Model Code of Conduct: Notes for UPSC

This article will give a brief description of the Model Code of Conduct within the context of the IAS exam. The candidates writing the exam will find the information from this article to be of immense help.

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 The following links given below will also be of immense help in helping the candidates exam in their preparation:

What is the Model Code of Conduct

The Model Code of Conduct is a set of guidelines that are issued by India’s Election Commission (EC) for candidates and political parties during elections. The guidelines are chiefly regarding speeches, polling booths, polling day conduct, election manifestos, processions and conduct in general.

This Code comes into effect as soon as the election schedule is announced by the EC.

What comes under the Model Code of Conduct?

  1. The government usually doesn’t introduce any new ground for projects or public initiatives once the Model Code of Conduct comes into force.
  2. Government bodies are prohibited from participating in any recruitment process during the process of election.
  3. The contesting candidates and their campaigners are not supposed to disturb the freedom of roadshows of their opponent candidates. The code of conduct exercise control over this majorly.
  4. The election campaign rallies and roadshows must not affect the road traffic and the general public.

Key Provisions of Model Code of Conduct

There are a total of eight key provisions which have been mentioned under the Model Code of Conduct. Discussed below are the same:

  • General Conduct
    • Religious or communal sentiments must not be hampered during any activity
    • Criticism of the opposition political party must only be limited to their previous policies or work and not personally related to them
    • Places of worship (temples, mosques, church, etc.) must not be used for election propaganda
    • The right of every citizen for peaceful and undisturbed home-life shall be respected, and any area used for campaigning purpose must be only be used after having permission from the concerned individual or organisation
  • Meetings – The party or candidate shall inform the local police authorities of the venue and time proposed for a meeting well in time so that law, order and peace can be maintained by the police
  • Procession – The local police or the concerned authorities must be informed well in advance of the time, venue and route of the procession so that the required arrangements can be made
  • Polling Day – The party or candidate must cooperate with the authorities at the polling camps for peaceful elections. No eatables or liquor must be served outside the polling camps 
  • Polling Booth – Except the voters, no one without a valid pass from the Election Commission shall enter the polling booths
  • Observers – The Election Commission appoints Observers. If the candidates or their agents have any specific complaint or problem regarding the conduct of elections they may bring the same to the notice of the Observe
  • Party in Power – The party in power whether at the Centre or in the State concerned, shall ensure that no cause is given for any complaint that it has used its official position for the purposes of its election campaign
  • Election Manifestos – The Supreme Court in its judgment dated 5th July 2013 had directed the Election Commission to frame guidelines with regard to the contents of election manifestos in consultation with all the recognized political parties

The above-mentioned Model Code of Conduct is released by the Election Commission and the entire process of elections in the country is done based on this MCC.

Also, refer to the following links for UPSC preparation:

Electoral Reforms In India  Powers of Election Commission of India Electoral Bonds
First General Election in India – October 25, 1951 [This Day in History] Establishment of Election Commission of India – January 25, 1950 – This Day in History Electronic Voting Machines (EVM)
Methods of Election of Government  Prime Minister & Council of Ministers One Nation One Election: RSTV – The Big Picture

How does the Model Code of Conduct exercise control over election with respect to Meetings?

  1. Respective parties are supposed to inform the local police in advance of the scheduled meetings with proper information on venue and time in order to maintain law and order and control traffic of that area.
  2. The model code of conduct mentions provision for seeking permission for the use of loudspeaker for any proposed meeting only after availing licenses for such arrangements in advance.

Which is the first state in India to implement the model code of conduct?

Kerala is the first state to implement the model code of conduct in India in its 1960 elections.

You can get a general idea about the topics asked in the exam by visiting the UPSC Syllabus page.

Related Links

UPSC Books UPSC Monthly Current Affairs Magazine NCERT Notes For UPSC
UPPSC Result Mountains in India DPIIT
Jal Shakti Ministry Deepest Ports in India Saka


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