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ONLINE DISPUTE RESOLUTION FOR EASE OF DOING BUSINESS

Focus: GS-III Indian Economy

Why in news?

  • NITI Aayog held a conversation with heads of legal firms and industry representatives to explore the massive potential of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) to enhance the Ease of Doing Business in India.
  • Recognising the essence of ODR, CII has been undertaking a plethora of initiatives such as setting up a CII Centre for Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR).

Introduction

  • In today’s age of data-driven solutions and machine learning, ODR provides the potential to resolve a substantial percentage of disputes at the site of their occurrence without burdening the courts.
  • Emphasising that ODR can act as a complement to the court system, former Supreme Court Justice said that it will be an auxiliary of the court system, in the sense that it will prevent a large number of litigations that clutter the courts.
  • (A litigant does not need to travel from Kerala to Delhi to solve his dispute, he/she can resolve it through the electronic platform. Online Dispute Resolution can help deliver justice to the doorstep of the litigant.)

What is ODR?

Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is the resolution of disputes, particularly small- and medium-value cases, using digital technology and techniques of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), such as negotiation, mediation, and arbitration.

Highlights and points in favour of ODR

ODR can be a game-changer for citizens as well as Indian businesses, particularly MSMEs as –

  1. It can help reduce the cost of dispute resolution in the face of rising cases and disputes.
  2. It will allow citizens and consumers to raise any grievances they may have at the click of a button and have an independent third-party firm review and address their grievance, this can help businesses enhance consumer trust and improve customer retention.
  3. In the medium-term, once ODR firms have collected enough data around disputes, it can start feeding back into business decisions regarding the product and service being offered, this will help businesses sharpen their offerings besides improving access to dispute resolution.
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September 2022
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