The Chief Election Commissioner, O P Rawat has announced the use of cVIgil app in the upcoming assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh and Mizoram while addressing the media on Tuesday in Jaipur. The cVigil app, a short form for vigilant citizen was launched earlier this year on July 3rd. The main aim of this app is to empower citizens and give them accessibility to report any unethical activity happening on election booths. This is the first time that such an application will be used in elections. The complainant can complain of any violation of Model Code of Conduct such as distribution of money, hate speech etc. from the time the election date is announced till a day after the poll has been conducted. The app is an android based application compatible with android jellybean and later versions.
How Does It Work
- A citizen can click a picture or record a 2-minute video which is uploaded on the map along with an automated location mapping by the Geographic Information System. After the file is successfully submitted, the complainant will receive a Unique ID to track and receive follow up updates on his mobile. A citizen can complain as many times she wants and each time she will get a unique id to track the complaint.
- Once the complaint is lodged, the information beeps in the District Control Room from where it is assigned to a Field Unit. A field unit consists of Flying Squads, Static Surveillance Teams, Reserve teams etc. Each Field Unit will have a GIS-based mobile application called ‘cVIGIL Dispatcher’, which allows the unit to directly reach the location through GIS and navigation technology and take action.
- After a Field Unit has taken action, it messages and uploads the relevant document as ‘action taken report’ via the ‘cVIGIL Dispatcher’ to the returning officer concerned for his decision and disposal. If the incident is found correct, the information is sent to the National Grievance Portal of the Election Commission of India for further action and the vigilant citizen is informed about the action taken within a hundred minutes.
Election Commission has also stated that it is designed with infallible features so that no one can misuse the app. To make it foolproof the app is inbuilt with strong features. Some of its features include reporting of violation of model code of conduct only; The user only gets five minutes to report the clicked picture or recorded video; the recorded file cannot be saved in user’s phone; The app is only active in the state where polls are conducted and as soon as the user leaves the state the app becomes inactive.
The app also has a feature of hiding the user’s identity so as to encourage more number of complaints as some people deter from complaining against the powerful people to avoid any backlash. However, if the identity of the user is disclosed the complainant won’y be able to track the status of the complaint.
Introduction of this user friendly application will definitely provide the citizens a convenient and transparent way of complaining the illegal activities which happens during polls. The Election commission is really counting on this app for a fair and clean election.
(with inputs from EC press release)