OOXML Reconsidered for e-Governance in India

The Department of Information Technology (DIT), Government of India has drafted a fresh policy on open standards for e-Governance that may lead to a reconsideration of the department’s earlier decision to reject Microsoft’s document format, OOXML, as an open standard format.

The draft has provision for multiple standards, which can allow OOXML, used to save digital documents, to be accepted as a standard open format, besides the existing open document format (ODF) developed by the Open Document Alliance group. The draft said that a domain should have a single open standard. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) rejected OOXML as a standard document format in March 2008 (see ‘foss time in India’, Down To Earth, April 30, 2008). This step was in agreement with the policy of single standards recommended by the committee. Currently, odf is the only document format accepted by the centre. Renu Budhiraja, director of e-Governance division, DIT, modified this draft and has sent to various DIT officials for approval.