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5.7 Multilingual Versions

India is a country with diverse cultures and as many as 22 languages. One of the major users of Government websites are common citizens with highly diverse demographic profiles. Due to the various initiatives taken by Centre and State Governments, as well as the private sector, Internet is now accessible even in the remote parts of the nation.

At present, a majority of the content in Government websites is in English, except few which have content in Hindi or one of the Regional languages. Thus, even though Government websites are accessible, they are still not usable. Hence, there is a need to put the information in Regional languages. Depending on the nature of the content and its prospective usage, content should be translated in desired languages and should be a part of the same website with prominent links. Technology for publishing the content in Indian languages is already quite developed and a large number of tools are available to support this.

5.7.1

Ideally all the pages on the website should be translated in Hindi or other Regional languages. In case it is becoming difficult to do so, Departments MUST identify the content which is widely accessed by the public and begin to put up such content in multiple languages. The web pages MUST use Unicode character set.

5.7.2

It MUST be ensured that the documents/pages in multiple languages are updated simultaneously so that there are no inconsistencies, at any point, between the various language versions. Prominent link to the bilingual version must be provided.

5.7.3

In case it is practically difficult to update the versions in all languages simultaneously due to delays on account of translation etc., the obsolete information should be removed from the site till the latest information is uploaded. In any case, a time stamp indicating the date of uploading the information and its validity should be put along with all the time sensitive documents.