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Electoral System in India, Background, Features, Process, Types

The election process in India is the cornerstone of its vibrant democracy, ensuring the participation of citizens in choosing their representatives. Governed by constitutional provisions and election statutes, this structured process is pivotal in maintaining the integrity and efficiency of elections. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the intricacies of the Indian election process, covering its various stages, schedules, and significant aspects.

Election Process in India

There are some key stages of the Election Process in India:

  • Announcement of Election Schedule by the ECI: The Election Commission of India (ECI) declares the schedule of elections through a formal announcement, setting the timeline for crucial events in the electoral process.
  • Issue of Notification by the ECI: Following the announcement, the ECI issues notifications calling upon the electorate to elect members of the legislative bodies.
  • Filing of Nominations by the Candidates: Candidates file their nominations in their respective constituencies within the stipulated timeframe after the issuance of notifications.
  • Oath or Affirmation of Candidates: Candidates make an oath or affirmation before authorized officers, signaling their commitment to contest in the elections.
  • Election Campaign: Political parties and candidates engage in election campaigns to garner support and persuade voters through various means, adhering to the Model Code of Conduct.
  • Allocation of Symbols: Candidates receive symbols, either reserved for national/state parties or allocated from a list of free symbols, for identification on the ballot.
  • Polling Days and Voting Procedure: Voting takes place over multiple days across different constituencies, conducted using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) to ensure secrecy and efficiency.
  • Supervising Elections and Media Coverage: The ECI deploys election observers to oversee the electoral process, while media coverage ensures transparency while respecting voter secrecy.
  • Counting of Votes and Constitution of House: Votes cast in EVMs are counted, and the candidate with the highest votes is declared the winner. The elected members form the legislative bodies, completing the electoral cycle.

Special Features

  • Electronic Voting Machine (EVM): A technological advancement facilitating faster and more secure voting.
  • Opinion Polls and Exit Polls: Surveys conducted to gauge public sentiment and predict election outcomes, subject to specific regulations by the ECI.

Electoral System in India: Background

If elections are to actually matter in a democratic society and live up to expectations, it is crucial that the methods employed to conduct them are acceptable. Only after carefully examining the approaches and taking into account both their advantages and disadvantages can their applicability be decided.

India has a parliamentary system with a split of power between the federal government and the states, according to the Constitution. The ceremonial head of state and ultimate commander-in-chief of all Indian armed forces is India’s President.

Everyone has the right to cast a secret ballot in the general elections for the parliament because India is a democracy. As a group, members of parliament are elected representatives with the potential to hold office for a period of five years.

Features of Electoral System in India

The electoral system in India serves as the bedrock of its democratic framework, providing a platform for citizens to exercise their voting rights and participate in governance. This article delves into the distinctive features and mechanisms of the electoral system in India, elucidating its role in shaping the country’s political landscape.

Feature Description
Universal Adult Franchise Every citizen above the age of 18 has the right to vote, ensuring broad-based participation in the electoral process.
Multi-tiered Electoral Structure Elections are conducted at national, state, and local levels, including the Lok Sabha, State Legislative Assemblies, and local bodies.
First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) System Candidates with the highest number of votes in a constituency win the seat, emphasizing constituency-level representation.
Constituency Delimitation Geographical areas are divided into electoral constituencies to ensure equitable representation, reviewed periodically by the Delimitation Commission.
Reserved Seats for Marginalized Groups Reserved seats ensure representation of Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in legislative bodies.
Independent Election Commission The Election Commission of India (ECI) oversees elections autonomously, ensuring free, fair, and transparent conduct while enforcing the Model Code of Conduct.
Use of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) EVMs streamline voting, enhancing efficiency, accuracy, and transparency in the electoral process.
Model Code of Conduct (MCC) Guidelines for ethical conduct during election campaigns, ensuring a level playing field and integrity in the electoral process.

Positions in Election in India

India is a democratic, secular, socialist, and independent republic. The idea of democracy as it is expressed in the Constitution is that the people will be represented in the federal government and state legislatures through the electoral process. Elections are held in India for the following positions:

  • Members of the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha
  • State legislative council members,
  • Individuals who are a part of state legislatures
  • Participants in local governing bodies
  • A by-election is held when the incumbent of a certain constituency passes away, resigns, or is declared ineligible.

Different Procedure for Electoral System in India

Elections provide every adult citizen of the country with the chance to participate in the process of forming the government. These elections are held under the tenet of the universal adult franchise, which grants any Indian who is 18 years of age or older the right to vote, regardless of caste, colour, religion, sex, or place of birth.

First Past the Post and Proportional Representation are the two election-processing procedures utilized in India.

First Past the Post System

Elections are held under this system in each constituency chosen by the Election Commission, and the person with the most votes is declared the winner. Both the Lok Sabha and each Vidhan Sabha are chosen through first-past-the-post voting. In each constituency, voters may select just one candidate to cast a ballot for; the one with the most votes is proclaimed the victor.

Proportional Representation System

The number of votes is distributed proportionately among the legislators under this arrangement. It works effectively for a multi-party system like the one used in India, where each party is given consideration regardless of how big it is or how many votes it obtains overall.

Electoral Process of India

Notification for Election

The election process officially starts when, on the recommendation of the Election Commission, the President in the case of the Lok Sabha and the Governor in the case of the State Assembly issues a notification for the election. Seven days are given for candidates to submit their nominations.

Filing of Nomination

The candidate’s name, age, postal address, and electoral roll serial number must be included on the nomination document, which must be presented in the correct manner. The candidate must be properly proposed and seconded by at least two registered voters from the affected constituency.

Deposition of Security Deposit

When submitting their nomination, each applicant is asked to submit a security deposit. The security deposit is forfeited if the candidate doesn’t win at least 1/6 of the valid votes cast.

Scrutiny and Withdrawal

The Returning Officer reviews each nomination form she receives on the day determined by the Election Commission. This is done to ensure that all paperwork is completed in line with the approved process and that the required security deposit is included. The returning officer has the authority to reject a nomination paper. The second day after the nomination papers have been reviewed is the final day for candidates to withdraw.

Election Campaign

Campaigning is the procedure a candidate uses to persuade voters to support him instead of the opposition. All recognized national and regional parties can now run their election campaigns for free on state-owned electronic media, including as All India Radio (AIR) and Doordarshan.

Electoral System in India UPSC

An election is a process where voters regularly choose their representatives and have the option to remove them at any moment. Elections are a process of choosing representatives for different government offices by utilising ballots. Elections are the foundation of democracy. Representatives must be chosen through elections. In most democracies, the people are in charge through their representatives. Students can read all the details related to UPSC by visiting the official website of StudyIQ UPSC Online Coaching.

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Electoral system in India FAQs

Which electoral system was adopted in India?

The Constitution of India adopted a Parliamentary form of government.

What is the system of election in India?

India is divided into different areas for the purpose of elections. These areas are called electoral constituencies. The voters who live in an area elect one representative. For Lok Sabha elections, India is divided into 543 constituencies.

What is the electoral formula India?

The total value of votes of all the States added together is divided by the total number of elected members of Parliament (Lok Sabha 543 + Rajya Sabha 233) to get the value of votes per each Member of Parliament.

Which were the first electoral reforms in India?

The Representation of the People Act (RPA) of 1951 provided the first set of rules for the conduct of elections to the Houses of Parliament and State Legislatures. Over the years the RPA has been amended to reflect changing circumstances.

What is proportional electoral system in India?

The mixed-member proportional system combines single member plurality voting (SMP), also known as first-past-the-post (FPTP), with party-list PR in a way that the overall result of the election is supposed to be proportional.

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