India Votes: A Great Display of Planning, ExecutionThe recently concluded general elections in India have created
headlines internationally as one of the largest human events in the
world. Voting took place for 543 parliamentary
constituencies with almost 815 million voters across nine phases for
over a month. The number of voters in India surpasses those of all 50
European countries put together. Project management is one of the key
factors behind the success of this mammoth exercise.
The task of conducting elections in India lies with the Election
Commission of India (ECI), an independent, constitutional
body that is headed by the chief election commissioner (CEC). Dr. S. Y.
Quraishi, who was the CEC during 2006-2012, deconstructs what he calls
the “biggest management event of the world” in his recently released
book, An Undocumented Wonder: The Making of the Great Indian Election.
What makes Indian elections a huge challenge?
India does not have a good track record in managing large public sector
projects but when it comes to managing general elections, it has a
strong history. The challenges are even bigger in this case because of
the very uniqueness of the project.
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