New Delhi: Industry chamber Assocham has recommended standardization of Open XML (Extensible Markup Language) along with other standards like Open Document Format (ODF) with a view to enhance competition for the benefit of consumers and advancement of technology in the IT industry.
In a communication to the IT Ministry, Venugopal N. Dhoot, president Assocham stated that the Indian IT industry works on and provides support on multiple technologies domestically and internationally, keeping in mind the benefit of consumers. This has served us well so far and India should continue to encourage multiple standards and pursuer technological neutrality. Adding Open XML to the library of standards enhances the choice available to users and benefits the country in the long run.
The standardization of Open XML will mean that the technology that went into its development will be available with an independent international organization, ISO and open to all who want the specifications for their interoperability needs. This will enhance interoperability across platforms without the end user being dependent on any one vendor.
India should harness its IT prowess and expertise to contribute towards development of new standards and to refine existing ones. China is fast developing their own standards in the field of telecom and others. If India has to take a position of seemingly opposing the emerge and addition of new standards, India should not set a right precedent at the ISO for our own efforts to follow.
Extending support to the Indian public policy of Technology Neutrality, the expert view is to continue practicing. TRAI has placed it at the centre of growth in telecom in its publication Rs.10 years achievement of TRAI’ released on 10 October 2007. Plurality of standards is a natural corollary of the principle of Technology Neutrality.
Open standards shall ensure interoperability, market competition and free communication. For systems to communicate interfaces need to be standardized. As any standard will be able to fulfill this, the idea behind open standards is that it is more widely available and non-discriminating making it easier to use. It is also easier for product suppliers to implement the standard if it is royalty-free.
Through the openness of the standard, the proprietary aspect of standards is taken out of the equation. No particular vendor can control or dominate the standard as the standardization process is open. This will enable other vendors to compete on equal terms because products can be developed freely (no IPR or royalty, open documentation) that adhere to the standard and therefore is “compatible” with existing products in the market.
To ensure democratic rights of citizens to freely receive and send digital documents with public organizations without being tied to any proprietary standards. This assumption is that an open standard is not owned or controlled by a particular vendor and citizens therefore have a choice of products when communicating with the public sector. This requires that a wide range of products supports the “open standard”.