Test: Electoral Reforms

10 Questions MCQ Test Indian Polity for UPSC CSE | Test: Electoral Reforms

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On the basis of landmark judgments passed by the Supreme Court, the Election Commission of India came up with the following mandates:

1. Every candidate has to make a legal declaration, giving full details of serious criminal cases pending against the candidate.

2. Details of the assets and liabilities of the candidate and his/her family.

3. Education qualifications were not mandatory.

4. The information furnished by the candidates has to be confidential. 5. The above mandates are in the spirit of Article 19.

Which of the statements is/are correct?

  • Every person who wishes to contest an election has to fill a ‘nomination form’ and give some money as ‘security deposit’. Recently, a new system of the declaration has been introduced in the direction from the Supreme Court. Every candidate has to make a legal declaration, giving full details of:

  • Serious criminal cases pending against the candidate;

  • assets and liabilities of the candidate and his or her family;

  • Education qualifications of the candidate.

  • This information has to be made public. This provides an opportunity for the voters to make their decision on the basis of the information provided by the candidates.

  • Right to Information is a part of fundamental rights under Article 19(1) of the Constitution. Article 19(1) says that every citizen has freedom of speech and expression. In 1976, the Supreme Court said in the case of Raj Narain v. State of UP, 1975 AIR 865, that people cannot speak or express themselves unless they know. Therefore, the right to information is embedded in article 19.


The order/direction of making mandatory for every candidate (contesting elections) to file an affidavit giving details of his property and criminal cases pending against him was given by?

Solution: The ECI only implements whatever directives are framed. It does not have the power to issue such powerful directives. This directive came out in a Supreme Court justice.

Which of the following are legally mandatory for political parties in or political candidates fighting elections in India?

1. Giving a certain percentage of election tickets to women candidates

2. A record of the adherence of a political party to its own Constitution

3. Submit an affidavit giving details of his property and criminal cases pending against him to the concerned authority

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

Solution: These are some of the compulsory provisions:
  • The Constitution was amended to prevent elected MLAs and MPs from changing parties.

  • The Supreme Court passed an order to reduce the influence of money and criminals. Now, it is mandatory for every candidate who contests elections to file an affidavit giving details of his property and criminal cases pending against him.

  • The Election Commission passed an order making it necessary for political parties to hold their organisational elections and file their income tax returns

Besides these, many suggestions are often made to reform political parties:

  • A law should be made to regulate the internal affairs of political parties. It should be made compulsory for political parties to maintain a register of its members, to follow its own constitution, to have an independent authority, to act as a judge in case of party disputes, to hold open elections to the highest posts.

  • It should be made mandatory for political parties to give a minimum number of tickets, about one-third, to women candidates. Similarly, there should be a quota for women in the decision making bodies of the party.


When a voter presses a button in the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), a paper slip is printed through the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) Machine. This slip contains the

1. Name and caste of the Voter

2. Poll symbol of the voted candidate

3. Name of the voted candidate

4. Address where the EVM is installed

Select the correct answer using the codes below.


The Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail is attached to electronic voting machines.

This slip contains:

1. the poll symbol and

2. serial number and name of the candidate only.

It allows the voter to verify his/her choice.

After being visible to the voter from a glass case in the VVPAT for seven seconds, the ballot slip will be cut and dropped into the dropbox in the VVPAT machine and a beep will be heard. VVPAT machines can be accessed by polling officers only.


Consider the following about Election Commission of India - Electronic Voting Machines (ECl-EVMs).

1. ECI procures most Completely Built Units (CBUs) of EVMs from abroad to reduce security exposure to domestic clients.

2. The EVMs use ‘date and time stamping of each and every keypress’ making them tamper-proof.

3. Most EVMs are re-programmable allowing much-needed flexibility to incorporate new features without incurring new production expenditures.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

  • Contrary to misinformation and as alleged by some, India does not use any EVMs produced abroad. EVMs are produced indigenously by PSUs in India. However, the chips used in EVMs are sourced from abroad because we do not have the capability of producing semiconductor microchips within the country. However, the software used in these chips is written domestically.

