Maharashtra Government Portal – A Gateway to Maharashtra Government and State related information
- Written by eMaharashtra
- April 9, 2012 at 7:50 pm
Registration Name: eMaharashtra 2012
Project Category: eGov :: Best Government to Citizens (G2C) Initiative of the Year
Project Name: Maharashtra Government Portal – A Gateway to Maharashtra Government and State related information
Details of Applicant :
Name: Ravindra Dhamnikar
Address: 7th Floor, Mantralaya, Mumbai
Zip Code: 400 032
Details of Project/Implementing Agency:
Name of Organisation: Directorate of Information Technology
Address: General Administration Department, 7th Floor, Mantralaya, Mumbai
Zip Code: 400 032
Name of the Head of Organisation: Shri Rajesh Aggarwal
Web : www.maharashtra.gov.in
Brief description of the programme/project/initiative :
The State Government of Maharashtra was amongst the first states in Indiathat had an online presence. In 1998 they had launched their own website, www.maharashtra.gov.in , to interact with and disseminate information to citizens. Subsequent technology changes and greater focus on e-governance prompted the Government to undertake the activity of redesigning and redeveloping the website.
In its latest avatar, it is a comprehensive, citizen-centric and user-friendly portal that not only disseminates timely and accurate information but also provides a platform for citizens to engage with the government online through various applications which are part of the several e-governance initiatives in the state. The portal provides comprehensive information about:
- The activities, e-governance initiatives, departments and profile of the state (History, Geographical Profile, Principal Cities, Maps, Districts and Local bodies etc.)
- The Government Resolutions, Tenders, Rate Contracts, RTI related information, and Cabinet Decisions.
- MaharashtraNews, Acts and Rules, Citizen Charters, Forms, List of Government Schemes for Citizens, Government Officials Directory
- Message and news from the His Excellency Governor’s desk, Honorable Chief Minister and Honorable Dy. Chief Minister’s desk. This is a platform provided for the top leadership of the state government machinery to interact with the citizens.
- Career and Opportunities
- External government websites
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why was the project started?
- With greater focus on e-governance, a single gateway to state’s information and quick access to e-Governance initiatives/ applications was needed
- Needed a comprehensive, citizen-centric, user-friendly platform to engage with citizens/ businesses/ visitors
- There was a challenge of guiding people through vast amounts of information on offer. The stakeholders needed to find the information they wanted and hence derive the value in the system.
- The earlier implemented website technology had become obsolete. The new portal needed to leverage the latest technologies available.
- The earlier system was difficult to update and had performance issues.
- Promote a cutting edge branding to prospective visitors (users) ofMaharashtraas a State that stands for progressive economy, governance and tourism.
- Create a comprehensive, citizen-centric, user-friendly platform to engage with citizens/ businesses/ visitors, provide updated information and access to key e-Governance applications for the state.
- Create an effective information architecture that enabled all user groups to step logically through a system and create confidence by getting the right information true to their requirement.
- Enable ease of use for all users, making the site easily understandable, searchable and navigable.
- Creatively use graphics to convey information and help user take decision.
- Create a design pattern that is complimentary, flexible and distinctive. The flexible nature of design to ensure that content can be added over time to the site without costly redesign to the interface.
Target Group: The various stakeholders include the Citizen, Business Organizations or Non Government Organizations, Maharashtra Government employees and Tourists/ Visitor Citizens. It also serves as an internal website to the employees of the department in the state.
Geographical reach: The reach of the portal is Global, since its over the web
Date from which the project became operational : Feb-2002 2. After Re-designing from August-2011
Is the Project still operational : Yes
10 points that make the programme/project innovative:
1. The portal has its information architecture designed and structured keeping in mind the various stakeholders. The information architecture focuses on defining the structure of a system taking into considerations the business context, the content and the users i.e. the way information is grouped, the navigation methods and terminology used within the system. Thus, the website is more intuitive and it is easier to access the right information to all user segments.
2. The information architecture is easily searchable and organizes information easily.
3. It has good design and branding of the state government.
4. Localization: The website can be viewed in Marathi or English. The website launches by default in Marathi.
5. Accessibility Font Toolbar has been provided in compliance with W3C web standards. This will enable the user to increase the size of text for comfortable reading.
6. The users of this site with visual impairments can access the Portal using assistive Technologies, such as screen readers.
7. It is accessible over the internet – anywhere and anytime at the convenience of the user and is built using the latest Microsoft SharePoint technology. It also caters as an internal website for the department officials.
8. Content Management System (CMS): Department users upload various content like Government Resolution, Tenders, Rate Contracts, Cabinet Decisions, What’s New, etc. onto the website through CMS
9. The portal also provides opportunity to citizens to access and participate with government via the content and facilities provided online.
10. All the departments and its related information and links are provided on the department page for the user to easily navigate to the required information in few clicks. It also provides links to other state e-governance applications launched by various departments such as e-scholarship, e-Pani, Aadhar, MahaOnline – citizen e-service, Application Status etc.
List 5 achievements of the programme/project:
- The portal presents a unified interface to disseminate the state information in an easy and user-friendly manner.
- Earlier system was difficult to update and its performance was low. The new portal is very easy to update because of a good content management system. The portal is available 24 x 7.
- It provides easy access to several applications that are launched by various departments to service the citizens in a timely and transparent manner.
- It has brought clarity and transparency in accurate information sharing. The latest information is provided on the website at all times.
- It has increased Government-Citizens-Business interaction and engagement bringing in operational efficiency and making it easier for the Government to provide its services to citizens and businesses effectively.
List 5 key challenges faced while implementing the programme/project/initiative and how they were overcome?
- Guiding people through vast amounts of information on offer was a key challenge. The stakeholders found it difficult to find the information they wanted and hence did not derive the value in the system which otherwise should have been leveraged. The information architecture has a persona-based design which makes contextual grouping simple and easy to navigate.
- Content was to be made available in Marathi and English. It was imperative to have this on time for the on-time launch. The web coordinator of the department was responsible for providing the content. Interacting across departments to ensure accuracy of information provided was the key.
- Enhanced user interface was difficult to accept by end-users since they were used to the old website. Appropriate training and hand-holding helped us overcome this challenge
List 5 points on how the programme can serve as a model that can be replicated or adapted by others?
- It’s important for a state portal provide the information in an easy, user-friendly manner increasing transparency of information. Other states can replicate the approach followed for the website design and architecture.
- Localization is important. The earlier system did not have multi-lingual support. The new website is available in Marathi and English.
- Accessibility Font Toolbar is provided here for better accessibility by the user. It is important for all websites to provide the same keeping the user convenience in mind.
- Users also include those with visual impairments and websites should be designed in a manner to make it easier for them to get the information required. It’s important for all websites and portals to provide this.
- Information architecture is one of the most important element of any website or portal. Key considerations should be the business context, the content and the users while designing the same to make the website more intuitive providing the user with ease and good experience
List 5 points to elaborate on the scalability of the programme/project/initiative :
- The design pattern is complimentary, flexible and distinctive. The flexible nature of design ensures that content can be added over time to the site without costly redesign to the interface.
- Adding content on the website is completely left to the department. They can design their department page as they desire. Dependency on the programmer has been greatly reduced
- The system uptime is 99%
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