ECI has introduced the Garuda app for digital mapping of all polling stations to ensure election work is done faster, smarter, transparently and in a timely manner.
Stand Level Officers (BLOs) will use the Garuda app to upload photographs and location information to polling stations, including data such as latitude and longitude, from their registered cell phone numbers. The app will also reduce the amount of paperwork to be completed.
what is the Garuda app?
Garuda is India’s Grid Computing initiative[when?] which connects 17 cities across the country with a distributed architecture called GARUDA. All Indian IITs and C-DAC centers are among the 45 institutions collaborating in this national project. GARUDA is a nationwide grid of compute nodes, mass storage, and scientific instruments that aims to provide the technological advancements needed to enable data and compute the demanding science of the 21st century.
For GARUDA, balancing the research and implementation of this innovation in some of the most complex scientific or engineering endeavors is one of the most critical issues. India’s Department of Information Technology (DIT) has provided funding to the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) to implement the nationwide GARUDA network.
There were 17 connected cities in the Proof of Concept (POC) phase which ended in March 2008 to introduce “Grid” network computing to research institutes and industry. The foundation phase began in April 2008 with the aim of extending user applications, offering service-oriented architecture, improving network stability, and upgrading network resources. GARUDA will help India turn its huge research expenditures into real economic benefits.
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How does the Garuda app work?
In order to expedite the voting process, Cabin Level Officers (BLOs) must add data such as the latitude and longitude of the polling station. Ahead of having a voting readiness review meeting at Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of Punjab, Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma and Police Commissioner Gurpreet Singh Bhullar spoke to the media.
Using this software, BLOs will be able to capture photographs and location information of polling stations from their registered mobile phone numbers, according to Dr S Karuna Raju. The media were also told that the app would be a major factor in reducing the amount of paperwork required.
The BLOs will also be able to modify the electoral list by adding or deleting the names of the electors or by changing their addresses. Additional accommodations for the disabled have been finalized as provided accommodations at the stands, according to the administration. These include toilets, a wheelchair, water, electricity, storage sheds, chairs and ramps.
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No more voting booths due to COVID-19
The Punjab election officer further said that the number of polling stations has been increased from 23,211 to 24,659 in line with COVID-19 procedures to avoid overcrowding and maintain social distancing. According to Raju, the Poll Commission was fully equipped to organize the election.
To ensure that every qualified voter is on the list, the CEO also instructed officials to conduct major awareness campaigns in localized regions. Under the Systematic Voter Education and Voter Participation (SVEEP) initiative, several programs would be implemented. In addition to correcting inaccuracies, officials will have to remove the deceased from the list.
Raju had a long discussion with the district administration officials about the preparations for the elections. Since September 30, it has also verified the Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) and the First Level Verification of Electronic Voting Machines (FLC).
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