National Policy on Open Standards for E-Governace

The Government of India (GoI) has taken major initiatives to accelerate the development and implementation of e-Governance and to create right environments for introducing G2G, G2B, G2E and G2C services within the country.

A National Policy on Open Standards for e-Governance was notified in November 2010. It provides a set of guidelines for the consistent, standardised and reliable implementation of e-Governance solutions. It has been designed to ensure seamless interoperability of various e-Governance solutions developed by multiple agencies. It also aims to improve the technology choices available and avoid vendor lock-in.

The policy is applicable to all systems used for e-Governance. All standards used in any new e-Governance Systems (including all inter-department and intra-department systems) and Government to public (including businesses) systems must adhere to this policy. For legacy systems, it must be ensured that interface with other systems from the legacy system must adhere to this policy. The designated body/agencies responsible for standardisation would apply the principles of this policy while adopting/evolving standards.

The GoI shall adopt Single and Royalty-Free (RF) Open Standard progressively for a “specific purpose within a domain” (“area”), to meet the laid down objectives of the policy.

An Identified Standard will qualify as an “Open Standard” if it meets the following criteria:

  1. Specification document of the Identified Standard shall be available with or without a nominal fee.
  2. The patent claims necessary to implement the Identified Standard shall be made available on a Royalty-Free basis for the life time of the Standard.
  3. Identified Standard shall be adopted and maintained by a not-for-profit organisation, wherein all stakeholders can opt to participate in a transparent, collaborative and consensual manner.
  4. Identified Standard shall be recursively open as far as possible.
  5. Identified Standard shall have technology-neutral specification.
  6. Identified Standard shall be capable of supporting all Indian official languages.

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