Infosys’ Nandan Nilekani appointed to govt advisory council to promote open network for digital commerce

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The Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) on Monday announced the formation of a nine-member council to advise the government on the steps needed to accelerate Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to prevent digital monopolies. Infosys Non-Executive Chairman Nandan Nilekani has been named as one of the members.

ONDC is a project initiated by the DPIIT under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

“ONDC aims at promoting open networks developed on open source methodology, using open specifications and open network protocols independent of any specific platform,” a statement said.

Other members of the council include: RS Sharma, CEO of the National Health Authority; Adil Zainulbhai, Quality Council of India (QCI) chief; Anjali Bansal, Founder of Avaana Capital; Arvind Gupta, Co-founder of Digital India Foundation; Dilip Asbe, head of the National Payments Corporation of India; Suresh Sethi, head of the National Securities Depository; Praveen Khandelwal, chief of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT); and Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO of the Retailers Association of India.

According to the government, ONDC is expected to digitise the entire value chain, standardise operations, promote inclusion of suppliers, derive efficiencies in logistics, and enhance value for consumers.

The task has been assigned to the Quality Council of India (QCI), the government statement noted.

Nandan Nilekani has been associated with the government in various capacities. He was earlier the Chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which issues Aadhaar cards. Besides, he has been part of many committees overlooking financial aspects such as GST, pension scheme etc.

These developments come amidst a time when the government is planning to bring a new set of regulations, especially for the ecommerce industry with the aim to protect the rights of the consumers.

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