Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora said Monday electronic voting machines were tamper-proof and an expert committee was looking after their functioning.
There is absolutely nothing to doubt about the integrity of the system, the CEC said while addressing a gathering at the inauguration of the new academic session of the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here.
“Since there are a galaxy of technocrats sitting here, I must inform you that the entire functioning of EVMs (electronic voting machines) is being looked after by a highly-qualified technical committee,” Arora said.
The CEC’s remarks come in the backdrop of several political parties in the past alleging that EVMs are prone to tampering.
The members of the committee are not the kind who can be approached, influenced, coaxed by anybody, Arora said, asserting that EVMs cannot be tampered with.
“…Every citizen of India should know that this is not a machine that can be tampered. There is a difference between tampering and malfunctioning. Any machine can malfunction. You purchase a new car, it can malfunction within a week…,” he said.
Without taking names, the CEC said people keep raising issues about EVMs.
“These days there is lot of talk about EVMs. I am not a person who normally gives many interviews, but recently I had to give one or two and I said that there were elections in May 2014 in India and you had ‘X’ result, then there were elections to Delhi assembly, you had ‘Y’ result.
“Now, recently we had elections in five states, we had different results, in between there were bypolls, you had different results. Can it be that when there is a ‘X’ result, EVM is faulty and when there is a ‘Y’ result, EVM is kind of malfunctioning?,” he asked.
The Election Commission holds the world’s largest election, Arora said, adding, “in all humility, we see ourselves as the conscience keeper of the democratic process of the nation”.
He said, “It goes to the credit of the founding fathers of the Indian Constitution to make universal adult franchise the basis of elections. They also realised the value of an autonomous Election Commission”.
“…I can look you in the eye and say humbly, but with lot of justifiable pride that ECI is not any individual, it is an edifice created by the fathers of the Constitution …,” Arora said.
The CEC was speaking on the topic “The Road Ahead-Opportunities and Challenges”.
On the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, the CEC said, “We will try our level best and I am sure (we will) succeed to have a credible, fair, impartial and ethical election.”
PGIMER Director Jagat Ram, senior faculty of the premier medical institute and students were part of the gathering.
Arora congratulated PGIMER for being ranked No. 2 among medical colleges of the country in the National Institutional Ranking Framework, 2018. In this competitive world an institution has to constantly upgrade itself to stay abreast of the times, he said.
He stated that the future medicine will possibly treat the human body in a more dignified and less invasive manner and expressed belief that PGIMER will play its worthy role in this matter.
The World Health Organization prescribes a ratio of 1 doctor to 1000 person. But in India it is estimated that the ratio is a meagre 0.62 to 1000 persons, Arora said.
This huge demand and supply gap is being filled by ‘quacks’ or charlatans with no recognised degree who endanger the lives of patients, he said.
“We all have to work together to eradicate these maladies,” the CEC said.
Heaping praise on PGIMER, he said the institute already has a glorious history of more than 50 years.
“The question is where we see it in 10, 20 and 50 years from now. The foresight, resolve and zeal of its present leadership will determine that,” he said.
Arora also went down the memory lane and shared his experiences as Chairman-cum-Managing Director of the then Indian Airlines in 2000 and later when he was appointed as the first secretary of the Ministry of Skill Development in September 2014.