5.5 International Conventions

Web as a medium transcends all geographic and physical boundaries. Obviously therefore, the target audience of any website could be multicultural with highly varied demographic backgrounds. It should be ensured that the content of every Indian Government website takes international and cultural conventions into account.


Currency: The mention of Indian Currency should be uniform across all Indian Government Websites. As per international convention, any monetary value in terms of Indian currency may be described as INR (Indian National Rupee or Rs.).


Time: To mention timings in any context, the IST (Indian Standard Time) should be used and if possible, the standard reference of it with respect to the more widely known internationally GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) may be mentioned.


Phone Numbers: The format for mentioning the phone numbers should be according to international conventions (+Country Code - Area Code- Phone No.) and uniform across all Indian Government websites. e.g. +91-11-2430XXXX.


Date: The format for date across all pages of Indian Government websites should to be dd/mm/yyyy to ensure uniformity.


Holidays: Holidays and Work Hours may vary between geographical areas and cultures and hence the websites should provide and clarify information taking into account the culturally specific terms. Time zone variations as well as workday variations should be considered in this context.


Icons: Icons can be international symbols or may be culturally dependent. Icons may be accompanied by text to assist individuals who are not familiar with the icons. Icons that present meaningful information must be accompanied with alternate text to assist persons with visual impairment. (Ref. Section 6.6.3)


Hemispherical: Some references are hemispherically oriented. Winter means something different in the northern hemisphere than it does in the southern hemisphere. Equating seasons to months should be avoided. Note that references such as “west” or “east” may be culture-or hemisphere-specific.


Postal/Physical Address: When presenting or collecting address information, country, state and postal/pin code should be included. It is important to know that postal codes across Countries vary in format, and validation code should take this into consideration. It may be useful to collect Country, State or Postal/ PIN Code information before other information to minimise the user entry required, although it may not be made compulsory as many users may not know details such as PIN Code.

Though it is preferable to follow international convention, however if for some reason there is a deviation the same should be highlighted in the ‘help’ section.