1. What is the need for Policy on Open Standards?

Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) has been assigned the responsibility for formulating standards for e-Governance systems in India, by GoI. Therefore, as a prerequisite, a policy was required, under the purview of which, standards could be formulated. The Policy on Open Standards should be applied to check the openness of each standard -- being formulated or adopted/ adapted from global standards-- identified for a particular domain.

2. Who is the audience for the Policy on Open Standards?

The DeitY Designated Body / agencies responsible for standardization / adoption of Standards must apply this Policy to check the openness of each Standard identified for the respective domain. All projects under e- Governance (G2C, G2E, G2G, G2B) shall adhere to this Policy. However other projects (B2B and B2C) are also encouraged to adhere to this Policy.

3. Whether the legacy system shall be modified to give Open interface for inter-operating with other systems?

Yes. The legacy system should be modified at interface level to ensure adherence to open standard, while interoperating with other systems. The interface of new systems, which are developed in accordance of open standards should NOT be modified to give non Open Standard-interface for inter-operating with legacy systems.

4. Will any Standard, with patent and free from IPR related encumbrance, be considered as Open Standard?

Yes, the Standard with patents can be considered as Open Standard if it adheres to mandatory characteristics of the Policy.

(Please refer Section 4.1 of Policy for mandatory characteristics for a Standard to be considered as Open Standard)

5. Should the future version of the selected Open Standard have backward compatibility

While upgrading to a new version of the selected Open Standard for an Area, the new version should ensure backward compatibility to the maximum extent for ascertaining interoperability. The new version should be considered for adoption if it is superior to the earlier version. An Open Standard is considered to be superior to another Open Standard in the same Area, if it is having better proven characteristics like technical and functional efficiency, stability, quality, maturity, proliferation and performance.

6. Explain the term “Technology Neutral Specifications”.

Technology neutral specifications are platform independent, where platform can be Operating System/Hardware/Data transmission devices, etc.

7. If extensions are made to a Standard without publishing it, how does this affect the main/primary Standard?

Open Standard from a not-for-profit organization allows creation of Open Extensions and/or Open Subsets. If some stakeholders create extensions / subsets without publishing, then these extensions / subsets shall not be recommended for use in e-Governance applications by Designated Body. However, the main/primary Standard can still be considered without these extensions / subsets.

8. What is meant by the phrase “Identified Standard should be recursively Open”?

The mandatory characteristics are applicable recursively to the normative references of the Identified Standard i.e. Standards which are essential for the implementation of a particular version of the Standard.

9. Explain the following terms with respect to Standards: a. Normative References b. Reference Implementations

The Normative reference(s) clause, while documenting a Standard, is an optional element that gives a list of the referenced documents cited in the document in such a way as to make them indispensable for the application of the document.

(Source: http://pdf.editme.com/pdfua-normative (link is external))
A reference implementation is, in general, an implementation of a specification to be used as a definitive interpretation for that specification. During the development of the conformance test suite, at least one relatively trusted implementation of each interface is necessary to (1) discover errors or ambiguities in the specification, and (2) validate the correct functioning of the test suite.

Characteristics of a Reference Implementation: (1) Developed concurrently with spec and test suite; (2) Verifies that specification is implementable; (3) Enables the test suite to be tested; (4) Serves as Gold Standard against which other implementations can be measured; (5) Helps to clarify intent of specification where conformance tests are inadequate.

(Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reference_implementation (link is external)


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