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Election Commission (EC) not just conducted efficient polls, it delivered quick results

Saturday, 17 May 2014 - 6:25pm IST | Agency: IANS

As efficiently as the Election Commission of India conducted the gruelling five-week long, nine-phase voting in the 2014 general election it was equally successful in delivering quick poll results with the help of IT experts and coders who worked endlessly day and night.

It took a team of information technology (IT) experts, five in every state commission and 12 in Delhi-headquartered Election Commission (EC) office, a trust-worthy human-chain and meticulous planning to turn EC's online debut into an impressive reality.

For all those who were keenly following election results, EC's dedicated online-result website – http://eciresults.ap.nic.in/ – in association with the Press Information Bureau(PIB) turned out to be the most reliable and easily-accessible source of information.

"Such a technological approach was necessary to update people about the voting results. It has indeed helped the people to know to get accurate data about the hour-to-hour status of the vote count," V.N. Shukla, director of information and technology (IT), Election Commission of India, told IANS.

To reach this level of accuracy and consistency EC required an efficient mechanism of human-chain of experts, reliable technology, and trusted manpower, with no-room for human error.

"There were five teams of IT professionals in every state commission who would take the latest updates of the vote counts from the election officials(returning officer) in the counting centres," Shukla stated.

"Once the figures were taken, the IT experts generated the HTML(Hypertext Markup Language) of those results and sent that to the EC in Delhi.

"We would then share it with the PIB and upload it on the websites," he added.

At the central Election Commission office in the capital, a 12-member team comprising of IT experts looked after the management of the result display system," said Shukla.

"It was an extremely tiring and exhaustive process, but equally rewarding," he added, saying he and his team haven't slept well for the past 24-hours.

But, this association between the EC and Press Information Bureau (PIB) dates back to 2009 General Election when the results were available for a few states on the website.

At that time it was a pilot project for EC to tread into the virtual world and had sought all possibilities to bring election results available to the citizens of India at the click of a button.

"We started this 'result display system' in the year 2009 as a pilot project to update people about the vote count in a much better and efficient way," said Shukla.

"But that time only a few state election commissions had used it to display the results," he added.

The collaboration took its first giant leap during the Dec 2013, Delhi's assembly elections when the results were updated on this website, making it convenient for people, especially media to be tuned with the real-time ecosystem.

"It was only after the success of this system in Delhi assembly polls that EC thought of using this system to display the results for all the Lok Sabha polls," said Shukla.

"The media fraternity has highly benefited from the 'result displaying system'," he concluded.

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