Hyderabad, December 2020: With over 30 lakhs for the taking, Agami announced the result of the 2nd edition of the Agami Prize. The Prize is known to build a strong network of innovators, entrepreneurs and changemakers in the field of law and justice. It offers a thriving platform for them to be recognised for their work and get access to resources and support.
The 2nd edition of Agami Prize saw applications from 251 innovators & changemakers across the country. From among the applicants, 13 finalists were selected after exhaustive interviews with the founders and members of their teams. The 13 finalists were then brought before a grand jury made up of eminent persons across India. After several rounds of analysis and interviews, the grand jury submitted its winners for this year's Agami Prize 2020, which were announced on December 10, 2020.
Members of the Grand Jury included:
• Roland Vogl - Executive Director, CodeX, Stanford Law School
• Ajay Shah - Professor & Author
• Justice Prabha Sridevan - former Judge of the Madras High Court
• Sonali Ojha - Founder, Dreamcatchers Foundation
• Parag Dhol - Managing Director, Inventus India
Talking about the Agami Prize, Sachin Malhan, Co-Founder, Agami said, “We thank all our partners, collaborators like Niti Aayog, ORF, Dasra, Rohini Nilekani Philanthropies, Jayasimha Foundation, Omidyar Network India and Ashoka Foundation for their support in this wonderful journey. The Agami Prize celebrates ideas that make justice more accessible, inclusive and effective by tackling well-known problems in legal and justice systems. We would like to congratulate and applaud all the participants and winners of Agami Prize 2020 for their innovative ideas which will enable the law & justice system in India. For the winners, while the prize money is certainly valuable, it's more about the access to influencers, to mentors, and to opportunities to collaborate at a high level and make sectoral and policy changes that are just not possible individually. Each application this year was unique and has inspired us in many ways. We are confident and these innovators and changemakers will radically reshape and reform the law & justice India, making justice accessible to all."
Adding to this Padma Shri awardee Anu Aga said, “Agami Prize was founded with the sole purpose of promoting justice. Everyone needs justice, absence of justice leads to an unfair society. The awardees of this year’s prize have done an incredible job. Agami explores new and innovative paths which catalyses and enables changemakers to reshape their ideas into a meaningful process of change. Without these innovators and tech solutions, we wouldn’t have been able to see a large impact. The winners of Agami prize 2020 are fundamentally change makers who are empowering the common man of India. This will help unleash a generation of leaders with the potential to make justice available to all." TM Krishna, notable Carnatic singer, author and activist was also present at the award ceremony to felicitate the winners.
The biennial Prize, conceived and first held in 2018, serves to support and catalyse such ideas in 3 categories – Industry, Citizenship and Idea. Partners to the Prize include highly regarded individuals and institutions in social innovation, business, philanthropy and policy.
The Industry Prize is awarded to a proven idea that serves justice through the evolution of the legal industry. The Industry Prize for Agami Prize 2020 was awarded to Phoenix ‘A Smart Prison ERP’ By Amit Mishra for the empathetic use of technology in prison management to make Indian prisons more humane. Phoenix draws on the founder's deep personal insight into the condition of jails to digitize critical operations of the prisons in harmony with the Jail Manual. The impact of Phoenix is currently felt by 4 lakh prisoners through a full-scale deployment in all of Haryana prisons and pilot projects in Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and UP.
Special Mention for the Prize went to TrustIn by Meghana Srinivas for bringing a platform approach to holistically address workplace misconduct. Currently, the platform is directly empowering 15000 employees across seven companies by providing the essential architecture for a safe, productive and responsive work environment.
Other finalists include SpotDraftby Shashank Bijapur, Madhav Bhagat and Rohith Salim for their international standard use of technology to ease contract review and management.
And the last finalist, Credgenics by Mayank Khera, Rishabh Goel and Anand Agarwal for harnessing data, technology and alternate dispute resolution to meet the rising NPA challenge. They have addressed the need of the lenders to track, assess, and effectively act on their potential NPAs. Their recent collaboration with leading new economy player Udaan has demonstrated that the approach works and can be replicated with other lenders of all types.
Shamnad Basheer Citizenship Prize
The Shamnad Basheer Citizenship Prize is awarded to a proven idea that serves justice by empowering citizens to access justice. The prize has been awarded to Legal Education and Advocacy Unit (LEAD Cell), Aajeevika Bureau by Rajiv Khandelwal and Krishnavatar Sharma for pioneering a scalable dispute resolution mechanism to empower the migrant workforce. As of June 2020, LEAD has succeeded in resolving over 9 thousand cases through mediation and dispute resolution. Their helpline receives close to 5,000 calls a month on an average and they have also retrieved wages in favour of workers amounting to over 25 crores.
Special Mention was Internet Freedom Foundation By Apar Gupta for creating a citizen-led, bottom-up model for digital rights advocacy in India.Born out of the ‘Save the Internet’ movement on net neutrality, IFF is bridging the gap between the ‘public’ and ‘public policy’ by advancing outcome-based advocacy for digital rights.
Other finalists include Mobile Vaani, Gram Vaani Community Media by Dr Aaditeshwar Seth and Vijay Sai Pratap for leveraging the power of participatory media platforms to improve citizens' access to information. Mobile Vaani operates 25 separate networks across districts India in partnership with 150 organizations.
Also recognised was ‘Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA)’ to Legal Education by Late Prof (Dr) Shamnad Basheer, currently led by IDIA’s Managing Trustee ShishiraRudrappa for making formal legal education more inclusive and accessible to the underprivileged and differently abled. Since inception, IDIA has sensitised over 38,000 students, trained 450 students for the C.L.A.T.
The Idea Prize is awarded to an early-stage idea with the potential to serve justice, either through the evolution of the legal industry or in how it empowers citizens to access justice. The Idea Prize is supported by the Jayasimha Foundation.
The prize was awarded to Zenith, Society for Socio-Legal Empowerment by Abhay Jain and Swapnil Shukla for their idea to reimagine law school legal clinics and enable grassroots empowerment. And to the Criminal Justice and Police Accountability Project by Nikita Sonavane and Ameya Bokil for their idea to develop community changemakers to hold everyday policing processes accountable. An early-stage initiative, CPAP is enabling marginalized communities to anchor and drive the process of holding everyday policing processes accountable.
Among the finalists were Transerve Online Stack by Amarsh Chaturvedi and Ashwini Kumar Rawat for their idea to use geospatial technology to secure property rights for the urban poor. Transerve is working to ensure allocation of property titles to those living in slum settlements across Orissa.
Also recognised was Landrytby Girish Chenicherry Kandambeth and Srihari Katta for their idea to integrate disparate data sources for fast and transparent verification of land titles.
And the last finalist was Article 14 by Samar Harlarnkar for their idea of data-driven research journalism to tell the important stories in law and justice. Breaking down dense research into easily digestible nuggets of information helps them effectively and simply communicate perspectives. Their series of investigative stories on ASHA workers’ wage disputes and lack of transparency in the national COVID-19 task force had more than 800 shares on Facebook and Twitter and was picked up by reputed journalist Ravish Kumar for his prime time show on NDTV. They were also called on by the Commission by Delhi Government investigating the Delhi riots, on account of their story on Facebook's role in the riots.