create hatred among different communities belonging to different religions, castes and languages, etc.
  3. Official machinery should not be used for election work. 
  4. No new grants can be sanctioned, no new schemes or projects can be started once the election dates are announced
  5. One cannot misuse mass media for partisan coverage.

 Scrutinisation of Expenses

 Though the Election Commission provides free access for a limited time to all the recognised National and State parties for their campaign, this does not mean that political parties do not spend anything on their elections campaign. The political parties and the candidates contesting election spend large sum of amount on their election campaign. However, the Election Commission has the power to scrutinise the election expenses to be incurred by the candidates. There is a ceiling on expenses to be incurred in Parliamentary as well as State Assembly elections. Every candidate is required to file an account of his election expenses within 45 days of declaration of results. In case of default or if the candidate has incurred (expenses) more than the prescribed limit, the Election Commission can take appropriate action and the candidate elected may be disqualified and his election may be countermanded. 

Polling, Counting and Declaration of Result

In order to conduct polling, large number of polling booths are set up in each constituency. Each booth is placed under the charge of a Presiding Officer with the Polling Officers to help the process.

 A voter casts his/her vote secretly in an enclosure, so that no other person comes to know of the choice he/she has made. It is known as a secret ballot. 

After the polling is over, ballot boxes are sealed in the presence of agents of the candidates. Agents ensure that no voter is denied right to vote, provided the voter turns up comes within the prescribed time limit.

 Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs)

The Election Commission has started using tamper proof electronic voting machines to ensure free and fair elections. Each machine has the names and symbols of the candidates in a constituency. One Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) can accommodate a maximum of 16 candidates. But if the number exceeds 16, then more than one EVM may be used. If the number of candidates is very large, ballot papers may be used. The voter has to press the appropriate button to vote for the candidate of his her choice. As soon as the button is pressed, the machine is automatically switched off. Then comes the turn of the next voter. The machine is easy to operate, and with this the use of ballot paper and ballot boxes is done away with. When the machine is used, the counting of votes becomes more convenient and faster. The EVMS were used in all the seven Lok Sabha constituencies in Delhi in 1999, and later in all the State Assembly constituencies. In 2004 General Elections EVMs were used all over the country for Lok Sabha elections.

The sealed ballot boxes or EVMs are shifted in tight security to the counting centre. Counting takes place under the supervision of the Returning Officer and in the presence of candidates and their agents. If there is any doubt about the validity or otherwise of a vote, decision of the Returning Officer is final. As soon as counting is over, the candidate securing the maximum number of votes is declared elected (or returned) by the Returning Officer. 

Re-poll– If at the time of polling, a booth is captured by some anti-social elements, the Election Commission may order holding of re-poll in either the entire constituency or particular booths. 

Countermanding of Election.

 If a duly nominated candidate belonging to a recognised party dies at any time after the last date of nomination and before the commencement of polling, the Election Commission orders countermanding the elections. This is not just postponement of polling. The entire election process, beginning from nominations is initiated afresh in the concerned constituency 

3. Write in brief the shortcomings of electoral system in India. Suggest reforms for improving the system.

 Ans. There has been universal appreciation of the Indian electoral system. People have hailed the manner in which elections have been conducted in India. But there are its weaknesses. It has been seen that in spite of the efforts of the Election Commission to ensure free and fair elections, there are certain shortcomings of our Electoral system. Some notable weaknesses are discussed below: 

Money Power Structure of Government 

The role of unaccounted money in elections has become a serious problem. The political parties collect funds from companies and business houses, and then use this money to influence the voter to vote in their favour. The business contributions are mostly in cash and are not unaccounted. Many other corrupt practices are also adopted during election such as bribing, rigging or voter intimidation, impersonation and providing transport and conveyance of voters to and fro the polling stations. Reports of liquor being distributed in poor are as are frequent during elections.

 Muscle Power

 Earlier the criminals used to support the candidates by intimidating the voter at a gunpoint to vote according to their direction. Now they themselves have come out openly by contesting the elections leading to criminalisation of politics. As a result violence during elections has also increased.

 Caste and Religion

 Generally the candidates are given tickets by the political parties on the consideration whether the candidate can muster the support of numerically larger castes and communities and possesses enough resources. Even the electors vote on the caste and communal lines. Communal loyalties of the voters are used at the time of propaganda campaigns. 

Misuse of government machinery 

All the political parties do not have equal opportunity in respect of access to resources. The party in power is always in advantageous position then the opposition parties. There is widespread allegation that the party in power accomplishes misuse of government machinery.

All these features lead to violence, booth capturing, rigging bogus voting, forcible removal of ballot papers, ballot boxes burning of vehicles, etc. which result into loss of public faith in elections.

 Electoral Reforms

 In order to restore the confidence of the public in the democratic electoral system, many electoral reforms have been recommended from time to time by Tarkunde Committee and Goswami Committee which were particularly appointed to study and report on the scheme for Electoral Reforms in the year 1974 and 1990 respectively. Out of these recommendations some have been implemented. In fact, it was under the chairmanship of the then Chief Election Commissioner, T.N. Seshan, that Election Commission initiated many more measures to ensure free and fair elections. Some of the reforms which have been implemented so far are as follows:

  1.  The voting age has been lowered from 21 years to 18 years. This has helped increase the number of voters and response confidence in the youth of the country.
  2.  Another landmark change has been the increase in the amount of security deposit by the candidate to prevent many non serious candidates from contesting elections with a ulterior motive.
  3. The photo identity cards have been introduced to eradicate bogus voting or impersonation.
  4. With the introduction of Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) the voting capturing, rigging, and bogus voting may not be possible. The use of EVM will in the long run result in reducing the cost of holding elections and also the incidence of tampering during counting of votes.
  5.  If a discrepancy is found between the member of votes polled and number of total votes counted, the Returning officer away report the matter forthwith to Election Commission Election Commission on such report may either declare the poll at the particular polling station as void and give a date for fresh poll or countermand election in that constituency.

There is no doubt that India needs drastic poll reforms but still the fact remains that Indian elections have been largely free and fair and successfully conducted. It gives the country the proud distinction of being the largest democracy in the world.

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