Metaverse Standards Forum

GS Paper – 3 Scientific Innovations & Discoveries, Indigenization of Technology, Technology Missions.

Why in the news?

Several businesses recently gathered to form the Metaverse Standards Forum, which will design interoperability standards to propel the metaverse’s growth.

What exactly is the Metaverse?

The notion of the metaverse is not new; science fiction writer Neal Stephenson created the phrase in 1992, and it is widely used by video game developers.

The Metaverse is the next generation of the Internet that focuses on social interaction.

It is a simulated digital environment that incorporates Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), and blockchain, as well as social media concepts, to build spaces for rich user interaction that mirror the actual world.

It can be imagined as a 3D virtual world with ever-changing characteristics that its residents jointly share – a virtual world with real-time happenings and an internet infrastructure.

In principle, it incorporates everything that occurs in the real world and will provide real-time events and updates in the future. The user resides in a borderless virtual environment.

What precisely is the Metaverse Standards Forum?


The metaverse concept is still in its early stages, but interest in virtual and augmented worlds is propelling the emergence of many metaverse projects.

In response to the increased interest in the metaverse, the Metaverse Standards Forum was formed “to support the development of open metaverse standards.”

“Open Standards” are public standards that are established (or authorised) and maintained through a collaborative and consensus-driven approach. “Open Standards” are intended for widespread adoption and promote interoperability and data interchange among various products or services.

The internet is interoperable thanks to HTML, and the metaverse requires a similar interface for users to freely traverse between virtual worlds.


Its goal is to investigate the interoperability required to run the metaverse.

Interoperability is the driving reason behind the open metaverse’s growth and adoption.

It will prioritise pragmatic, action-oriented projects such as implementation prototyping, hackathons, plugfests, and open-source tooling to speed metaverse standard testing and adoption.

To broaden the online realm, it will also provide consistent terminology and deployment criteria.

What is the Importance of Metaverse Interoperability?

Interoperability provides the metaverse with support for many project features and activities.

This consistency is critical in creating a smooth user experience from one metaverse project to the next.

Companies can create completely interoperable projects by adhering to open interoperability standards and norms, allowing them to combine their programming interfaces with other projects.

To make the metaverse work, a set of universally agreed upon protocols must be in place, just as Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) enabled the Internet to go live four decades ago.

Such protocols allow us to connect to a WiFi network from our homes and offices without having to change our equipment.

They are the outcome of open standards. The metaverse’s full potential will be realised only if it is built on open standards.

Proponents of the metaverse refer to it as the Internet’s future, with 3D at its centre. And, in order to completely imitate the digital world, 3D interoperability must be achieved.

What role can India play in the creation of the metaverse?

India Is Ready for the Metaverse:

Since 2015, India has risen nearly 40 places in the Global Innovation Index, placing 46th overall.

India has a robust entrepreneurial culture that has recently undergone substantial expansion.

This environment is aided by a number of favourable consumer trends, such as rising disposable income, increased smartphone adoption, and low-cost mobile data.

New Digital Infrastructure:

Over the last decade, India Stack has emerged as a collection of technology projects, including the national digital identification and payments infrastructure, that have ushered a new era of financial inclusion in the country.

India’s intentions to employ blockchain applications for e-governance includes a proposal for the Reserve Bank of India to issue a blockchain-backed Digital Rupee beginning in 2022-23.

The government has also declared that it will hold spectrum auctions to enable the implementation of 5G mobile services, which should increase demand for cloud applications such as gaming and the metaverse.

The Changing Regulatory Environment:

While India appears to have the technical, demographic, and policy foundations for the metaverse, the operational problem of establishing the metaverse remains.

If India is to take the lead, deal flow in the private sector must accelerate.

The new Union Budget imposes a 30% tax on revenue derived from the transfer of Virtual Digital Assets (VDAs), which might include cryptocurrencies and potentially Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

While the tax would imply acknowledgement of cryptocurrency as a regulated asset, it does not legalise cryptocurrency ownership, which can be accomplished by appropriate legislation.

Aside from crypto, the metaverse raises legislative concerns about how privacy and security should be addressed.

Unwanted contact may grow more obtrusive and prevalent in the metaverse, exacerbating online hazards.

Governance methods for virtual worlds would need to be supplemented by increased and scaled-up initiatives to promote digital literacy, safety, and wellbeing, so that users may participate meaningfully in online communities while actively navigating hazardous content and behaviours.

The Hindu

IT Act sec 69A: when social media content is blocked

GS Paper 2: Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.


Twitter filed a lawsuit against some of the government missives, requiring it to remove particular content.

Section 69 (A) of the Information Technology Act: Section 69 (A) of the Information Technology Act of 2000 empowers the Centre to issue blocking orders to social media intermediaries.

Blocking order can only be issued for:

  • India’s sovereignty and integrity are at stake.
  • Defence of India
  • Security of the state
  • Friendly relations with foreign states
  • Public order
  • For preventing inducement to commit any cognizable offence linked to the foregoing.

Procedure: Any request made by the government is forwarded to a review committee, which issues these instructions. Blocking orders made under Section 69 (A) of the IT Act are usually private.

What is the purpose of Twitter’s lawsuit?

According to Section 69 (A) of the Act, many of the blocking orders are procedurally and substantively deficient:

Failing to notify users before removing content posted by them.

Meity has failed to demonstrate how some of the content it wants removed is covered by Section 69. (A).

Some of the content highlighted by the ministry may relate to official accounts of political parties, and removing them may violate the right to free expression.


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