MPVL modernisation to help explore new markets
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MPVL modernisation to help explore new markets

April 16, 2023

Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd. (MPVL) has already supplied 1.30 lakh vials of indelible ink to Election Commission

By B. Sreekantswamy

Having their finger inked with indelible ink — the purple stain that they proudly show off during elections – is the most important task for voters.

Elections for the Karnataka Legislative Assembly are scheduled for May 10. The Office of the Chief Electoral Officer in Karnataka, which falls under the Election Commission of India, is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that the elections are conducted in a free and fair manner.

Every year, the Election Commission of India emphasises the need to check electoral malpractices, starting from the campaign period to the day of voting. While taking tough measures, the Commission also exercises caution to avoid disrupting normal life while keeping a close watch on various activities.

Proxy voting is a challenge that arises during every election with genuine voters sometimes being deprived of their right to vote. This points to loopholes in the system. To address the issue of impersonation of voters, the Election Commission of India has been using purple-coloured indelible ink to mark the left index finger of every voter after casting their vote. This helps with easy identification and fraud prevention.

Mysuru-based Mysore Paints and Varnish Ltd. (MPVL) is the only company authorised to produce indelible ink. It was back in 1937 that the Maharaja of Mysore Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar established the factory — Mysore Lac & Paint Works Ltd. — to provide employment for people and for utilisation of natural resources from the forests nearby.

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It manufactured lac used for sealing waxes. Besides, paints were manufactured and supplied to Government Departments including the Defence. The unit was converted into a public limited company in 1947. It was later renamed to its current name in 1989.

Star of Mysore spoke to C. Harakumar, General Manager (Administration) of MPVL, to learn more about the company and its activities.

Excerpts:

SOM: Have the vials of indelible ink been dispatched for the elections?

Harakumar: Yes, we have already completed the task of supplying 1.30 lakh bottles (vials) of indelible ink, each with a capacity of 10 ml, to the Election Commission. The work began in the first week of March and was completed within a month, with the involvement of 100 workers. To avoid any last-minute hassles, the Election Commission buys an extra 20 percent of the vials.

SOM: What is the daily production capacity of MPVL?

Harakumar: Our daily production capacity is 25,000 vials. The production pressure was low as only Karnataka is going to elections soon and there are only a negligible number of by-elections in other States. We deployed 100 workers for the job, with 50 percent of them working on an outsourced basis.

SOM: What about the proposal to introduce the ‘Marker Pen’ instead of indelible ink?

Harakumar: The proposal to introduce the ‘Marker Pen’ was made in 2017-2018, but the Research and Development (R&D) work is still ongoing at the National Physical Laboratories (NPL) in New Delhi. As it is a completely different product that requires trials and tests at various levels, it may take some time to become a reality. The last communication we received from NPL regarding this was in 2019-20.

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SOM: Is the ‘Ballot Marker Pen’ used in Legislative Council elections?

Harakumar: Yes, it is used in Legislative Council elections to cast preferential votes in the order of 1, 2, and 3. This is different from the indelible ink which is used in general elections to prevent impersonation of voters.

The process of packing and despatching the consignment of indelible ink.

SOM: Can you tell us about the modernisation project of MPVL?

Harakumar: We have submitted a proposal for modernisation to the Chief Minister, but it was not included in the recent Budget of the State Government. However, we are hopeful that it may be included in the supplementary Budget later. The modernisation project would involve upgrading our manufacturing processes and machinery to increase efficiency and productivity. It would also help us expand our product line and explore new markets.

SOM: Once MPVL is modernised, it may bring in many changes, right?

Harakumar: Absolutely. Our current production method is quite traditional, and modernising the facility will allow us to meet the demands of today’s market with timely delivery of products and improved services. We believe that modernisation will enable us to operate in compliance with the latest market requirements.

SOM: Of the several products produced by MPVL, indelible ink still remains the most important.

Harakumar: MPVL was established in 1937, initially producing lac and paints. In 1962, we introduced indelible ink, which has become our flagship product. It continues to be in high demand, with most democratic countries being our customers, as well as many third-world countries.

2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “MPVL modernisation to help explore new markets”

  1. Sam says:

    What is the use of indelible ink, when the votes are altered after the polling stations are closed?
    Previously, it used to be sunstituting ballot boxes of real votes with those with fake votes when they they were ket in a location at night, Neavy btribing of Police and election officials achieved that..In these days of electronic votes, easy to manipulkate the votes by employing Indian IT Techie hackers who currently leak out customer details of foreign banks while working in their custimer centres in India. These criminals are bribed.
    Dermocacy in India is a big joke.

  2. Sam says:

    What is the use of indelible ink, when the votes are altered after the polling stations are closed?
    Previously, it used to be sunstituting ballot boxes of real votes with those with fake votes when they they were ket in a location at night, Neavy btribing of Police and election officials achieved that..In these days of electronic votes, easy to manipulkate the votes by employing Indian IT Techie hackers who currently leak out customer details of foreign banks while working in their custimer centres in India. These criminals are bribed.
    Dermocacy in India is a big joke.

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