  • The ECl-EVMs use some of the most sophisticated technological features like one time programmable (OTP) microcontrollers, dynamic coding of key codes, date and time stamping of each and every keypress, advanced encryption technology and EVM-tracking software to handle EVM logistics, among others to make the machine 100% tamper-proof.

  • Since the software is based on OTP the program cannot be altered, rewritten or re-read. Thus, making EVM tamper-proof. If anyone makes an attempt, the machine will become inoperative.


Consider the following statements regarding Electronic Voting machine (EVM)

1. EVMs were first used in Paravur Assembly Constituency of Kerala in the year 1982.

2. An EVM being used by ECI can record a maximum of 20,000 votes.

3. It completely eliminates the possibility of casting Invalid Votes, which during the paper ballot regime was noticed in large numbers during each election.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution: An EVM being used by ECI can record a maximum of 2,000 votes.

With reference to ‘None of the above’ (NOTA) option on electronic voting machines consider the following statements:

1. Citizens have the right to a negative vote by exercising the NOTA option in EVMs.

2. In an election if NOTA gets the highest votes then the election will be conducted again.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Solution: Election will not be conducted again, a candidate who got the highest vote will be declared as the winner.

Consider the following statements about ‘M3’- type electronic voting machines (EVMs).

1. It is ‘tamper-detect’ meaning that it will stop functioning if someone tries to open it or tinker with it.

2. These machines are being imported from Canada, which has a reputation for producing such machines and their use in general elections.

3. The machine can automatically detect any fault with the software or system and will show it in the display.

4. The Control Unit and Ballot Unit of the EVM cannot communicate with each other making it less vulnerable to hacking.

Select the correct answer using the codes below.

  • These are third-generation EVMs that will stop functioning if someone tries to tinker with it in any way.

  • The M3 EVM production is starting from August at the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd and Bharat Electronics Ltd plants.

  • Another feature of these new machines is self-diagnosis. That is, it can automatically detect any fault with the software or system and will show it in the display.

  • The third part is the digital certification. The Control Unit and Ballot Unit can communicate with each other. If someone plants a Ballot Unit or Control Unit from outside, the digital signature will not match and the system would stop functioning.

  • Further, by 2019 all EVMs will be attached with voter-verifiable paper audit trail units. And, the vehicles carrying the EVMs will be fitted with GPS to monitor their movement. EVM machines will have paper trail slips in every constituency They will be used from 2019 Lok Sabha polls.


Election Commission of India (ECI) will be using Braille-enabled signboards for the first time in by-elections conducted in which of these states?


Election Commission of India for the first time will start the use of Braille-enabled signboards for visually challenged voters in the upcoming Maheshtala Assembly by-election in West Bengal.

The initiative of Braille-enabled signboards was part of the drive to make elections more accessible to persons with disabilities (PWD). The decision to use Braille-enabled signboards is a State-specific measure to ensure hassle-free polling experience for visually impaired voters.


Election Commission of India (ECI) had launched the National Electoral Roll Purification and Authentication Programme (NERPAP). Under the programme


1. Objective is to bring out a totally error-free and authenticated electoral roll throughout the country.

2. For the authentication purpose, Electoral Photo Identity Card (EPIC) data of electors will be linked with Aadhaar data.

3. It also focuses to improve the image quality of electors along with sorting issues like corrections of errors. Facility to link Aadhaar numbers will be provided to electors through SMS, e-mail, mobile application and National Voters Service Portal using web services through ECI website.

4. Electors also can link their Aadhaar number by making a call at 1950 to state call centres. Under NERPAP, collection and feeding of Aadhaar will also be done by the Electoral Registration Officer.

5. In this regard, special Camps like Voter Facilitation Centres, e-Seva centres and Citizen Service Centres will be organised. While Booth Level Officers will conduct door-to-door surveys to collect the details.

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