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4.2 Primary Content

Primary Content forms the main focus of any Government website as it comprises of the information for which the citizen has visited the website. Examples are information about the Department, Schemes and Programmes, Contact Information, Forms, Documents, Tenders etc. Broadly, the following sub categories encompass most of the Primary Content that ought to be made available on an Indian Government Website.

4.2.1 About

(Ministries/Department/State Govt./Organisation/District Administration)

This essentially refers to the content describing the owner Department of the website and comprises the following information:

  • Profile
  • Mission/Vision Statement
  • History/Background
  • Departments/Divisions/Cells
  • Role/Functions/Responsibilities/Activities
  • Agencies under the Administrative Control
  • Organisational Structure
  • Who’s Who

This content should be reviewed frequently to ensure delivering accurate and updated information. All information concerning the Legislative/Government officials MUST always be kept up to date.

4.2.2 Profile of a Sector/Region

Some websites/portals shall also be required to include a section on the overview of sector(s) they deal with, naming all information concerning that sector present on their website or website of other Government entities working in that sector. This should be made accessible to give a comprehensive view to the visitors.

Similarly some of the portals are required to publish profile of a region e.g. National Portal publishes a profile of India. States Portals should publish a profile of the respective States while District websites should publish a profile of their respective district.

Detailing of this segment should be done by each Department and included in their web content policy. Policy must also include the frequency/event of updation as well as officers responsible for updating this content.

4.2.3 Programmes & Schemes

The Government Departments at the Centre and State have welfare programmes and schemes benefiting the individuals, groups of citizens (e.g. women, persons with disabilities etc.) or community at large running in different regions and sectors across the country. Information about all such schemes of the Centre as well as State Governments is included in this category. These schemes could be Centrally Sponsored, or being run by the State/District Administration itself. It is important to note that these schemes should be directly benefiting the individuals, special interest groups of citizens (e.g. widows, persons with disabilities etc.) or the community at large. Also, information should only be highlighted with regard to those schemes which are currently active and ongoing, and not about schemes which are no longer open/available to the public.

  1. The complete official title of the Scheme MUST be reflected and should be self-explanatory. The correct title would lead to an accurate search output for information on that scheme and it would be easy for the users to locate it. Any abbreviation in the title should be expanded.
  2. This site should enlist all those who are eligible to receive benefits under the scheme e.g. women, children, persons with disabilities, poor etc. Also, the details of the eligibility criteria for availing those benefits should be clearly mentioned.
  3. Information should be given about whether the scheme entails monetary or nonmonetary benefits. Also, what are the specific kinds of non-monetary benefits that can be availed e.g. Subsidy, Training, Land Allotment, etc.
  4. Procedure to be followed, whom to contact, supporting documents to be carried etc. for availing benefits under the scheme MUST form a part of this content. e. For schemes that are valid for a particular period of time, the validity of the scheme MUST be mentioned so that the information could accordingly be moved to archives after the expiry date.

4.2.4 Services

A large number of citizen services are being provided by various Ministries, Departments and State/UT Governments. Information about these services as well as the interface to access and use them (if it is available online) should be made available on their websites.

  1. It is important to clearly understand what constitutes the term ‘services’ in this context. Information about all services provided by the Government, whether fully online, partially online or available offline but whose description and details exist online can be called services. For example, if the complete details about how to apply for a birth certificate in a particular State are given along with the facility to download the requisite application form, it shall be categorised as a Service. However, just information about things like a programme of any Department, or access to some searchable database without any service associated will not constitute a ‘Service’.
  2. The complete title of the Service MUST be reflected and should be self-explanatory. The correct title would lead to an accurate search output for information on that service and it would be easy for the users to locate it. Any abbreviation in the title should be expanded.
  3. The websites should prominently display the most often used/accessed services, so that visitors can locate and access them quickly.
  4. The website MUST provide a complete description of what the service is, how is it useful for the citizens, how it can be availed, who is eligible to avail the service, who is to be contacted and during which hours. This is important for the common citizens to understand the significance of the service and the steps to be followed for availing it.
  5. If the service is delivered online then it should be developed as a web service so that other websites and portals can access it seamlessly, subject to authorisation of the owner Department. All online services should be made available through the Government Services Portal. (https://services.india.gov.in)

4.2.5 Application Forms

Visitors to Government websites want fast, easy service at 24x7 basis. They do not want to wait until an organisation is open for business. They do not want to wait in line to get forms and documents to avail the desired service. Therefore, all application forms existing in the public domain and meant for applying for licenses, certificates, scholarships, grants, services, information, loans, utilities etc. should be published on the concerned Government website for the convenience of citizens.

  1. All Forms must be provided in an accessible format. The format along with the file size must be mentioned in the download link. (Ref. Section 7.4.2)
  2. The title of the form MUST be clearly indicated and should be self-explanatory and devoid of any abbreviations which may render it incomprehensible. The correct title would lead to an accurate search output for information on that Form and it would be easy for the users to locate it. Also, in case the Form is popularly known by a number (e.g. Form 16 for Income Statement or Form 4 for Driving license), the same should also be mentioned along with the title.
  3. It should be specified whether the language of the form is English, Hindi or any other Regional language. In case of the latter, the name of the concerned language MUST be mentioned clearly. If the form is bilingual/multilingual, it is important to mention the languages in which it is available.
  4. Information assisting the user in filling up the application form should also be provided such as where to submit and supporting documents to attach etc.

