Digital technology | Indian ecommerce | UPI
Bhaswar Kumar  |  New Delhi  Last Updated at May 2, 2022 08:41 IST

According to Arvind Gupta, the head of Digital India Foundation, a public platform is something that is built around the concept of openness, standard and trust. It is backed by the government and not by any private entity. There are about nine platforms with billion plus users each across the world. Five of them are in the US and four in China. And none of them are government backed. With Aadhaar, India built the world’s first and largest public digital platform. It is now being used in banking, KYC and several other fields. It led to some sort of digital revolution, like the birth of which ended the duopoly of two international operators in India. It allows you to send or receive money irrespective of the payment platforms on which you are registered. And now, Nandan Nilekani — who helped the government create the biometric identification for almost 1.4 billion people after co-founding Infosys — believes that Open Network for Digital Commerce or ONDC meets all the criteria for the next revolution and disruption in India. It has the government’s commitment, the market condition is rife and there is a massive shift to e-commerce after the pandemic. ONDC seeks to level the playing field for small merchants in the country’s fragmented but fast-growing $1 trillion retail market. While addressing a conference, Nilekani recently said that ONDC is very similar to National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) — which is also a non-profit section 8 company. Giving some details, Nilekani said that ONDC will put in place the ground rules, the network participation rules, the obligation and dispute resolution. It will have set of top class protocols to govern the online trade. It will lead the country towards transaction-led internet from the western model of advertisement-led internet. The small-scale implementation of ONDC kicked off on Friday last week. This pilot is being conducted across Delhi, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, Bhopal and Shillong. It will be later launched in 100 cities over a period of six months. ONDC will set protocols in critical areas like price discovery, vendor match, and cataloguing, ostensibly in open source.
So, you ideally get an open network with open specifications and protocols. Clearly, there's a lot of stress on the ‘open’ part.
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