The Election Commission of India is introducing a unique internet based mobile app ‘cVigil’ in the upcoming assembly polls. The app, which stands for ‘citizens’ vigil’, will be operationalised for the first time as a pilot project.
The android-based mobile application was launched by Chief Election Commissioner OP Rawat, along with the Election Commissioners Sunil Arora and Ashok Lavasa, on July 3, 2018 for citizens to report any violation of the model code of conduct during elections.
The app will help voters to share malpractice proof with the authorities.
Highlights of the cVigil App
• The app will be operational only where the elections will be announced.
• cVIGIL will allow anyone in the election-bound state to report violations of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) that comes into effect from the date of announcement of elections and goes on till a day after the polls.
• The mobile application facilitates sharing of geo-tagged photographic and video evidence without disclosing the identity of the sender.
• The vigilant citizen has to click a picture or record a video of upto two minutes’ duration of the scene of violations of the model code. The photo or video then has to be uploaded on the app.
• Once a voter shares the proof, the uploaded information will be transmitted to the control room, from where the field units or flying squads mapped on a Geographic Information System will be immediately alerted for further action.
• Each Field Unit will have a GIS-based mobile application called ‘cVIGIL Dispatcher’, which allows the unit to directly reach the location through navigation technology and take action.
• In case the complainant does not opt for anonymity, the person will also get an action-taken report within about 100 minutes.
• The app has inbuilt features to prevent its misuse. It will receive complaints only about Model Code of Conduct 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 the pre-recorded or old images and videos.
• The officials at the ECI will be trained for the optimum handling of the app for effective action against the malpractices reported ahead of the elections.
• The app requires an Android smartphone equipped with a camera, good internet connection and GPS access.
The application will be made available for general use by all during the forthcoming Assembly elections in the States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan, later in 2018.
Till now, the complaints about violations of Model Code of Conduct could not be followed instantly, making it easy for violators to escape the detection from the action squads.
Also, the lack of any documented evidence in the form of pictures or videos was seen as a hurdle in verifying a complaint. There wasn’t any robust response system to quickly and accurately identify the scene of occurrence of violations with the help of geographical location details.
However, cVigil App is expected to fill in all these gaps and create a fast-track complaint reception and redressal system.
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