Daily Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013 National Issues - Topic: "Towards a Level Playing Field"

Daily Special Current Affairs Material for IAS (Pre) 2013

Chapter: National Issues

Topic: Towards a Level Playing Field

Q. Which section of Representation of the People describes about right to vote?

Ans. Section 61 of the Representation of the People Act 1951 deems that every person whose name is on the electoral rolls has the right to vote.

Q. Article 334?

Ans. The Constituent Assembly recognised the disabilities historically suffered by the Scheduled Castes and Tribes, and reserved seats for them under Article 334 of the Constitution

Q. What is the present picture of seats reserved for SC & ST in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha?

Ans. After the initial 60 years of reservation, Parliament extended reservation by 10 years, reserving out of 543 seats in the Lok Sabha, 84 for the Scheduled Castes, and 47 for the Scheduled Tribes. Of the 4120 seats in all the Legislative Assemblies combined, 614 are reserved for the Scheduled Castes and 554 for Scheduled Tribes.

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Q. What is the ‘Vulnerability mapping’ of ECI?

Ans. In 2007, the ECI started using computers to determine which sections of largely rural areas had not voted in previous elections. From this huge exercise was born the concept of “vulnerability mapping.” Through a transparent process, such villages and hamlets that were vulnerable to intimidation were identified. By the time of General Elections 2009, as many as 86,782 villages/hamlets had been marked as ‘vulnerable,’ and 3,73,886 persons who were believed likely to disturb the process were ‘bound down’ under preventive sections of laws to good behaviour for the pendency of the poll period. Almost

Q. What the action taken by ECI after ‘Vulnerability mapping’?

Ans. 100,000 new polling stations were created, most often in such vulnerable pockets by providing polling stations in their villages or hamlets. This was ensured in a transparent and participatory manner, involving local people, officials, observers and other stakeholders; as a result there were hardly any complaints about any partisan misuse of vulnerability mapping for political ends.

Q. What is the concept of Booth Level Officer?

Ans. The Booth Level Officer system was created in 2006-2007: each BLO was “responsible” for voters registered at one polling station, usually up to 1,500 voters. At one stroke, this official was made the keeper of the electoral roll at the cutting edge. As this official became more familiar with his or her ‘territory’, it was easier to eliminate names of those who may have shifted out or died, and add names of those who have moved in, or turned 18 on January 1, thus becoming eligible to vote. This strategy proved to be a leveller, making it difficult to keep people out of the rolls. With a photo electoral card in hand and a corresponding photo on the rolls, this helped substantially reduce bogus voting, which now entails the risk of the automatic registration of a first information report and probable arrest.

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