New Delhi: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has amended an existing scheme which will enable it to issue digital time vouchers to political parties for their campaigns on government-owned electronic media. This means that the allotment of time to political parties on Doordarshan (DD) and All India Radio (AIR) during the election will now be online.
The digital time vouchers will be issued through an Information Technology (IT) platform. With this facilitation, the political parties will not be required to send their representatives to ECI or Chief Electoral Officers’ offices for the collection of the time vouchers physically during elections.
The ECI said today that this step reflected the Commission’s commitment to leveraging technology for the betterment of the electoral process and ease of all stakeholders.
Recognizing the advancements in technology, the Commission said it has been providing IT-based options to interface with political parties. Recently, the Commission also introduced a web portal for the online filing of financial accounts by political parties with the Election Commission.
The introduction of an IT-based platform for the processing and distribution of time vouchers to entitled political parties allows for a more efficient and streamlined process, enhancing accessibility and ease of use for the political parties, the ECI said.
It may be recalled that the scheme, which was initially notified on January 16, 1998, holds a statutory basis under Section 39A of the R.P. Act, 1951. It was formulated after extensive consultations with recognized National and State Parties and aimed at ensuring equitable access to government-owned electronic media during election campaigns. Under this Scheme, an equitable base time is allotted to each National Party and Recognized State Party uniformly on DD and AIR. An additional time to be allotted to the parties is also decided on the basis of the poll performance of the parties in the last assembly elections from the respective States and Union Territories or in the last general elections to Lok Sabha, as the case may be.
The actual date and time during which the telecasts or broadcasts are made by the authorised representatives of any party are predetermined, by a lot, by the Prasar Bharati Corporation in consultation with ECI and in the presence of political party representatives.
– global bihari bureau