The Evolution of the Election Commission of India: Political Context and Institutional Design

Nice paper by Ms. Rashmi Sharma, former IAS officer. We hardly know much about the institution which has played the central role in keeping democracy work in the country:

This paper traces the evolution of the Election Commission of India through five phases since its formation. Its effectiveness is studied across four parameters—inclusiveness, rule of law, efficiency, and accountability of the election process. Within the changing sociopolitical and legal context, the institutional characteristics of the ECI (role, powers, independence, structure, and functioning) have allowed it to ensure free and fair elections with varying success. Variations in the ECI’s success during the five phases offer clues as to how it can address more complex problems, and the direction to take in structuring and supporting other apex oversight institutions.

 

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