Central Election Commission of India GK Notes – PDF

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The central election commission is an autonomous body of India. Its aim is to execute fair and free election in the country. It is formed on 25th January 1950. That’s why 25 January is called as National Voter Day.

Introduction: Central Election Commission

The Election Commission is a constitutionally neutral body. Its headquarters is situated in New Delhi. The Election Commission conducts and supervises the elections of the President, the Vice-President, Parliament, and the State Legislative Assemblies.

Central Election Commission GK: An important general knowledge note of the topic Central Election Commission of India for IAS, UPSC, and other competitive examinations.

Articles 324 to 329 (Chapter 15) of the Indian Constitution deal with the Election Commission and its functions. The first Election Commission of Independent India was formed in 1950 to strengthen the foundations of democratic governance and to control free and fair elections. The Election Commission is a permanent and independent body.

AppointerPresident of India
Term6 Years
Formed25 Jan 1950
MissionFree and fair election
First ExecutiveSukumar Sen

Important facts of Central Election Commission


The Election Commission consists of a Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) and two Election Commissioners.

Previously, the Election Commission consisted of a Chief Election Commissioner from 1950-1999. Subsequently, an election commission was formed with other members.

However, the number of other election commissioners is not specified in the constitution. The President determines the required number of members.

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Composition of Central Election Commission

They are appointed by the President of India and hold office for a fixed tenure. The process of formation of a three-member Central Election Commission began in 1990 when T.N. Seshan was the Chief Election Commissioner (1990-1996) of India.

Voters also cast their votes by postal ballot. Experimentally, EVM was first used in the 1982 Kerala Assembly elections. VVPAT was introduced in 2013 (Nagaland) and its use in general elections has been fully introduced since 2014. NOTA was added to EVM in 2014.

Note: According to the Amendment Act of 1989, the election commission had three members, although the first two additional Election Commissioners were appointed in 1989 (temporarily) which expired in January 1990.

Note: According to the Ordinance of the President (that time Shankar Dayal Sharma), the three members of this Election Commission were: (1) T. N. Seshan (2) MS, Gill (3) T.S. Krishnamurti. The Chief Election Commissioner acts as the head and chairman of the Election Commission. The President appoints the Chief Election Commissioner and other members.

Note: According to the Ordinance of the President (that time Shankar Dayal Sharma), the three members of this Election Commission were: (1) T. N. Seshan (2) MS, Gill (3) T.S. Krishnamurti. The Chief Election Commissioner acts as the head and chairman of the Election Commission. The President appoints the Chief Election Commissioner and other members.

Independence and Autonomy:

The Ele­ction Commission operates separate­ly without government influence­. It is known for its independence­ and freedom to make de­cisions. It is also known for being autonomous. Once appointed, Commissioners cannot be removed from office unless it is done in the same manner as a Judge of the Supreme Court.

Appointment & Tenure of Commissioners

The President completed the selection process of Commissioners following advice from the Prime Minister, Chief Justice, and opposition party leaders. In addition to the three Election Commission members, Deputy Election Commissioners also help run the Election Commission. They were chosen for the Election Commission from the public service. Secretaries, Joint Secretaries, Deputy Secretaries and Retirement Secretaries may also work at the Commission office. All Election Commissioners get equal opportunities regarding power, pay grade, salary, and benefits.

Other election commissioners, like the Chief Election Commissioner, share the same salary, benefits and other privileges like Supreme Court judges. The Chief Election Commissioner and other commissioners are elected by the law made in Parliament. Currently, the Chief Election Commissioner is appointed for 6 years.

Removal of ECI

A motion against the Chief Election Commissioner is passed with the support of a majority of both houses of Parliament (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha).

Voting of members present (with a 2/3 majority).

Powers and Functions of the Central Election Commission

Elections are conducted by the Election Commission based on universal adult suffrage. In 1984, the president could appoint six regional election commissioners for six regions. The President may appoint them for 6 months on the recommendation of the Election Commission. The powers and functions of the Election Commission can be divided into three parts, namely: (1) Administrative, (2) Consultative and (3) Semi-Judicial.

Therefore we may summarize the power and function of the Election Commission of Indian as follows.

  1. Electoral field or area identification.
  2. Preparation and control of ELECTORAL ROLL (VOTER LIST) and issuance of EPIC card.
  3. Submission and withdrawal of nomination papers, the publication of election date, and schedule.
  4. To advise the President and the Governor on matters relating to eligibility and disqualification of members.
  5. Postponement or cancellation and re-election.
  6. Provide distinct electoral symbols to political parties.
  7. Registering political parties and granting them the status of a separate state or national party (Registration started in 1989).
  8. To control Election campaign schedule, radio and television broadcasting, and rallies.
  9. To form a commission of inquiry to investigate the controversy (election-related).
  10. Establish a code of conduct for political parties, candidates, government, government employees and voters.
  11. Appoint an Inspector to ensure that the rules laid down by the Commission are being complied with.
  12. Calculation of the number of votes and publications of results etc.

Since the Election Commission does not have its own staff, the President and Governors appoint the required number of government employees (for a period from the start to the end of the election).

The salaries and allowances of the members of the Election Commission are carried out by the Reserve Expenditure Fund of India. The qualifications and tenure of the members of the Election Commission are not specified in the Constitution, so they are governed by laws enacted by Parliament or by the President.

Sukumar Sen was the first Chief Election Commissioner of India (1950 to 1958).

The Election Commission conducts elections by secret ballot or electronic voting machine (EVM). The secret ballot was used in the first general elections of 1951-1952. In 1998, EVMs were first used in assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, Delhi (Union Territory), and Rajasthan.

List of Chief Election Commissioners of India

NoNameDuration of Office
1Sukumar Sen21/3/1950 – 19/12/1958
2Kalyan Sundaram20/12/1958 – 30/9/1967
3S.P Sen Verma1/10/1967 – 30/9/1972
4Nagendra Singh1/9/1972 – 6/2/1973
5T. Swaminathan7/2/1973 – 17/6/1977
6S. L. Shakdhar18/6/1977 – 17/6/1982
7R. K. Trivedi18/6/1982 – 31/12/1985
8R. V. S. Peri Sastri1/1/1986 – 25/11/1990
9V. S. Ramadevi26/11/1990 – 11/12/1990
10T. N. Seshan12/12/1990 – 11/12/1996
11M. S. Gill12/12/1996 – 13/6/2001
12James Michael Lyngdoh14/6/2001 – 7/2/2004
13T. S. Krishnamurthy8/2/2004 – 15/5/2005
14B. B. Tandon16/5/2005 – 29/6/2006
15N. Gopalaswami30/6/2006 – 20/4/2009
16Navin Chawla21/4/2009 – 29/7/2010
17S. Y. Quraishi30/7/2010 – 10/6/2012
18V. S. Sampath11/6/2012 – 15/1/2015
19Harishankar Brahma16/1/2015 – 18/4/2015
20Nasim Zaidi19/4/2015 – 5/7/2017
21Achal Kumar Jyoti6/7/2017 – 22/1/2018
22Om Prakash Rawat23/1/2018 – 1/12/2018
23Sunil Arora2/12/2018 – Present
Chief Election Commissioners of India (Central)

FAQs Central Election Commission