There is currently little to no civic participation in law making - a core component of democracy. Laws, policies, and schemes are often made within the four walls of government offices, with little feedback from citizens. This is compounded by a lack of legal awareness and the resultant apathy prevents people from making use of the frameworks that exist for participation and accountability. The lack of understanding and dialogue with a pivotal institution like the Government, leads to a loss of trust that adversely impacts democracy.
Recognising the importance of an active and informed citizenry in the lawmaking process, Civis is taking a two-fold approach to enable citizen participation. First, Civis helps citizens understand these laws / policies and their impact on them. Second, Civis will enable the government to understand citizen's priorities and gather feedback on policy decisions in real time.
Citizens will be shown a summary of new legislation / policies / schemes on their web-based app - free of legal jargon and ideological bias. This will help them understand the new laws / policies proposed and share their feedback, providing real time inputs. Through this, Civis seeks to present evidence for citizen-centric policy-making through detailed analytics.
Antaraa Vasudev, an I.I.M., Bangalore incubated entrepreneur, is the founder of Civis. She launched Civis in 2017, and the web app has been running from 2018. She handled policy-related public education programmes at the international non-profit Asia Society. She also handled several Track-II initiatives between the Asia Society Policy Institute (led by Kevin Rudd) and Ministers in the Indian Cabinet. She also volunteered with the global civic-technology initiative—DemocracyOS—setting up and managing their India chapter.