75 delegates representing 23 nations are in India for the 2024 Lok Sabha and Assembly polls
With over 970 million eligible voters, supported by more than 15 million polling personnel across more than 1 million polling stations, the logistical magnitude of India's 2024 General Election is unprecedented.
In a landmark event highlighting India's commitment to electoral transparency and global democratic cooperation, the Election Commission of India (ECI) inaugurated the International Election Visitors’ Programme (IEVP) on Sunday (May 5, 2024), welcoming the largest-ever international delegation to observe India's General Election. Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar, alongside Election Commissioners Gyanesh Kumar and Sukhbir Singh Sandhu, launched the program in New Delhi, with 75 delegates representing 23 nations.
Addressing the delegates, CEC Rajiv Kumar emphasized the pivotal role of India’s electoral processes in the broader global democratic context. He noted that India's electoral landscape contributes significantly to the global democratic space, with a system that operates in a uniquely persuasive capacity, given the voluntary nature of voter registration and participation.
Kumar reiterated the ECI's dedication to fostering a culture of transparency and maintaining high electoral standards. He highlighted the "democratic surpluses" generated by the Indian electoral system as particularly valuable, given growing global concerns about the shrinking of democratic spaces.
The sheer scale of India's electoral process, Kumar pointed out, is unparalleled worldwide. The diversity of the nation is fully reflected in this electoral exercise, which the delegates would witness firsthand.
Despite the voluntary nature of registration and voting, Kumar highlighted the ECI's commitment to persuading citizens to engage actively in the electoral process. Systematic voter awareness programs are deployed to educate the electorate, encouraging them to cast their votes. The credibility of these initiatives is validated by high voter turnout and near-saturation of the electoral rolls in terms of elector-population ratio.
Insights into India's Electoral Process
During the briefing sessions, delegates were familiarized with the intricate workings of the Indian electoral system, including electronic voting machines (EVMs) and voter-verifiable paper audit trails (VVPATs). The use of these technological tools is integral to maintaining the integrity and transparency of the voting process. IT initiatives, led by Director General Ms. Neeta Verma, were highlighted for their role in bolstering the digital infrastructure supporting electoral activities.
The role of media and social media in shaping and disseminating electoral information was also presented, offering insights into how the ECI ensures a balanced and fair informational landscape during elections. Joint Director Anuj Chandak explained the strategies employed to counter misinformation and maintain voter trust.
In addition to the main IEVP event, the ECI held bilateral discussions with the Chief Election Commissioners of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Nepal, each accompanied by their delegations. 
Field Visits Across Indian States
To provide the delegates with a comprehensive understanding of India’s electoral system and its on-ground implementation, they will be divided into groups to visit six key states: Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. Here, they will observe polling activities and related preparations in various constituencies, gaining valuable insights into the diverse electoral practices employed across India's different regions.
The IEVP will conclude on May 9, 2024, having offered foreign Election Management Body (EMB) delegates an immersive experience of India's "festival of democracy." Participants from countries like Bhutan, Mongolia, Madagascar, Fiji, Russia, Tunisia, Sri Lanka, and Zimbabwe will take home new perspectives on electoral management.
The largest-ever international delegation to observe India's General Election signifies the nation's ongoing dedication to fostering a robust democratic process that inspires other nations. India's electoral framework stands as a testament to the nation's unwavering commitment to transparency, inclusivity, and high standards in democratic governance.
The IEVP program offers a unique opportunity for international observers to engage directly with India's electoral practices, witnessing firsthand the diversity and vibrancy of one of the world's largest democracies in action. As delegates return to their home nations, they will carry with them a renewed understanding of the spirit of Indian democracy and its valuable contribution to the global democratic landscape.