Tuesday, June 16, 2009

IS GIS fashion or Obsession in India?

Election commission in India has adopted GIS in big way. Before the recent general election, I watched an interview of CEC (Chief Election Commissioner) of India about delimitation of parliamentray constituencies. He was referring the use of GIS Software for delimiation as if everyone watching NDTV knew what is GIS!!! It was facinating to see the use of technology that we have profess as OUR baby, now becoming almost pevasive.

NDTV, looks like took a cue from that inteview and was heaving relying on Google Maps to show the election results to its viewers.

But the best piece of new I have save for you goes as follows:


Election Commission to use Census data, GPS to track voters

Delhi Bureau , August 25, 2008 12:25 IST

In an attempt to curb bogus voting and monitor the migration of voters across India, the Election Commission is planning to link the Census data of 2011 with its electoral rolls. The EC then plans to use global positioning system to automatically record the voters' migration or shifting of residence.

A software, developed for this specific purpose, will be demonstrated to the Election Commission by the Registrar General of India at the Nirvachan Sadan.

Once the Census data is made available to the Election Commission, it will be clubbed with the electoral rolls. The GPS chip would be added to the electronic photo identity cards already issued to the voters.

The identity card will enable the Election Commission to record the movement of voters and pinpoint their location at the time of polling.

The ID will also detect bogus voters, said Commission sources said.

The GPS will also cut down the time taken in revising electoral rolls, as it will provide automatic updates on the basis of the voter's location, the sources said.

The RGI, which carries out the Census every decade, agreed to make the necessary changes in the software to facilitate its data's link-up with the electoral rolls.

According to sources, this data would be useful for the timely demarcation and delimitation of constituencies.


This is on rediff.com! Guess the budget for the above project!

Is GIS now an obsession on India? And are we trying to learn from projects done is US/UK/Canada?

Your comments?



Harsha said...

it definitely seems to be a great idea in theory. let alone the budget, there are going to be lots of issues on having photo ids embedded with gps chips.

Manoj Misra said...

Yeh..I guess imagination of use of technology is a bit stretched in this case!

Harsha said...

considering the fact that gps use is still limited in India unlike here, imagining implementing something on such a massive scale is definitely stretched. I'm hoping to first see the much hyped Bhuvan go live.

Sushanta said...

There was lot of innovative use of election data with GIS application by the most of the Indian media houses this time.

Other than NDTV, TOI has also used good amount of election data and integrated with Map (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/pollresults/4535653.cms) for analysis and displaying the result.

It was really good to see the analysis and election results displayed in NDTV embedded with Google Earth applications. But the buffering time (online streaming) was not at it best. They have only embedded Candidates info (name, party & constituency) with the location coded in Google Earth.

But yes, CNN's coverage of US presidential election (2008) was quite amazing. CNN’s John King's multi touch board (as look similar to NDTV election board) used huge amount of election data and tracking the delegates .It was looking like as any other high end GIS application used for better election analysis and display of the result.

EC's idea of clubbing census data with electoral roll is definite requirement for fair election process. Govt. might approve a big budget for National Identification Card with GPS chip. But real time update of data will require a very big infrastructure and back up facility. Our electoral boundaries are small (in panchayat level) and people travel good amount of distance for daily earnings.

Last time on 18th May 2009 , we heard that 3 lakh hits per second make EC website crash. NIC was only prepared for 2800 hits per second.

Yes, we may try to learn from the projects done in western countries.

Thank you.


Manoj Misra said...

Sushanta - Good points. Cheers

Sushanta said...

Just a step ahead to implement and assign Unique Identification Number to Indian nationals. The GOI on today set in motion the process of providing a Unique Identification Number to India's citizens and appointed
Infosys Technologies co-chairman Nandan Nilekani as head of an (UDAI) authority for this purpose.
"The authority shall have the responsibilities to lay down plans and policies to implement the Unique Identification Scheme (UID), shall own and operate the Unique Identification Number database and be responsible for its updation and maintenance on an ongoing basis".

Thank you.


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Anonymous said...

Nice thought. GIS helps to visualize queries about database and statistical analysis. A geographical analysis with regard to GIS assists us in explaining events, foreseeing outcomes and planning strategies. India has an exploding population with inadequate resources. So successful planning of resource management and monitoring its deployment is absolutely necessary so that GIS can play a crucial role in government and private sectors.

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