Are these guidelines mandated by the Government of India?
Yes. The "Guidelines for Indian Government Websites" was formally released in February, 2009 and has been included in the Central Secretariat Manual of Office Procedures (CSMOP) by Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances, Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievance and Pensions, Govt. of India. Central Services Manual of Office Procedure prescribes procedures to be adopted for use in the Government Functioning in order to increase productivity in work and provide responsive administration.The copies of the Guidelinese have also been circulated amongst all the central and state government departments.
Will the website get any certificate upon compliance to these guidelines?
These Guidelines have been framed with an objective to make the Indian Government Websites conform to the essential pre-requisites of UUU trilogy i.e. Usable, User-Centric and Universally Accessible. They also form the basis for obtaining Website Quality Certification from STQC (Standardisation Testing Quality Certification) an organisation of Department of Information Technology, Government of India.
Are these guidelines technical only?
No. These guidelines address the entire lifecycle of a website, web portal or a web application right from its conceptualisation to design, development, maintenance and management.
What are the benefits of making a website compliant to these guidelines?
Benefits of compliance to these guidelines are:
- Improve the overall usability quotient and technical competence of the Indian Government websites vis-à-vis International Standards.
- Facilitate Indian Government websites in achieving citizen-centricity while providing anytime anywhere delivery of government information and services.
- Formulate policies for sustenance and effective maintenance of the Indian Government websites through their life cycle.
- Achieve, in the long run, a certain degree of commonality and standardization across the Indian Government websites.
- Enhance the Government-Citizen Relationship
Who will assess the compliance of these guidelines?
Departments may use the compliance matrix included in the guidelines to self assess their websites for compliance. Compliance matrix lists all the mandatory guidelines in the form of a checklist. Departments may also submit their websites to STQC (Standardisation Testing Quality Certification) an organisation of Department of Information Technology, Government of India who will assess the website and award a 'Website Quality Certification' on compliance
Who updates these guidelines?
Based on the inputs/suggestions received through various channels recommendation is made to Content Advisory Committee (CAC). CAC further evaluates the recommendations and if found relevant, it is incorporated in the next version of Guidelines.
How to evaluate my website for compliance of the Guidelines for Indian Govt. Websites?
Guidelines are divided into three categories viz. mandatory, advisory and voluntary. Explanation and requirement of each of these categories is given as follows:
- Mandatory: The usage of term 'MUST' signifies requirements which can be objectively assessed and which the Departments are supposed to mandatorily comply with.
- Advisory: The usage of term 'should' refers to recommended practices or advisories that are considered highly important and desirable but for their wide scope and a degree of subjectivity these guidelines would have otherwise qualified to be mandatory.
- Voluntary: The usage of the term 'may' refers to voluntary practice, which can be adopted by a Department if deemed suitable.
A website has to fulfil the mandatory requirements( guidelines marked as MUST) for compliance.