- by Kushal Pathak, Director, ECI
Once election dates are announced, the ‘Model Code of Conduct’ becomes operative. In order to maintain level playing field and fairness of the election process, it is imperative that all stakeholders adhere to the principles enunciated in the MCC. However, MCC violations are a reality and so are the cases of lodging spurious complaints. In the above backdrop, ECI undertook the development of cVIGIL Mobile Application which allows vigilant citizens to give live reports on incidents of MCC violation within minutes of having witnessed them. They don’t have to rush to the office of the returning officer in their assembly constituency. In case of a registered complaint, a unique ID number is generated to allow the citizen to track her complaint status. Anonymous complaints do not get any identification numbers for tracking purpose. Citizens can download the application from Google Play Store. Citizens can use cVIGIL to only report MCC violation cases. For other complaints, they can use the facility available in the mobile app/website of ECI Citizen Services. The salient features of cVIGIL mobile application are:
● Location is automatically captured from the application
● Anonymous and Non –Anonymous logins allowed
● Photo cannot be clicked outside the mobile application
● 5 minutes to capture real photos/Audio and submit from Mobile application
● Allow only Live Photos and Videos to be submitted
Once an incident of MCC violation is reported by cVIGIL, it is forwarded to a Flying Squad for investigation. The Flying Squad also utilizes a separate mobile App to track the complaints on GIS map and file investigation report.
The Beta Version application was rolled out to take feedback from Beta testers from four Poll Going States i.e. Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram and Rajasthan. The purpose of the beta trials from 01 Aug to 24 Sep 2018 was to acquaint citizens and election staff with the application features by allowing them to file complaints with dummy data, test scalability & performance of the cVIGIL Application and seek end-user feedback regarding App features and User Interface. During the beta trials, cVIGIL mobile application was installed on 29093 Android smartphones and 243268 dummy test complaints were filed during this short period by the nominated officials of the 4 states. Alongwith the beta trials, a ‘User Experience Survey’ was also conducted. Objective and Subjective questionnaire in our Survey for better understanding of user feedback and their responses were captured for analyzing the response. During beta trials a total of 884 feedbacks were received. Perusal of the feedback from beta testers indicates that:
● 96% users said that finding cVIGIL App from Google Play Store was easy.
● Close to 95% users liked the logo of the app
● 90% users took less than 2 minutes to download the app
● Close to 84% users found cVIGIL App to be fast.
● Close to 80% of the respondents found the location captured by the app to be very accurate or somewhat accurate
● 523 respondents out of 884 found the live photo/Video capturing feature of the app to be the most valuable.