College experts rule out possibility of EVM tampering

A college lecturer, who wished not to be named, however, disagreed saying tampering is possible since EVMs work on chip programming.

By: PTI | Mathura | Published: March 21, 2017 10:08 pm
EVM, EVM controversy, electronic voting machine, electronic voting machine controversy, election commission of India, ECI, arvind kejriwal, state elections, state election results, indian express column, indian express editorial The sanctity EVMs have attracted debates since the UP Assembly polls with BSP and AAP alleging the machines were rigged to benefit BJP. (Source: PTI Photo)

Majority of engineers and professors of electronics, computer sciences and mechanical departments in different universities here have ruled out possibility of tampering with the Electronic Voting Machines. The sanctity EVMs have attracted a lot debate since the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls with the BSP and the AAP alleging the machines were rigged to benefit the BJP.

“A small chip with bluetooth connection may be inserted into machines with a system to control it with mobile phone during voting. But it may not be possible to do this in lakhs of machines,” Sanjiv Singh, professor of computer science at Sanskrit University, Mathura, told PTI.

Anurag, NIIT Mathura, Director, and Pradeep Tomar, who runs an institute in Agra, said EVM tampering is not possible due to “lack of time programming”.

“Setting the time for tampering in all the machines is not possible,” Tomar said.

A college lecturer, who wished not to be named, however, disagreed saying tampering is possible since EVMs work on chip programming.

“Re-programming would change the scenario,” he said.

He was, however, countered by Durga Puja, HoD, Computer Science, BSA Engineering College Mathura, who said re-programming is not possible, since it is an embedded system with software mounted on chip.

Vineeta, a computer science lecturer at GL Bajaj Engineering college here, doesn’t rule out the possibility of tampering. “But it is only possible at programming stage,” she said.

Vineeta’s colleague and HoD, Mechanical Engineering, Ajit Kumar Jha, said tampering is only possible when electronic system is joined to a mechanical system.

“Simply by introducing some mechanical device, it (tampering with the EVMs) is not possible since all the mechanical device are based on link,” he explained.

Lokendra, HoD, Electronic Department, BSA college of Engineering and Technology, ruled out possibility of tampering outright saying separate programming is not possible to effect any rigging.

AS Jalal, HoD, Computer Science, GLA University, said “hacking” of EVMs is not possible since they are never connected to the Internet.

“Tampering is not possible since programming in the chips made during manufacturing stage cannot be changed,” he argued.

With his experience of conducting 30 elections, Assistant District Election Officer, Mathura, Sudheer Kumar, rejected “even the idea of tampering”.

He said engineers test the EVMs in the presence of EC staff and working of the machines, picked randomly, is checked in the presence of representatives of different political parties.

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