The initiative of Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) has been in the talks for quite some time now. In a recently held national conference addressing the topic of “Online Dispute Resolution Mechanism” conducted by the Construction Industry Arbitration Council on April 17th, 2018, the Honourable Vice President of India, Mr Venkaiah Naidu launched the country’s very first Online Dispute Resolution portal. As per his issued statement, he inferred the ODR portal as one of the most laudable initiatives which is expected to fast-track the process of dispute resolution in the country.
The conference was attended by some of the most renowned Government officials, including the retired secretary of the Ministry of Law & Justice, Mr P.K Malhotra. The Vice President of India congratulated the entire Ministry of Law and Justice for this initiative which is expected to aid the courts provide with substantial and fast-paced justice to the citizens of the country in a much more streamlined way. Mr Akhilesh Srivastava, Chief General Manager (IT and Highway Operations) of NHAI was the one heading the team of skilled professionals who worked on the portal.
Mr Srivastava was the one who proposed the idea for the project and was an integral part of the process of development of the portal. This is not the first time that he has been appraised with initiating an innovative project. Several roads and highways related project including Electronic Toll Collection, FASTag, and Wayside Amenities are the ones he is connected to. The ODR portal was yet another project that he took part in and successfully executed it.
The successful implementation of the ODR portal is not just going to imbibe transparency in the process of arbitration but also place India on a higher level on the global map. This is expected to attract more foreign investment to India by posing it as an investor-friendly country. This, in turn, will vehemently boost the economic growth of the country. Mr Venkaiah Naidu exclaimed the implementation of the ODR portal as a “logical and natural” step owing to the increasing levels of digitisation in the country.
The Online Dispute Resolution is not just expected to transition the face of commercial arbitration but simultaneously aid in the progress of the flagship programmes like that of the establishment of the smart cities across the country. The measures taken by the Ministry of Law and Justice along with the team led by Mr Akhilesh Srivastava is expected to instill better morals and changes in the operations of the various Government and Commercial sectors in the country.
The Vice President mentioned that the ODR portal was the need of the hour owing to the increasing e-commerce and e-business facilities in the country. Concerning the level of efficiency that this process needs, ODR seemed like the best possible option at hand which is why the portal was developed and implemented within a record time. Mr Akhilesh Srivastava is currently working on a number of other highway projects, a majority of it being related to the integration of the latest technology into the highway operations.