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In a welcome move, the Madras High Court has launched its revamped website, now compliant with the Guidelines for Indian Government Websites (GIGW) brought out by the Indian government in consultation with the National Informatics Centre (NIC).
The GIGW was framed after consultation with the Content Advisory Committee (CAC) with the intention of ensuring uniform standards of presentation, usability and accessibility of Indian government Websites. In order to be fully compliant with the GIGW, there are 115 mandatory parameters that should be adhered to.
These criteria are also in tune with the web standards prescribed by international bodies like International Standards Organisation (ISO) and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
The GIGW assumed particular significance after a writ petition was filed in the Madras High Court in 2015, calling for the Court’s intervention in ensuring that government websites are compliant with the same.
In response, the First Bench headed by then Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul had issued orders between 2015 and 2017, directing the authorities to ensure the same within a time frame.
These directions seem to have finally borne some fruit, now that the Madras High Court has achieved the distinction of being the first among Indian High Courts to be compliant with the GIGW.
For its effort, the Court has also obtained a Website Quality Certificate by the Standardisation Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) Centre, Kolkata.
The initiative was carried out by the team manning the Computer Committee of the High Court, under the charge of Justice Rajiv Shakdher, who will soon be departing for the Delhi High Court after his 21 month stint at the Madras High Court.
The revamped Madras High Court website has incorporated measures to facilitate access to differently-abled people, with assistive technologies like screen reader and colour contrast mechanisms for visually impaired people, transcript of audio for the hearing-impaired, etc.
In October last year, the Madras High Court had inaugurated its Digitization Centre, another venture that had been initiated by Chief Justice Kaul before his departure, and thereafter taken over by Justice Shakdher.