India.gov.in is the Indian Government’s Web portal for Indian citizens. It presents a wide range of information resources and online services from various government sources, accessible from a single point. It is also known as the National Portal of India.
The Portal enables Indian citizens living anywhere to seek information on things that they would normally have to visit a Government office for. It explains the process of acquiring various Government documents like a passport or driving licence for all States in detail and provides the relevant forms online. India.gov.in has separate sections for people living abroad, business persons, government employees, senior citizens and children.
The Portal is also useful to foreign citizens, media persons and researchers searching for accurate information on India. It provides details of the people occupying high offices in India, the work completed by various ministries, press releases, demographics, tourism, cultural heritage and a lot more.
India.gov.in links to a multitude of Union, State, District and local level official websites and is the most comprehensive Portal about the Government of India with links to 6700 government websites. The website also has a feature that customizes the content displayed, based on a user’s individual profile and preferences. It is accessible by differently-abled people and users of handheld devices
The Portal has an average of around eight lakh website visitors per month. While most of these visitors are from India, around 28 per cent of these visitors come from foreign countries. Portal is also linked to Google web pages by over 15,300,000 web pages
India.gov.in was launched on 10 November 2005. It is a Mission Mode Project under the National E-Governance Plan or NeGP. The Portal is managed by the National Informatics Centre, which operates under the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. The National Portal of India is built from the ‘users’ or ‘citizens’ perspective, with information presented and categorized in a manner sought by general citizens.
A four-phased implementation strategy was devised for the creation of the Portal. Phase I saw the initiation of the Portal with work on essentials like conceptualization, designing the blueprint and creating technology architecture. The Second Phase saw the launch of the first version of the Portal, which comprised already existing information that was repackaged and presented in a citizen friendly manner.
During Phase III, dedicated infrastructure was set up, which included the launch of the Hindi version of the Portal, content personalization features and the introduction of a Content Management System. The last and final phase entailed making the content universally accessible, W3C compliant and providing seamless integration of the Portal interface with important online services already being provided by other government departments.
The content of the portal has been created through the combined efforts of various Government units at different levels of hierarchy as well as that of the core Project Team of National Informatics Centre.
India.gov.in provides website visitors with comprehensive content presented in a user friendly format, with access to more than 5000 services. Here are details about the major sections of the Portal.
Government Section – This part provides details about people holding high offices in the legislature, executive, judiciary and defence forces of India. It also has information about the Constitution, Parliament, Acts, Rules, Regulations and Schemes of the Government. A special corner for Government employees offers facts about recruitment, training, pension, housing and related topics. This section also provides a searchable contact directory, a database of Government websites and a lot more.
Citizen Section– This section is a storehouse of information on issues that matter the most to Indian citizens. It includes comprehensive information on topics like health, agriculture, education, employment, housing, senior citizens, law, tourism, banking and taxes. Each segment provides in depth details on various related topics as well as specific information on schemes, facilities, FAQ’s and Government hierarchy. It also includes valuable tips and links to important Government resources.
Overseas Section– Specially made for Non Resident Indians (NRIs), persons of Indian origin (PIOs) and foreign nationals, this section is a useful handbook to people wishing to visit or study in India. It has information on passports, visas, customs rules, travel advisories, embassies, educational courses, travel and so on. The segment on Indian Diaspora talks about schemes, awards and events available to them as well as a list of commonly asked questions.
Sectors – This section offers an overview of the work being done by thirteen Central Government Ministries and their various units. These are the Ministry of Agriculture; Water Resources; Finance: Commerce and Industry; Communications and Information Technology; Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution; Defence; Education; Rural Development; Transport; Science and Technology, Health and Family Welfare; and Environment and Forests.
Know India – Learn more about India through this section that offers an insight into the heritage, history, culture, geography, politics and demographics of the country. It also introduces the nation’s National Symbols, States, Union Territories, Districts and National Holidays. The Kids Corner and My India My Pride segments of this section work to educate citizens about the legacy of the country and create a feeling of patriotism.
Business Section – India.gov.in has a microsite for business related information at business.gov.in. Also known as the Business Portal of India, this section provides a step by step guide for new entrepreneurs and content on different aspects of doing business in India. The website also links to business related online services, provides forms of government departments and connects various business related government websites.
Current Information - India.gov.in is a useful source of timely and reliable information on different issues. It regularly offers live webcasts of important National events such as the Republic Day Parade and the Union budget of India. It also provides a news feed of latest news articles from Doordarshan, offers fresh press releases sourced from the Press Information Bureau and a list of announcements contributed by various Central and State departments.
