Pratham Mittal, a serial entrepreneur, and Wharton graduate, inspired by the US’s approval rating system, launched a mobile app called “Neta”. The app attempts to get Indian voters to monitor their elected representatives and hold them accountable. The ratings are used to measure public support for the president in the US.
Neta app was piloted during the February by polls in Rajasthan’s Ajmer and Alwar constituencies. The app was also arranged in Karnataka ahead of the assembly elections in May and is set to go national for the 2019 general elections. At present, Neta has over 2.5 million users in Rajasthan and Karnataka. Mittal’s venture is bootstrapped and doesn’t make money. Its revenue model has not been decided, though he said the app would be perfected as the brand and concept gain credibility.
All the candidates in a constituency are listed by Neta and lets the users rank them. The app also accounts for direct communication between politicians and voters, providing the perfect platform for suggestions and feedback. It avoids vote duplication by insisting on a one-time password.
The app aims at the areas which have a fast growing internet user base. The services of the app are currently only available in Rajasthan and Karnataka. It is estimated to have around 100 million votes by the 2019 general elections.
Satish Meena, a Delhi-based analyst, said that social media is under great scrutiny globally, due to its role in elections. “The scale of operations on social media can be very big and the implications are very difficult to answer.” industry experts said. However, experts expect the app to secure a place in Indian politics, given that politicians are increasingly using tech- and social media.