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Open Network For Digital Commerce

Open Network For Digital Commerce:

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has issued orders appointing an advisory committee for its Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) project that is aimed at curbing “digital monopolies”.

  • This is in the direction of making e-commerce processes open source, thus creating a platform that can be utilised by all online retailers.
  • Earlier, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs released draft e-commerce rules for consumer protection which seek to bring changes to how e-commerce marketplaces, including Amazon and Flipkart, operate after small businesses complained that they misuse market dominance and deep-discounting to gain an unfair advantage.
  • The ONDC aims at promoting open networks developed on open-sourced methodology, using open specifications and open network protocols, independent on any specific platform.
  • The project to integrate e-commerce platforms through a network based on open-source technology has been tasked to the Quality Council of India.
  • Implementation of ONDC, which is expected to be on the lines of Unified Payments Interface (UPI) could bring various operational aspects put in place by e-commerce platforms to the same level.
  • Various operational aspects include onboarding of sellers, vendor discovery, price discovery and product cataloguing etc.
  • On ONDC, buyers and sellers may transact irrespective of the fact that they are attached to one specific e-commerce portal.
  • If the ONDC gets implemented and mandated, it would mean that all e-commerce companies will have to operate using the same processes (like Android Based Mobile Devices).
  • This could give a huge booster shot to smaller online retailers and new entrants.
  • If mandated, this could be problematic for larger e-commerce companies, which have their own processes and technology deployed for these segments of operations.
  • ONDC is expected to digitise the entire value chain, standardise operations, promote inclusion of suppliers, derive efficiency in logistics and enhance value for consumers.

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