Dated: 4th April 2021
ECI going to host International Virtual Election Visitors Programme 2021
during Elections for Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal [05- 06 April 2021]
Election Commission of India is going to organize International Virtual Election Visitors Programme (IEVP) 2021 for foreign Election Management Bodies (EMBs) / Organisations from 05-06 April 2021 during the ongoing Elections for Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.
2. In the past, ECI has organized International Election Visitor Programmes (IEVP) for foreign EMBs/Organizations in 2014 Lok Sabha elections; elections for a few State Assemblies in Feb/March 2017; Lok Sabha Elections in May 2019 and International Virtual Election Visitors Programme 2020 during Bihar Assembly elections. The purpose of IEVP is to familiarise fellow EMBs/Organisations from abroad with our electoral system and best practices adopted in the world’s largest democracy.
3. The ongoing elections in Assam, Kerala, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have an electorate of over 187.2 million, one of the largest in the world to vote so far amid the COVID19 pandemic. It is a good opportunity to share our best practices and experience of conduct of our poll process as well as steps taken to mitigate the effect of pandemic.
4. Over 106 delegates from over 26 countries across the world including Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Republic of Korea, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mongolia, Nepal, Panama, Philippines, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Suriname, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Zambia etc. and 3 international organizations (viz. International IDEA, International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES) and Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB) are going to participate in the IEVP 2021.
5. Besides that, the Ambassadors of Georgia and Uzbekistan, Acting High Commissioner of Sri Lanka and other members of Diplomatic Corps are also going to attend the IEVP 2021.
6. The Programme for IEVP 2021 comprises a briefing session online on 05 April 2021 which would provide to the participants an overview of the large canvas of Indian electoral process, the new initiatives taken by ECI on voter facilitation, transparency and accessibility of electoral system; ECI’s response to the changing needs of training and capacity building and the new formats necessitated by Covid 19 and provide insights into the elections underway in the states of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and the Union Territory of Puducherry. With an electorate of more than 187.2 million, these elections pose formidable challenges and the preparations made to address them as well as the unique initiatives taken to conduct a Covid safe election. In the inaugural session the participants will be addressed by Shri Rajiv Kumar and Shri Sushil Chandra, Hon’ble Election Commissioners followed by Keynote Address by Shri Sunil Arora, Hon’ble Chief Election Commissioner of India and Chairperson, A-WEB.
7. On the sidelines of IEVP 2021, ECI would also be releasing the Inaugural issue of A-WEB Journal of Elections. The Journal, published by the India A-WEB Centre (http://indiaawebcentre.org/ ) set up in 2019 at the ECI, carries Research Papers, Articles, Book Reviews etc from Eminent Writers, Experts, Researchers and Practitioners from the A-WEB Community and from across democracies of the world in the area of Elections and Electoral Democracy. A-WEB India Journal of Elections is envisaged to be a Journal of the highest international standards and will include peer reviewed contributions from members of the A-WEB community and beyond.
8. On 06 April 2021, the delegates will be given a live snapshot of how elections are conducted at some polling stations including familiarization with the electoral process ,polling station arrangements, ,facilitation of Persons with disabilities and senior citizens, and interaction with various stakeholders .