In addition to Beckn’s test run in Kochi, the central government is also working on its own open protocol network for online retailers.
The state government of Kerala is looking for integrate all traffic-relevant facilities merged into a single network with the help of the Beckn Foundation, which was co-founded by Nandan Nilekani, a report in Mathrubhumi. The city of Kochi was selected for the test run because it offers all public transport from bicycles to the subway.
Why is it important? The app apparently facilitates cashless transit across multiple public means of transport, with citizens being able to use every service with a single open mobility network app. According to the KMTAs website, all mobility apps in the network are structured in such a way that they can communicate with each other in the same language. This will allow citizens to book seats on ferries, subways, buses and even rent bicycles. It is also expected to help citizens find parking spaces and charging stations for electric vehicles (EV).
The process is to be carried out in Kochi with the Yatri app
The program will be piloted in Kochi under the Kochi Metropolitan Authority (KMTA). Kochi Open Mobility Network (KOMN) is introduced according to the open protocol published in Beckn’s Concept paper.
The “Yatri” app developed for taxi drivers is starting the test run for the first phase of KOMN. According to a report in The Hindu, dRivers do not have to pay any commission to the promoters of the Yatri app. An official told the newspaper that over 1,000 drivers, most of the members of five unions represented in Kochi have enrolled with Yatri. He continued to explain that all cars operate according to the tariff set by the government with no room for additional tariffs.
Mathrubhumi reported that in addition to logistics, other services will gradually be integrated into the app. The apps that will eventually be embedded in KOMN are:
- Metro of Kochi (Kochi1)
- AuSa (AutoSavari) prepared for drivers
- Vandi app for buses
In addition, the KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) and the boats of the Kerala State Water Transport Department will also be connected to this network.
The Mathrubhumi report also stated that public and private transport facilities as well as all service providers related to commuting will be integrated into KOMN. In addition, small retail stores in one place that cannot afford a merchandise marketing app can use KOMN to deliver products to their customers.
Sujith Nair, CEO and co-founder of Beckn, in a Thread on twitter, said that KOMN is an open network with no center. “Power is shifting to the edge of the network, to the only edges that matter – the driver and the provider, with no one in the middle piling up all of the power,” he added.
What is Beckn’s Open Protocol?
The non-profit organization Beckn is “an open protocol that makes it possible to discover location-based, local trade across all industries and to activate it through Beckn-enabled applications,” he said Website.
ON report in Entrackr Beckn described it as a UPI-like open specification for trade and mobility. It adds that the protocol works as an integrated marketplace that provides a level playing field for new players and established businesses that Beckn can use to reach more customers. At the end of 2019, Nandan founded Nilekani together with Pramod Varma and Sujith Nair Beckn.
Nilekani has been involved in the implementation of many government technology initiatives: he is the Founding chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), the government agency that issues Aadhaar cards, and the head of TAGUP, a government advisory group that deals with the technological aspects of financial projects such as GST and TIN.
Government plans its own open network
The central government also wants to develop its own open protocol under ONDC (Open Network for Digital Commerce). It is a digital project launched in 2020 by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) to develop an open UPI-like architecture for the e-commerce landscape. Recently a nine-member committee was set up to advise the government on actions needed to design and accelerate the adoption of ONDC.
The project is supposed to be Set protocols for operational aspects of e-commerce such as cataloging, vendor discovery and price determination, and standardize the process of onboarding retailers in e-marketplaces as well as the delivery and delivery of products via online channels. These processes will be open source to ensure that the platform can be used by all online retailers as compared to proprietary processes and technologies of e-commerce companies.
The project in containment digital monopoly, following complaints of misconduct and monopoly tendencies from existing e-commerce companies such as Amazon and Flipkart. Small retailers, both online and offline, have accused these companies of prioritizing related sellers over others.