National Informatics Centre has developed the Guidelines for Indian Government Websites (referred as GIGW) here after) as an initiative under the National Portal of India Project. GIGW is adopted by Department of Administrative reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG).
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 Guidelines have also been circulated amongst all the central and state government departments.
Guidelines address the entire lifecycle of a website, web portal/application right from its conceptualization to design, development, maintenance and management. Apart from providing the information to every citizen usability, consistency and accessibility are taken into consideration while drafting the guidelines. Most of the guidelines are similar to W3C WCAG 2.0 standards while taking accessibility into consideration.
Guidelines are divided into three categories. mandatory, advisory and voluntary.
- 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.
I will try to provide detailed explanation with techniques to achieve an GIGW standard portal in specific to the guidelines that are related with web accessibility in the coming blogs.