INDELIBLE INK

INDELIBLE INK



Election Commission has decided to allow usage of indelible ink on persons for stamping for home quarantine by health authorities in view of COVID-19.


INDELIBLE INK





WHAT IS IT?



Indelible ink refers to the violet-coloured ink in India that is applied on a voter’s forefinger after she exercises her vote. It is known to contain silver nitrate and is manufactured in secrecy. Indelible ink remains bright for about 10 days, after which it starts fading. 


WHY IS IT USED DURING ELECTIONS?



Also known as Electoral ink, electoral stain or phosphoric ink, it is a semi-permanent ink or dye that is applied to the forefinger (usually) of voters during elections in order to prevent electoral fraud such as double voting. It is an effective method for countries where identification documents for citizens are not always standardised or institutionalised


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SPECIFICATIONS OF THE INK


  • COMPOSITION: Electoral stain typically contains a pigment for instant recognition, a silver nitrate which stains the skin on exposure to ultraviolet light, leaving a mark that is impossible to wash off and is only removed as external skin cells are replaced.
  • LONGEVITY: Election stain typically stays on skin for 72–96 hours, lasting 2 to 4 weeks on the fingernail and cuticle area.  It can take up to 4 months for the stain to be replaced completely by new nail growth.
  • COLOUR: Electoral stain is traditionally violet in colour, before the photosensitive element takes effect to leave a black or brown mark.
  • EFFICIENCY: Marker pens are the most efficient use of ink, with one 5ml pen able to mark 600 people, although dipping bottles are often preferred, despite a 100 ml bottle only marking 1000. 



BACKGROUND  



In 1962, the Election Commission in collaboration with the Law Ministry, the National Physical Laboratory of India and the National Research Development Corporation made an agreement with Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd. to manufacture ink that couldn’t be wiped off easily.



Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd. was founded in 1937 by Maharaja Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV. The company is the sole supplier of indelible ink for civic body, Assembly and Parliamentary polls. It also supplies ink to about 25 countries. 




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