Election Commission of India Mobile App cVIGIL to report violation of election code of conduct

Election Commission of India Mobile App cVIGIL to report violation of election code of conduct by taking picture or recording video. Procedure and download 

Election Commission of India launches Mobile App “cVIGIL” to enable citizens to report on violation of election code of conduct 

The Chief Election Commissioner Shri. O.P. Rawat, along with the Election Commissioners Shri Sunil Arora and Shri Ashok  Lavasa launched a mobile app, called ‘Cvigil,’ on July 3, 2018, for citizens to report any violation of the model code of conduct during elections.

cVIGIL

Chief Election Commissioner Sh. O.P. Rawat along with Election Commissioners Shri Sunil Arora and Shri Ashok Lavasa launched the cVIGIL App. Senior Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Umesh Sinha and Deputy Election Commissioner Shri Sandeep Saxena were also present.

“cVIGIL” is a user-friendly and easy to operate Android application. It will be operational only where elections are announced. However, the beta version of the app will be made available for the public and election staff to download so that they can acquaint themselves with its features and also try sending dummy data. Upon successful completion of the trial that is underway, the application will be made available for general use by all, right from the forthcoming Assembly elections in the States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan. The practical use of the app during the four-state Assembly polls will also serve as a pilot initiative before it is put to extensive use during the next Lok Sabha General Elections.

 The app requires an Android smartphone equipped with a camera, good internet connection and GPS access. The operating system should be Android Jellybean and above. The application supports all the latest Android smartphones.

“cVIGIL” will allow anyone in the election-bound state to report violations of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) that comes into effect from the date of announcement of elections and goes on till a day after the polls. By using this app, citizens can immediately report on incidents of misconduct within minutes of having witnessed them and without having to rush to the office of the returning officer to lodge a complaint.

The vigilant citizen has to click a picture or record a video of upto two minutes’ duration of the scene of violations of the model code. The photo or video is to be uploaded on the app. The automated location mapping will be done by the app using the Geographic Information System. After its successful submission through the app, the vigilant citizen gets a Unique ID to track and receive the follow up updates on her or his mobile. A citizen can report many incidents in this manner and will get a unique id for each report for follow up updates. The identity of the complainant will be kept confidential.

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 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.

The app has inbuilt features to prevent its misuse. It will receive complaints only about Model Code of Conduct violations. The user will get 5 minutes to report an incident after having clicked a picture or a video. To prevent any misuse, the app will not allow uploading of the pre-recorded or old images and videos. The app will not facilitate saving of the photos or videos recorded using the ‘cVIGIL’ app into the phone gallery either. Further, the application will be active only in States where elections have been announced. The moment a citizen exits an election-bound State, the app will become inactive.

So far, the complaints about violations of Model Code of Conduct often could not be followed instantly, leading to the violators escaping detection from the action squads. Also, the lack of any documented evidence in the form of pictures or videos was seen as a hurdle in verifying a complaint. Further, the absence of a robust response system to quickly and accurately identify the scene of occurrence of violations with the help of geographical location details hampered election officers’ ability to apprehend the violators. The new app is expected to fill in all these gaps and create a fast-track complaint reception and redressal system.

Purpose
cVIGIL is an Online application for citizens to report on model code of conduct violations during the election period. The application is called as cVIGIL, denoting Vigilant Citizen and the proactive and responsible role he can play in the conduct of free and fair elections.

By using the cVIGIL app, citizens can promptly report unlawful campaign activities within minutes of having witnessed them and without having to rush to the office of the returning officer. cVIGIL is a simple, Android based- Mobile App which is user-friendly and easy to operate. All that one has to do is simply click a picture or a video, describe the activity and upload it through mobile application. This will enable the flying squads to reach the spot in a matter of few minutes.

The application connects the vigilant citizen with District Control Room, Returning Officer and Field Verification Unit (Flying Squads / Static Surveillance Teams) thereby, creating a rapid and accurate reporting, action and monitoring system.

How It’s Different

1.Citizens’ genuine complaints on MCC violations get in the long queue with those by vested interests to divert attention and delay the response of enforcement machinery. This App empowers citizens to get priority action as it is a complaint with a piece of evidence which is geo tagged. On the other hand it allows FSTs and SSTs to filter frivolous complaints easily.

2. The App allows to hide complainant’s phone number and identity so as to encourage informing against high and mighty without any risk of subsequent possible backlash.

3. In case phone number and identity is not hidden, the complainant gets response about the action taken and he/she can also track the process.

One App to Report Model Code of of Conduct (MCC) Violation

Status in just 10 minutes

Mobile App cVIGIL

The Operating Model of cVIGIL

Step-1
The citizen opens the application and clicks a picture or records a video. The Photo / Video is uploaded on the app, along with an automated location mapping by the Geographic Information System. After its successful submission, the citizen, who opted for registration gets a Unique ID to track and receive follow up updates on his mobile. A citizen can report many incidents in this manner and will get a unique id for each report for follow up updates.

Step-2
Once the citizen has reported the complaint, information beeps in the District Control Room from where it is assigned to a Field Unit (FU). Each FU has a GIS-based mobile application called cVIGIL Dispatcher, which allows the field unit to directly receive the complaint including the location and via cVIGIL he is given instruction to complete the incidence verification in a time-bound manner.

Step-3
After a Field Unit has taken action, it messages the action taken report via cVIGIL Dispatcher to the concerned returning officer for 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 vigilant citizen is informed about the action taken within 100 minutes.

Foolproof Features

  • The application is meant only for Model Code of Conduct Violations.
  • The app allows the user 5 minutes to submit an incidence report after having clicked a picture or a video.
  • The app will not allow uploading of the pre-recorded images/ videos.
  • The photos/videos clicked via this app cannot be saved in the gallery.
  • The application has a feature that allows citizens to file a complaint only in the State where Elections have been announced.
  • Any citizen who has installed cVIGIL will find that the app becomes active only in the States undergoing elections.

The App Essentials

The app requires an Android smartphone equipped with a Camera, good internet connection and GPS access. The operating system should be Android jellybean and above. The application supports all the latest Android smartphones.

Benefits of the Application

  • cVIGIL is a convenient and user friendly app allowing citizens to send pictorial evidence of the model code of conduct violations in their vicinity.
  • Each reported incident is tracked and scrutinised from the beginning to the end point, thus bringing accountability into the system.
  • The immediate location verification feature of the cVIGIL will act as a strong deterrence for miscreants and wrong-doers as they can be easily tracked.
  • A combination of all these factors will encourage citizens to keep vigil over unhealthy electoral practices and bring them to the notice of the Election Commission. This in turn will help the commission reach its objective of conducting free and fair elections.

Roadmap

cVIGIL, a user-friendly and easy to operate the application, will be rolled out when the elections are announced for the States. However, the beta version will be made available for citizens and election staff in the coming month where-in citizens can acquaint themselves with the application features and also try sending dummy data. This would also help, Election Staff to build their capacity for effective implementation during this beta version. Upon successful completion of the trail, the application will be made available for general use in the upcoming elections in the States of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan, which will also serve as a pilot before it is used in the next General Elections.

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