Open Network for Digital Commerce or ONDC project



 The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) recently issued orders appointing an advisory committee for its Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) project.

About Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) project:

  • It is aimed toward curbing digital monopolies.
  • It is a step in the direction of creating e-commerce processes open-source, thus creating a platform which will be utilised by all online retailers.
  • The task of this project has been assigned to the standard Council of India (QCI).
  • The processes expected to be open-sourced with this project:

Several operational aspects might be made open source on the lines of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) including:  

  • Onboarding of sellers,  
  • Vendor discovery,  
  • Price discovery and  
  • Product cataloguing  

An executive of an e-commerce company has stated that if mandated, this might be problematic for larger e-commerce companies, which have proprietary processes and technology deployed for these segments of operations.

What is the meaning and significance of creating something open-source:

  • Making a software or a process open-source means the code or the steps of that process is formed available freely for others to use, redistribute and modify.  
  • For example, while the OS of Apple’s iPhones (iOS) is closed source, meaning it can't be legally modified or reverse engineered.  
  • Google’s Android OS is open-source, and thus it's possible for smartphone OEMs like Samsung, Xiaomi, OnePlus, etc to switch it for his or her hardware.  
  • If the ONDC gets implemented and mandated, it might mean that each one e-commerce companies will need to operate using an equivalent processes.  
  • This could provides a huge booster to smaller online retailers and new entrants.
  • The DPIIT intention behind the project:

The ONDC aims at promoting open networks developed on open-sourced methodology, using:  

  • Open specifications and open network protocols,  
  • Independent on any specific platform.  
  • ONDC expected benefits:  
  • Digitise the whole value chain,
  • Standardise operations,  
  • Promote inclusion of suppliers,  
  • Derive efficiency in logistics and  
  • Enhance value for consumers


Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT):

  • It was established in 1995
  • It was renamed because the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) in 2019.
  • The idea behind the rechristening of the DIPP is to incorporate internal trade its ambit.
  • Administered by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.  
  • It is a nodal agency with a responsibility to formulate and implement growth strategies for the economic Sector along side other Socio-Economic objectives and national priorities.



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