NUJS Student Initiative Recognized By Ministry Of Law And Justice
ODRways, a tech-mediation startup co-founded in 2015 by student of NUJS Pranjal Sinha, currently studying in 4th year, along with Vikram Kumar, has been recognized by the Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India, for their combined efforts in the field of promoting mediation in India with the help of technology.
In a notice issued by the Department of Justice on 17th August, the government has identified 12 Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) agencies across India including ODRways, which can help in cutting governmental litigation.
All the government departments have been requested by the Ministry to avail the facility of online arbitration/online mediation for out-of-court settlements and quicker resolution of disputes.
ODRways which currently boasts of more than 59 mediators in more 20 different cities across India makes it easier for ordinary citizens to engage with mediators to resolve disputes. One needs to fill in the details of your dispute on the platform in an encrypted form and a mediator will contact you within 24 hours. In less than 4 months of launching the platform, they have received 100+ cases. From family disputes to property matters to commercial issues, one can use their online mediation platform to resolve their disputes without stepping outside the house.
After, 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 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. The initiative has also received appreciation from former Minister of Law and Justice Salman Khurshid who said: “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." ODRways was also recognized as a "Sustainable online mediation model for developing countries in Asia to get high stake matters" at Global Mediation Forum, Bangkok organized by World Mediation Organization (WMO) and Thailand Arbitration Centre. They are also organizing the first ever Indian Mediation Week, from 11-17 September, to raise awareness about mediation in India.
Providing a list of such agencies on its website, the law ministry has said the departments may select from them according to their choice and can use their services which will 'help to a great extent in reducing government litigations.'