In the most recent testimonial to the entrepreneurship culture at NUJS, a student from the University has launched a new platform 'ODRways DOMAIN' for facilitating mediation and online dispute resolution in India.
ODRways, which seeks to work towards promoting mediation in India through its integration with technology, is a venture by Pranjal Sinha from NUJS and Vikram Kumar, an engineering graduate, both of whom are committed to bringing systematic technological reforms to the Indian justice system. The DOMAIN- Directory of Mediators in India- which currently boasts of more than 45 mediators in more 12 different cities, will make it easier for ordinary citizens to engage with mediators to resolve disputes. You need to fill in the details of your dispute on the platform in an encrypted form and a mediator will contact you within 24 hours. From family disputes to property matters to commercial issues, you can use their online mediation platform to resolve your disputes without stepping outside the house.
"After 18 months of hard work to combine mediation and technology, including three failed versions of an online mediation platform, we are finally launching DOMAIN- a platform through which you can connect to mediators to resolve your disputes. If you have a dispute, try our platform before going to court", Pranjal said.
With a clear vision of 'making mediation the primary method of dispute resolution in India', the platform seeks to make mediation services easily accessible to the common man and aims to make mediation the primary method of dispute resolution in India in the long run.
The initiative has received appreciation from former Minister of Law and Justice Salman Khurshid: "ODRways, which is started by the students of NUJS Kolkata, is an initiative to bring Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) to India. It talks about a dispute resolution mechanism which can be faster, cheaper and more convenient. There is a need for such innovative solutions." Khurshid has even contributed to their blog advocating for reforms within the judicial system.
From being recognized as the 'Socially Most Innovative platform in 2015' by Google to being listed in the 'Top 10 Social Ideas of 2016' in Tata Social Entrepreneurship Challenge, the initiative has also been supported by judges, lawyers and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) organizations such as Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA), Center of Advanced Mediation Practice (CAMP) and Delhi Dispute Resolution Society (DDRS) among others.
Pranjal, who is currently in his third year at the University describes himself as a mediation enthusiast. A trained cyber law expert and a certified mediator from Ministry of Corporate Affairs, India, he strongly believes that the Indian Justice System should move away from the contentious procedure of litigation, and towards more collaborative mechanism of mediation. He urges all mediators across India to join DOMAIN and make their mediation services easily accessible to everyone in India.