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Bihar to Become the First State to Allow NRI Voting in Assembly Elections



By Newsgram Staff Writer

History might be in the making as Bihar braces itself to become the first state to allow non-resident Indians (NRI’s) to cast their vote in assembly elections when it goes to poll later this year.

To facilitate NRI voting in the upcoming polls through either proxy or e-postal ballot, the Election Commission is jointly working with the law ministry on a pilot project.

The necessary amendments in the Representation of People Act are expected to be made latest by the monsoon session of Parliament so that the pilot can be tested in Bihar elections, according to sources privy to the joint effort.

The Election Commission will have to constitute a new assembly by November 29.

This comes at the backdrop of the Centre accepting the poll panel’s recommendations on NRI voting, which were submitted to the Supreme Court early this year.

Under the proxy option, proposed by the EC and subsequently accepted by the law ministry, an NRI will be able to cast vote through a nominee residing in India.

Whereas, under the e-postal ballot route, the poll panel will upload the ballot paper online accessible to registered NRI through a secure password. Once downloaded and printed, the NRI can then mark his or her preferred candidate on the ballot paper. The voter will then have to self-attest the ballot paper and send it back to the returning officer by snail mail within a stipulated period.

A technical committee headed by Rajat Moona of C-DAC, the government’s research and development arm in advanced computing comprising of other technical experts, has been constituted by the EC to develop a software that will allow the commission to dispatch the ballot paper to NRI voters online.

It is still unclear whether the pilot will cover the whole of Bihar or be limited to a few constituencies. An official on condition of anonymity said, “We can decide that once the amendments come through.”

If the experiment proves to be successful, the EC will scale up the trial to other state elections and finally cover the whole country during the 2019 parliamentary elections.

Since a large number of Indians, numbering close to one crore with sixty lakh of eligible voting age, are settled abroad particularly from states such as Punjab, Kerala and Gujarat, the decision to involve the expats in the electoral process can affect their outcome substantially.

Currently Bihar houses close to 1000 NRI voters.

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Domestic Violence Escalates in Bihar Amid Lockdown

Bihar sees surge in domestic violence

There is a significant increase in domestic violence cases in Bihar amid the lockdown. Pixabay

The enforcement of lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus has put one vulnerable group more at risk in Bihar.

Domestic violence has escalated in the state as women confined to their homes during the lockdown have no escape from their abusers.

Former Bihar Youth Congress leader Lalan Kumar on Tuesday said, “The cases of domestic violence against women have seen a dramatic rise in all the police stations records in the state since the imposition of lockdown. This shows police inaction while the state has a shortage of women staff in all the stations.”

“Recently the National Commission for Women (NCW) released a figure which says that in March alone, the commission registered 587 complaints in connection with domestic violence”, Kumar said.

Domestic Abuse
Women are confined to their homes during the lockdown and hence have no escape from their abusers. Pixabay

He demanded from the state government that women police personnel should be appointed in each police station as soon as possible.

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Kumar said, “A spate of rape cases has also been reported in the state during the lockdown. A minor girl was gang raped by five youths in Darbhanga on May 8. On the same day, another gang rape of a minor girl in Kishanganj also came to light. On May 1, a minor girl in the state capital was raped.”

Though arrests were made in some cases, but in the maximum number of such incidents the criminals were still at large, he alleged. (IANS)

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NRI Commission of Goa to Create Database of Overseas Individuals Seeking to Return

Covid-19: Goa to create data base of expats seeking return

Goa government's Non Resident Indian(NRI) Commission on Tuesday, launched a campaign to reach out to the expats of Goan origin amid the travel restrictions. Pixabay

Goa government’s Non Resident Indian Commission on Tuesday, launched a campaign to reach out to the expats of Goan origin, primarily to create a database of overseas individuals who wish to return home on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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“Glad to inform that, today Goa NRI Commission has begun the registration process/assistance of NRIs of Goan origin,” Goa’s Commissioner for NRI Affairs Narendra Sawaikar tweeted.

The NRI Commission is a Goa government agency which serves as a liaison between the state government and the large expat population of Goans worldwide. (Representational Image). Pixabay

As part of the outreach, the expats have been requested to fill up a small online questionnaire related to personal details and seeks to know about their willingness to return to Goa in view of the pandemic.

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The NRI Commission is a Goa government agency which serves as a liaison between the state government and the large expat population of Goans worldwide.

Goa has a large expat population working mainly in the oil rich Middle East region as well as on board cruise liners. (IANS)

3 responses to “NRI Commission of Goa to Create Database of Overseas Individuals Seeking to Return”

  1. These forms for registration were filled early last week.Why the delay in getting the NRI’s home? they are facing such a lot of hardships for about 2 months now. Please put an end to their troubles, get the Goan NRI’s home soon.

    • I agree. Goa govt needs to wake up and act soon. Request for direct flights to goa to bring back Goans. Goa is an International airport which has carried out evacuations to various countries in the past few days. Please, now act on getting your own people back home quickly. ACT NOW. No more excuses.

  2. The forms are collecting dust, nothing has been done. Repatriation flights have started but nothing for the next 8 days for any Goan to return. Dubai to Goa is just a 3 hrs flight, iso is the same from most of the Gulf, but is anyone interested in getting our Goans back? Its all talk and more talk…no action, repatriation is an eyewash. The Goan authorities who can press for these flights are not interested, in the welfare of Goan families so what else can the poor Goans do?
    In contrast, take a look at kerala, what a difference in the attitude of the State Govt. Is it any surprise then that most flights and naval ships are repatriating them on proritybasis? Kudos to their CM. Lets see and hope and pray that the Goa govt wakes up very very soon. things can be done overnite if the will exists.

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NGOs and Private Institutions Offer a Helping Hand to Bihar

NGOs and Private Institutions come forward to help the needy and the poor in the state of Bihar

clasped-hands, NGOs
NGOs coming forth to provide help to the needy and poor in Bihar. Pixabay

With the nationwide lockdown adding to the problems faced by the poor, many private institutions and NGOs are extending a helping hand to the needy in Bihar.

Anukriti Art founder Anukriti said she along with other benefactors has so far helped 50 families in the Shahkund area of Bhagalpur by providing them ration and other essentials.

An awardee for Madhubani and Manjusha paintings, Anukriti pointed out that such little help from individuals across the country could make a huge difference.

NGOs have helped 50 families in the Shahkund area. Pixabay

An NGO, Ang Madad Foundation, which has earlier helped many women get trained in tailoring, has provided ration and other help to the needy in the Champanagar area in Nathnagar block.

Its head Vandana Jha said that whenever they come to know about the needy or someone calls them for help, they reach out to such persons. She said her organization has so far helped around 200 people.

Ram Jansewa Samiti and area villagers came to the rescue of 50 to 60 persons belonging to a nomadic community left stranded in the Hasanganj block of Katihar district. These needy persons, which included women and children, were provided ration and other essential items.

The needy were provided with ration and essentials. Pixabay

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A private club led by social activist Mahesh Sav has distributed ration and other items to many needy families in the Shumar Harkhand panchayat area.

Similar reports of help extended by villagers to daily-wagers were received from Naxal-affected areas in Jamui. (IANS)