Former President Pranab Mukherjee launched Neta App, an online platform that enables voters to rate their political representatives. A brainchild of pratham Mittal, a 27-year-old serial entrepreneur and Wharton graduate, the application was first tested during the February bypolls in Rajasthan's Ajmer and Alwar constituencies. Later the app was also deployed in Karnataka ahead of the assembly elections in May.
Neta app aims to create a deep impact on the political engagement in the country. Apart from the obvious ability to let people rate their MLAs and MPs, the app serves as a useful barometer to gauge voter sentiment at any given point of time, across each constituency in the country.
The launch event at Former President residence was attended by politicians from different parties and bureaucrats. Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, Former Election Commissioners, S.Y. Quraishi, Nasim Zaidi, Congress leader Ashwini Kumar, Murli Manohar Joshi of BJP, Shivraj Patil, former home minister and Vijay Sampla, minister of state of Social Justice and Empowerment were present at the launch.
“I congratulate the team behind Neta, that their app has done so well to educate the voters, track performance via transparent ratings and help parties select candidates with a good track record. To me, this platform is nothing short of groundbreaking and it will take our democracy a notch higher,” said Mukherjee.
Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi said, “In a democracy like ours there are so many people who are not able to meet their representatives due to the size and scale involved. In such an atmosphere, Neta app will be able to offer voter feedback to representatives on their performance. It will also help parties gauge the performance of their leaders and help them decide which candidates to offer tickets to.”
Over 1.5 crore verified voters have already rated or reviewed their local leaders across all 543 parliamentary constituencies and 4120 assembly constituencies in the country on the app, within eight months. The app is available on Android, iOS and web in 16 languages keeping in mind the diverse user profile. In order to ensure participation across demographics, including the rural heartlands, Neta app uses multiple mediums like the app, IVR calls, SMS and even offline activations with the help of Aashawadi and Aanganwadi workers, to gather data on the evolving political inclinations.
According to Pratham Mittal, Founder, Neta App, “We are extremely thankful to Shri Pranab Mukherjee for supporting the initiative. There couldn't have been a better person and platform to launch the app. The world's largest democracy deserves a platform where we as voters can rate our politicians and question them. Neta aims to do just that. We are looking to have 100 million users on the platform before 2019 polls.”
Former Chief Election Commissioner, S.Y. Quraishi said “It is good to see young minds taking such initiatives aimed at promoting good governance and citizen engagement. This platform is creating dialogue, enhancing accountability, and getting more people to think about their political representatives seriously, empowering our democracy.”
Nasim Zaidi, Former Chief Election Commissioner said, “I believe technology can truly shape the new era of democracy. Happy to see how Neta's team is using technology to change the way we engage with politics in India. Advances like Neta App hold the key to a successful democracy in this age of smartphones.”