The Election Commission of India is an autonomous constitutional authority responsible for administering Union and State election processes in India. The body administers elections to the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, and State Legislative Assemblies in India, and the offices of the President and Vice President in the country. The Election Commission gets its power from the Constitution under article 324.
India is a Socialist, Secular, Democratic Republic and the largest democracy in the World. The modern Indian nation state came into existence on 15th of August 1947. Since then free and fair elections have been held at regular intervals as per the principles enshrined in the Constitution, Electoral Laws and System. Election Commission of India is a permanent Constitutional Body. The Election Commission was established in accordance with the Constitution on 25th January 1950. Originally the commission had only a Chief Election Commissioner. It currently consists of Chief Election Commissioner and two Election Commissioners.
The Election Commission of India has the powers under the Constitution. So, it is required to act in a particular manner when the laws of the Government makes insufficient provisions or judgements to deal with a specific situation that has aroused in the conduct of an election. The Election Commissioner Amendment Act, of 1989 was adopted by the Government on 1 January 1990. This act turned the Commission into a multi-member body. Since then till now there has been 3-member. Thus, the ECI operates through a vast number of staff members of around 300 with each state having a separate chief electoral officer. During general elections, an enormous team is recruited as temporary workers in order to control and smoothly conduct the polling. The Election Commission has divided the country into 543 Parliamentary Constituencies, each of which returns one MP to the Lok Sabha, (the lower house of the Parliament). All the twenty-nine states and two among the seven union territories have their respective assemblies, the vidhan sabha. The total of thirty-one assemblies consists of 4120 constituencies.
Election Commission of India superintendents, direct and control the entire process of conducting elections to Parliament and Legislature of every State and to the offices of President and Vice-President of India. The most important function of the commission is to decide the election schedules for the conduct of periodic and timely elections, whether general or bye-elections. It prepares electoral roll, issues Electronic Photo Identity Card (EPIC). It decides on the location polling stations, assignment of voters to the polling stations, location of counting centres, arrangements to be made in and around polling stations and counting centres and all allied matters. It grants recognition to political parties & allot election symbols to them along with settling disputes related to it.
The ECI has been successfully conducting national as well as state elections since 1952. In recent years, however, the Commission has started to play the more active role to ensure greater participation of people. It upholds the values enshrined in the Constitution viz, equality, equity, impartiality, independence; and rule of law in superintendence, direction, and control over the electoral governance. Considering the enormous number of citizens present in the country; the ECI has done and proved to be one of the best commissions in the Indian subcontinent.