How Do I – This section offers step-by-step guidance on getting various government documents such as drivers licence, caste certificate, marriage certificate, PAN Card and Passport. It also enables users to search through thousands of online services being provided by the Central and State Governments.
Spotlight – The Spotlight is a monthly feature that highlights an online service, scheme or event of the Government, which may be of unique significance to citizens. On certain occasions, India.gov.in may also bring out special Spotlights.
Newsletter – At the beginning of every month, India.gov.in sends out a Newsletter detailing the new offerings of the Portal and providing a summary of the latest publications, websites and press releases of the Government. Special Newsletters are also brought out to promote specific events like New Year’s Day and the Web Ratna Awards.
NGO Partnership System – A micro site launched earlier this year, this system provides a platform for social networking amongst Non Governmental Organizations(NGO) and other voluntary organizations doing social work and promoting various causes in India. It also enables them to apply online for grants against various Government schemes.
CIC Online – A micro site launched earlier this year to provides a platform for the citizen of India to lodge Online Complaint and/or Appeal under RTI Act to the Central Information Commission an adjucatory body for the Public Authorities under the Government of India. It also enables them to online check status of the petition using the Unique Identification Number. It is fully integrated with a twelve stage back-end workflow system to provide exact status of a petition. The site is fully compliant with WCAG 2.0 Level AA.
E-Greetings – The Portal has a large collection of E-greetings for various Indian festivals and National Holidays . It also has e-cards on monuments, culture, natural beauty and villages of the country.
Hindi Language Portal – The entire content of India.gov.in is also available in Hindi at Bharat.gov.in . This feature fulfils the requirement of the Hindi speaking populace, who needed easy-to-understand content in the local language. This content includes citizen centric information from various Government sources as well as the monthly Newsletter and Spotlight in Hindi.
Content Depository – The content depository is a storehouse of thousands of important documents, forms, contact directories, schemes, acts, rules and websites contributed by various Government Ministries and Departments at the Central and State level. The contribution of such content is facilitated by a modern Content Management System(CMS).
Accessibility Options – Both English and Hindi versions of the Portal are accessible to all visitors irrespective of any disability they may have or difference in the device or technology they are using. Such features, like descriptive text for links and images, keyboard browsing and ability to change text size enable better readability in screen readers, magnifiers and mobile phones.
Standardization – The Portal strictly adheres to the ‘Guidelines for Indian Government Websites’. It is also W3C compliant and is certified as a quality website by the Standardization Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) Directorate. The Scope of Approval of this certificate covers three ISO Standards - ISO 25051:2006 Software Engineering, ISO/IEC 9126-1:2001 Software Engineering and ISO/IEC TR 9126-2:2003 Software Engineering.
Web Ratna Awards– India.gov.in has recently instituted the Web Ratna Awards to recognize exemplary e-governance initiatives in the Government sector and to encourage their replication. Nominations were invited for six categories from all units of the Indian Government at the Centre and State level as well as Indian Missions Abroad.
India.gov.in and its micro sites has won numerous awards and other prizes. Here is a list of some of them -
- CIC Online received the ‘Best Project- G2G/G2C’ award for excellence in the CSI-Nihilent E-Governance Awards 2008-09 at the CSI Annual Convention in Pune (2009)
- The 'Government to Citizens Initiative of the Year' Award, in the eGovernance track, at the e-India Awards, 2009 held at Hyderabad.
- Best Paper Award at the 6th International Conference on E-Governance (ICEG-2008) with its paper titled, 'Stakeholder Empowerment through Participatory Governance: A Case Study'.
- Finalist at the Stockholm Challenge, 2008 (Public Administration Category)
- A paper on Citizen participation in the process of ICT enabled governance: A Case Study presented at the 1st International Conference on Electronics Government A Theory and Practice Macau, 2007.
- Best System Demonstration Award at the 9th International Digital Government Research Conference in Montreal, Canada, 2008.
- Best e-Content award at the Manthan Awards 2007 organised by the Digital Empowerment Foundation.
- Silver Icon Award in the Best Website Category at the 10th National E-Governance Conference held at Bhopal.
- ‘Best Project- Technology’ award for excellence in the CSI-Nihilent E-Governance Awards at the CSI Annual Convention in Kolkata (2006)
- ^  Compendium on NeGP MMPs
- ^  Hindu Business Line
- ^ Google Links
- ^ [http://inhome.rediff.com/money/2005/nov/10broad.htm Launch of India.gov.in
- ^ National portal of India among the finalist at Stockholm Challenge Event 2008
- ^ National Informatics Centre
- ^  Financial Express article on india.gov.in]
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