State Funding of Elections: Is it feasible in India?

Indian elections cost huge sums of money. This money hardly comes from contributions by sympathizers of the political party but from big corporate houses. Such contributions have largely come from undeclared income/black money and this increases corruption in the electoral process. It highlights the need for implementing effective reforms in electoral finance.In the previous article, we have discussed the Electoral Bonds Scheme for bringing transparency in electoral finance. In this article, we are going to discuss another such reform called State funding of elections as a measure to bring transparency and eliminate corruption in the electoral process.

[Premium] Electoral Bonds – Is it effective to bring Transparency in Political Funding?

The State Bank of India (SBI) has opened a 20-day window from where an individual, acting singly or in concert with others, can buy electoral bonds and donate money to political parties. Purchasers of these bonds have been granted anonymity, thereby creating opacity in what should have been a transparent process. Data gathered in response to an RTI query revealed that there has been a 62% jump in donations collected through electoral bonds this year (2019).

Notably, Election Commission of India (ECI) has told the Supreme Court that the electoral bonds, wreck transparency in political funding. In its affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court, the EC pointed to the amendments made to key laws, with dangerous consequences.

This article explains the following in an analytical manner with a mindmap for better understanding & quick revision:

  1. What are Electoral Bonds?
  2. What is the need for Electoral Bonds (Pros)?
  3. What are the concerns against Electoral Bonds (Cons)?
  4. What are the reforms needed in Indian electoral financing?
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Fake News Menace in India: How to tackle it

With the Lok Sabha elections near, it is really important that Indians have access to credible and trustworthy information before they vote. The issue is that many do not feel they do.Notably, after the Pulwama attack, social media and messaging apps had overflown with false and deceptive news content as people were trying to understand the horrible violence.This reflects the extent of the fake news menace and the threat it poses to the Indian democracy.

Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in India – Are they Tamper Proof?

There are two interesting reactions related to the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) controversy in India. First, since its inception, every major political party has questioned the authenticity and efficacy of the machine. Secondly, the instrument often works as the bone of contention between the winning and the losing party, with the winning party always defending the indispensability of the machine to the democratic process and the losing alleging that the EVMs were tampered with.

However, this time, unlike the earlier developments, a US-based hacker or so-called cyber expert has claimed that EVMs in India can be easily manipulated. This has added fuel to the already existing fire of controversy on the issue. 

Simultaneous Elections – Is it a good idea?

Recently the ruling party has launched a series of awareness campaigns to develop a consensus on the issue of holding simultaneous elections in the country. Moreover, organizing simultaneous elections for Lok Sabha and state assemblies is an ambitious task envisioned by the Election Commission. But the Chief Election Commissioner opined that it cannot be implemented anytime soon.

[Premium] Role of Social Media in Elections

Social media has been playing a huge role in elections/politics these days. It can actually have an impact on the decision making of the people. In light of this fact, there is also a question arises whether this increasing role of social media in elections is good or has its own share of downsides?

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