Settling legal disputes virtually

You can buy groceries online. You can even buy a house online and conduct pretty much all transactions via the internet. But what if we told you that you can also settle legal disputes online?
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Hello Reader,

Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the richest of them all? 

The Kotak Private Banking-Hurun List revealed that HCL Technologies Chairperson Roshni Nadar Malhotra has retained her position as the richest woman in India with a net worth of Rs 84,330 crore, followed by Falguni Nayar, Founder and CEO of Nykaa, at Rs 57,520 crore.

Speaking of wealth, markets bounced back after two days of red, with both the BSE Sensex and Nifty gaining by a nominal 1% each.

Meanwhile, NASA has discovered ‘lunar pits’ on the Moon, thermally stable shaded caves that could home future astronauts. On the other hand, Florida-based Space Perspective unveiled the latest patented capsule design for its Spaceship Neptune craft, “the only carbon-neutral, zero-emission way” to travel to the edge of space. 

With all this space tourism talk, a ‘normal’ beach holiday on Earth just doesn’t sound special anymore…


Settling legal disputes virtually

You can buy groceries online. You can even buy a house online and conduct pretty much all transactions via the internet. But what if we told you that you can also settle legal disputes online? 

Welcome to the space of online dispute resolution (ODR) and meet Resolve Dispute Online (RDO), a London-headquartered legal tech platform that helps settle disputes virtually by way of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration—without stepping into a physical court. 

In 2015-16, Aditya Shivkumar and Joe Al-Khayat started working on a tech platform to connect people with the legal system. They registered RDO, a SaaS (software-as-a-Service) B2B (business-to-business) startup, in 2017. 

Understanding RDO: 

  • Aditya says RDO is the only online dispute resolution firm designed and built in India to serve the global B2B segment. 
  • It offers B2B online dispute resolution services by partnering with courts, tribunals, governments, businesses, and alternative dispute resolution experts in the US, the UK, Australia, and Southeast Asia. 
  • It has seven clients, including the Government of Thailand, and one of the largest dispute handlers in north and central America. Overall, it has completed over 10 projects (including some pilots) in the last seven years. 

Turning waste into industrial enzymes

India accounts for the generation of 350 million tonnes of agro-waste generated every year. 

In 2017, it was to make the best of this waste that Dr Sidharth Arora launched Fermentech Labs, which uses proprietary micro-organisms and a novel solid-state fermentation (SSF) bioreactor to produce industrial enzymes from agro/fruit/forest waste. 

Based out of TIDES Business Incubator, IIT-Roorkee, the startup aims to contribute toward a circular bio-economy by converting agro-industrial waste into value-added products such as high-quality industrial enzymes and ensure farmers’ prosperity. 

Key takeaways: 

  • Fermentech uses carefully designed unit operations to process agro-waste and for reactor operations to ensure multiple products with a high yield. The process yields three products: enzymes, prebiotics, and high CV fuel pellets (for heating boilers).
  • The startup is directly aligned with the target of doubling farmers’ income, reducing carbon emissions, and making India self-sufficient. Around 28 farmers have benefited from this, and are making around Rs 5,000 annually.
  • This year, it has supplied around Rs 50,000 worth of enzymes to the fruit juice, bakery, and textile industry, and received repeat orders. 

Dr Sidharth Arora


Janhavi Nilekani’s push for midwifery

According to India’s fifth National Family Health Survey, the national caesarean section (C-section) rate was a startling 21.5%, much higher than the World Health Organisation’s 'ideal rate’ of 10-15%. 

Empowering women and raising awareness about the benefits of normal childbirth and the implications of C-sections is the need of the hour, in the wake of a rise in C-section surgeries, especially in the urban milieu. 

Midwifery care is another way to reduce medical intervention in low-risk pregnancies, and this is what Janhavi Nilekani, a social entrepreneur, is working on. 

Taking baby steps:

  • Janhavi established Aastrika Foundation in May 2019, which now has 30 employees working on making midwifery an important part of childbirth and maternal care. 
  • She also set up her practice in the private sector—Aastrika Midwifery Centre—in 2021 in partnership with Vasavi Hospital, Bengaluru. Its services are priced from Rs 1.1 lakh to Rs 2.1 lakh. The premium package is priced at Rs 2.9 lakh. 
  • The foundation created a digital learning platform named Aastrika Sphere to help pre-service midwifery students learn essential skills and help in-service midwives to upskill and improve their competencies.

“We are using technology designed from the get-go to potentially reach two million to four million nurses and Asha workers. We intend for Aastrika Sphere to be available for each of them; even today, any nurse can log on to our website, make a profile, and avail of these courses, specifically designed for nurses, for free,” says Janhavi. 


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