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CSR: Rating The Political Leaders

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Transparency in politics has always been a touchy issue. In India, the availability of structured and organised data about a political leaders is scarce. In order to make a decision to vote, one has to either go through a lot of unorganised and unverified data, or believe the leaders and their promises blindly.

In the corporate world today, the HRs look up at 360 degree feedback before making a decision for any employee. 360 degree feedback includes feedback not only from the supervisor of the employee but also from his peers, subordinates and whoever he has worked with.

In order to make such data available for the citizens, a Delhi based entrepreneur has launched a mobile app called ‘Neta’, inspired by the US’s approval rating system. The app is attempting to get Indian voters to monitor their elected representatives and hold them accountable for their actions.

“We realised from our experience in the US that these polls make a lot of difference both in terms of forming a public opinion and keeping leaders accountable,” said Mittal, whose company, Shanthi Foundation, owns Neta. “In India, there is hardly any (transparent) data around approval ratings or popularity. We saw a clear void in the Indian market and that’s what we want to fulfil,” he told Quartz.

The app was introduced to the public during February by polls in Rajasthan’s Ajmer and Alwar constituencies and was further utilised in Karnataka during the assembly elections in May. Currently, the app has over 2.5 million users from these two states. Hence, it is all set to go national for the 2019 general elections.

The app lists all the candidates in a constituency for the users to rank them. It avoids any duplication of votes by asking for an OTP with each registration of vote. This way, the data available is organised and consists of public opinion about each political leader.

Currently, the app is unavailable for all the states. However, it will soon be made available to the voters as and when the states go for polls. The company expects to have around 100 million users on the app by 2019 general elections.

“I want people to be a little more educated about who they are voting for, and post-2019 elections (ensure) that politicians actually do care about their rating on the app,” Mittal said to Quartz.

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Regards,
The CSR Journal Team

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