An International Virtual Election Visitors Programme for foreign election management bodies (EMBs) is being organised by the Election Commission of India from November 5-7 in the context of the ongoing Bihar Legislative Assembly Elections.
Earlier the ECI had organised International Election Visitors Programmes (IEVPs) for foreign EMBs during 2014 Lok Sabha polls, elections for a few state Assemblies in 2017 and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
"Bihar has an electorate of over 72 million, one of the largest in the world to vote so far amid the Covid-19 pandemic. This provides us with an opportunity to share our best practices and experience of the conduct of our poll process during the pandemic period," said the ECI in a statement.
Delegates from over 40 countries including Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malawi, Maldives, Moldova, Mongolia, Mauritius, Nepal, the Philippines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Zambia, besides three international organisations like International IDEA, International Foundation of Electoral Systems (IFES) and Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB).
The programme for IEVP 2020 comprises an online briefing session on November 5 which would provide the participants an overview of the large canvas of Indian electoral process, the new initiatives taken by the ECI on voter facilitation, transparency and accessibility of electoral system; and ECI's response to the changing needs of training and capacity building.
The keynote address at the inaugural session will be delivered by Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora. The session will also be addressed by Election Commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Sushil Chandra.
On the second day, the programme will provide an overview of the commission's flagship programme for voter awareness - SVEEP (Systematic Voters' Education and Electoral Participation). The Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar will share the state's experiences with the global audience.
The participants are also being invited to a virtual tour of polling stations in Bihar. The visit will be amplified by exclusive footage, a walkthrough of the electoral process, and various arrangements at the polling station for a free, fair, participative and safe election