4.2.6 Documents/Reports

  1. All documents developed/published and issued in the Public Domain by Government Departments, Ministries, State/UT Governments, Public Sector Units and Organisations must be published on the website. The following list gives an idea of the category of Government documents that can be covered under this:
    • Five-year Plan documents
    • Annual Reports
    • Budget Documents
    • Guidelines by Government
    • Citizen Charters
    • Census Documents
    • Survey Outcomes/Reports
    • Statistical Reports etc.
  2. This content should be reviewed regularly to ensure the accuracy and currency of the information.
  3. The complete official title and date of the document MUST be mentioned on the website. The correct title would lead to an accurate search output for that document and it would be easy for the users to locate it. For example: ‘Policy on Promotion of Tourism in the State of Manipur’ is a more appropriate title than just ‘Tourism Policy.’ Any abbreviation in the title should be expanded and the title should not be formulated on just a document number/date.
  4. In case any reference to a document of another Government Department is given, it should be clearly specified as with whom lies the ownership of the document i.e. which is the exact Ministry/Department at the Central or State level which has produced/published/issued the concerned document.
  5. It should be specified whether the language of the document is English, Hindi or any other Regional language. In case of the latter, the name of the concerned language MUST be mentioned clearly. If the document is bilingual/multilingual, it is important to mention the languages it exists in.
  6. It is important that if the document is valid only for a certain time period, the validity MUST be clearly mentioned on the site. In fact, the document should be removed or moved to the archives after expiry of the validity period.
  7. Documents must be made available in an accessible format. (Ref. Section 7.4.2)

4.2.7 Circulars/Notifications

There are various Circulars/Notifications that are released from time to time by the Indian Government at the Central or State level. Information about all the Circulars/ Notifications of the Centre as well as State Governments should be made available on the respective websites.

  1. The official title of the Circular/Notification MUST be mentioned and should be self explanatory. The correct title will also help in accurate search output for information on that circular and thus, it would be easy for the users to locate it.
  2. The ownership of the concerned circular should be specified i.e. Ministry/ Department and also the level i.e. Centre/State etc.
  3. Circulars/Notifications must be made available in an accessible format. (Ref. Section 7.4.2)
  4. If the Circulars/Notifications are valid only for a certain time period, the validity MUST be clearly mentioned on the site. In fact, the Circulars/Notifications should be removed or moved to the archives after expiry of the validity period.

4.2.8 Tenders

As directed by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) all Government and Public Sector Procurement/Tenders/Notifications issued by the Central and State Governments and other public bodies across India for goods, services and works MUST be made available/linked through the websites.

4.2.9 Recruitment

All Indian Government websites MUST provide complete and transparent information on their recruitment policies for the benefit of those who would like to join the Government and serve the nation. In case the recruitment is through some Central or State level examination or recruitment agency such as UPSC, SSC etc. that should be highlighted along with a link to respective pages of those organisations’ websites. In either of the cases information about the recruitment should abide by the following guidelines.

  1. The title of the recruitment notice MUST be self-explanatory.
  2. This site MUST enlist all those who are eligible for a particular recruitment. Also the details of the eligibility criteria should be clearly mentioned.
  3. All required application forms should be made available on the website so that the interested person can download and submit the same.
  4. Procedure to be followed, whom to contact, supporting documents to be carried etc. for the particular recruitment MUST form a part of this content.
  5. All currently open vacancies may be highlighted on the Homepage of the website.
  6. All recruitment notices should also be registered with the National Portal for wider access by target audience.
  7. Information for those recruitment notices in which the last date is over must be either removed or moved into the archives section.

4.2.10 News and Press Releases

News having national importance and significance for the Citizens as well as Government Press Releases issued by Departments and organisations at the Centre and State level should be published on the website of the concerned Department. News and Press Releases should carry the date and should be organised as per the Archival Policy of the website. News and Press releases should be published in RSS format so that associated offices and Departments can also consume them on their websites with due permission or based on their access policy.

4.2.11 Contact Information on Government Websites

Citizens would like to contact any Government Department or entity to ask questions, get information, seek clarifications or sort out problems. Therefore it is essential that Government websites provide them with the means to do that.

  1. All Indian Government websites MUST have a ‘Contact Us’ page, linked from the Homepage and all relevant places in the website.
  2. The ‘Contact Us’ page should be categorised according to the various divisions handling different kind of queries; e.g. grievance redressal, file status, procedural details etc.
  3. The contact details for the Important functionaries in the Department MUST have the telephone numbers/fax numbers, postal address as well as email address along with the timings specified for personal/public dealing (if applicable). The content policy of the department should enlist the functionaries whose details are to be given on the contact us or who’s who/directory page.
  4. There should be a clear-cut policy for redressal (correction) of inaccurate information found on the website. The contact details of the Web Information Manager, who is overall responsible for the content on the website, should be provided.

4.2.12 Presence on the National Portal

Mechanism should be in place to ensure that metadata for all important information and Services, have been provided to the National Portal.