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Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) initiative

Published: 16th Aug, 2021

Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) initiative


The Department of Industrial Development and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has appointed an advisory committee for its Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) project aimed at curbing "digital sovereignty".


 About ONDC

  • Aim: This is aimed at making e-commerce processes open source, thus creating a platform that can be used by all online retailers.
  • Initiative: Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) is globally first-of-its-kind initiative that aims to democratize Digital Commerce, moving it from a platform-centric model to an open-network.

  • Platform: As UPI is to the digital payment domain, ONDC is to e-commerce in India. 

Conduct of ONDC

  • Data sharing: ONDC shall not mandate sharing of any transaction-level data by participants with ONDC.
  • Privacy: ONDC will work with its participants to publish aggregate metrics on network performance without compromising on confidentiality and privacy
  • Data protection bill: ONDC will be compliant with the Information Technology Act, 2000 and designed for compliance with the emerging Personal Data Protection Bill.


  • Meaning: ONDC will enable, buyers and sellers to be digitally visible and transact through an open network.
  • Digitization: ONDC is expected to digitize the entire value chain, standardize operations, promote inclusion of suppliers, derive efficiency in logistics and enhance value for consumers.
  • Empowering consumers: It will empower merchants and consumers by breaking silos to form a single network to drive innovation and scale, transforming all businesses from retail goods, food to mobility.


  • For example, while the operating system of Apple’s iPhones (iOS) is closed source, meaning it cannot be legally modified or reverse engineered,
  • Google’s Android operating system is open-source, and therefore it is possible by smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung, Xiaomi, One Plus, etc. to modify it for their hardware.

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