7.2 Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a style sheet language used to describe the presentation of a document written in a markup language. Its most common application is to style web pages written in HTML and XHTML. The CSS specifications are maintained by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Its current specifications is CSS3.

CSS is used by both the authors and readers of web pages to define colours, fonts, layout, and other aspects of document presentation. It is designed primarily to enable the separation of document content from document presentation. This separation can improve content accessibility, provide more flexibility and control in the specification of presentational characteristics, and reduce complexity and repetition in the structural content. CSS can also allow the same markup page to be presented in different styles for different rendering methods, such as on-screen, in print, by voice (when read out by a speech-based browser or screen reader) and on Braille-based, tactile devices.

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Advantages of using CSS include:

  • Presentation of information for an entire website or collection of pages can be held in one CSS file, allowing global changes to be propagated quite conveniently.
  • Web browser software can store a copy of the CSS file in the computer’s cache, so that it doesn’t have to be downloaded each time the user views a web page that references it, hence improving the access time.
  • Different users and screen reader can have different style sheets: for example a large text alternative for visually impaired users or a layout optimised for small displays for mobile phones.
  • The document code is reduced in size and complexity, since it does not need to contain any presentational markup.


Therefore Indian Government websites should use Cascading Style Sheets to control layouts/styles and MUST make the interface responsive to cater to a wide range of screen sizes.


Websites that use style sheets should ‘degrade’ gracefully so that the site remains fully functional even if the stylesheet settings are ignored. Therefore the Web pages in Indian Government websites MUST have the same logical order without the style sheets as they have with the style sheets.