Kerala

e-DROP for posting poll officials

The deployment of a technically spruced up web-based solution, e-DROP, developed by the National Informatics Centre (NIC) has helped the State Election Commission (SEC) to draft in nearly five lakh polling officials from across 50,000 institutions across the State in just a week.

E-DROP developed by the Thrissur unit of the NIC in 2010 was since adopted by the SEC and scaled up for the local body elections five years later.

NIC under the guidance of the State Informatics Officer Mohandas T. further fine-tuned the system this time for the seamless operation to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic.

“We decentralised the system with separate logins for institutional heads, local bodies, the district collectorates, and the SEC. This made the system more intelligent doing away with the cumbersome centralised data entry process. Instead, institutional heads entered the data of their employees directly into the system weening out scope for data inaccuracies. It also enabled the automatic exemption of categories like the seriously ill and lactating mothers who are spared from election duty,” said Suresh K, senior technical director, NIC, Thrissur. Around 68,000 employees were exempted this way.

This will help reduce the manpower in sorting and selecting the employees in each booth in compliance with various conditions. The time required for serving the posting orders can also be saved as the output is generated in an 'easy-to-serve' form.

Hosted in the government's State Data Centre, it has also been integrated with the SMS gateway facilitating automated generation of messages to employees about their postings. It also eliminates data tampering at any point.

e-DROP enables the district election officer to randomize the whole data and presiding officers and polling officers are automatically decided based on their designation.

“The first round of randomization assigning officials the local bodies was held on November 26 based on which over 2 lakh posting orders were generated. The second round of randomization assigning the polling booth will be held two days before the polls,” said Mr. Suresh.

As and when randomization is completed employees can download their posting order from edrop.gov.in. Besides, the distribution centres will have e-DROP terminals for officials to fetch their posting orders and other statutory reports.

The system also captures character of the polling station like whether it's sensitive, remote, forest, linguistics, women-friendly etc. It facilitates specific posting for special booths like leprosy centres, etc. Significantly, the entire data is open to public access in the Internet.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2021 7:49:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/e-drop-for-posting-poll-officials/article33257971.ece

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