Anda di halaman 1dari 18


Write a short notes on Panchayati Raj System Panchayati Raj is a system of governance in which gram panchayats are the basic units of administration. It has 3 levels: village, block and district. At the village level, it is called a Panchayat. It is a local body working for the good of the village. The number of members usually ranges from 7 to 31; occasionally, groups are larger, but they never have fewer than 7 members. The block-level institution is called the Panchayat Samiti. The districtlevel institution is called the Zilla Parishad. Recommendations of Balwant Rai Mehta Committee. The Balwant Rai Mehta Committee was a committee appointed by the Government of India in January 1957 to examine the working of the Community Development Programme (1952) and the National Extension Service (1953) and to suggest measures for their better working. The recommendations of the committee were approved by NDC in January 1958 and this set the stage for the launching of Panchayati Raj Institutions throughout the country. The committee recommended the
Balwantrai Mehta (1899 1965) was the second Chief Minister of Gujarat. He was a freedom fighter, social worker and pioneer of concept of Panchayati Raj. He was a soldier in the Bardoli Satyagraha.

establishment of the scheme of democratic decentralisation which finally came to be known as Panchayati Raj. (i) Establishment of a 3-tier Panchayati Raj system - Gram Panchayat at the village level, Panchayat Samiti at the block level, and Zila Parishad at the district level. The Panchayat Samiti should be the executive body while the Zila Parishad should be the advisory, coordinating and supervisory body.


(iii) All planning and develop mental activities should be entrusted to these bodies. (ii) Genuine transfer of power and responsibility to these institutions. (iii) Adequate resources to all bodies to enable them to discharge their responsibilities properly. (iv) All social and economic development programmes are to be channelised through these agencies. (v) A system should be evolved to effect further dissolution and dispersal of power. These recommendations were accepted by the National Development Council in January 1958. ? Recommendations of Ashok Mehta Committee. In December 1977, the Janata Government appointed a committee on Panchayati Raj institutions under the chairmanship of Ashok Mehta. The committee submitted its report in August 1978 and made 132 recommendations. The recommendations of the committee are:

73rd Amendment and Women

The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act 1992 has given a new dimension to the process of womens empowerment in India. The Act provides: (1) Not less than one - third of the total number of seats reserved for SCs and STs in every Panchayats shall be reserved for women belonging to SCs or STs. (2) Not less than one - third of the total seats, to be filled by direct elections in every Panchayat shall be reserved for women and allotted by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat. (3) One-third of the total number of offices of Chairpersons in the Panchayats at all levels is also required to be reserved for women including women from the SCs and STs. Orissa was the first state in the country to implement 33% reservation of seats for women in Panchayats. Womans entry into the rural political system would ensure change in the political system of the village, the perceptions of the role of women and develop grass root leadership among women.

a) The 3-tier system of Panchayati Raj should be replaced by the 2-tier system: Zilla Parishad at the district level, and below it,the Mandal Panchayat consisting of a group of villages covering a population of 15000 to 20000. b) A district should be the first point for decentralisation under popular supervision below the state level. c) Zila Parishad should be the executive body and made responsible for planning at the district level. d) There should be an official participation of political parties at all levels of Panchayat elections. e) The Panchayat Raj institutions should have compulsory powers of taxation to mobilise their own financial resources. f) There should be a regular social audit by a district level agency and by a committee of legislators to check whether the funds allotted for the vulnerable social and economic groups are actually spent on them. g) The state government should not supercede the Panchayat Raj institutions. In case of an imperative supersession, election should

be held within 6 months from the date of supersession. h) The Nyaya Panchayats should be kept as separate bodies from that of development Panchayats. They should be presided over by a qualified judge. i) The Chief Electoral Officer of the state in consultaton with the Chief Election Commissioner should organise and conduct the Panchayati Raj elections. j) Development functions should be transferred to the Zila Parishad and all development staff should work under its control and supervision. k) The voluntary agencies should play an important role in mobilising the support of the people for Panchayati Raj. l) A minister for Panchayati Raj should be appointed in the state council of ministers to look after the affairs of the Panchayati Raj institutions. m) Seats for SCs and STs should be reserved on the basis of their population. Gandhian Concept of Panchayati Raj System. Gandhiji envisaged a Five-tier system. The

Village Panchayats, Taluk Panchayats, District Panchayats, Provincial Panchayats and AllIndia Panchayats. The administrative system envisaged by him was that of a pyramid whose broad base was composed of numerous village communities of the country. The higher panchayats shall render social advice, give expert guidance and information, supervise and co-ordinate the activities of the Village Panchayats for increasing the efficiency of administration and public service. But it would be the basic units that would dictate to the centre. The village shall become the real and moving unit of administration.

?The 73rd Amendment: major provisions

The 73rd Amendment gives village, block and district level bodies a constitutional status under Indian law. At the village level, the most important provisions relating to participation and accountability are those governing reservations and the Gram Sabha. Under the 73rd Amendment one-third of all seats must be reserved for women. Likewise, reservations for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) are made in proportion to their population. 1. The establishment of a three-tier PRI structure, with elected bodies at village, block and district levels (States with populations less than 2 million are not required to introduce block-level Panchayats); 2.The recognition that the Gram Sabha constitutes a deliberative body at The term panchayat raj is relatively new, having originated the village level; during the British administration. The word Panchayat means 3. Direct elections to Council of five. Raj literally means governance or government. five year terms for all Mahatma Gandhi advocated Panchayati Raj, a decentralized form members at all levels; 4. One-third of all seats of Government where each village is responsible for its own are reserved for affairs, as the foundation of Indias political system. His term women; reservations for such a vision was Gram Swaraj (Village Self-governance). for SCs and STs

proportional to their populations; 5. Reservations for chairpersons of the Panchayats Sarpanches follows the same guidelines; 6. State legislatures may provide reservations for other backward groups; 7. A State Election Commission (SEC) will be created to supervise, organise and oversee Panchayat elections at all levels; 8. A State Finance Commission (SFC) will be established to review and revise the financial position of the Panchayats on fiveyear intervals, and to make recommendations to the State government about the distribution of Panchayat funds. ? Notes on 74th Amendment Act The 74 th Constitutional Amendment Act, related to Municipalities came into effect on June 1, 1993. The Nagarpalika Act, i.e. the Constitution (74th Amendment) Act, 1992 has been enacted to accord constitutional recognition to the Urban Local Bodies as third tier of Government. In many States local bodies have become weak and ineffective on account of a variety of reasons, including the failure to hold regular elections, prolonged supersessions and inadequate devolution of powers and functions. Having regard to these inadequacies, it is considerednecessarythatprovisionsrelating to Urban Local Bodies are incorporated

in the Constitution particularly for- (i) putting on a firmer footing the relationship Panchayat Day is observed on the birthday of Balwant Rai Mehta between the State The number of Village Panchayat is largest in the state of Uttar Government and the Pradesh. Urban Local Bodies with respect to Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh were the first states to adopt the Panchayat form of rural Local Government. (a) the functions and taxation powers; and Collector is the pivot in the district administration. (b) arrangements for The Community Development Programme owed their origin to the revenue sharing; technical co-operation received in 1952 from United States (ii) Ensuring regular The elections of Panchayati Raj Institutions are being conducted conduct of elections; by State government. (iii) ensuring timely elections in the case of bring them supersession; and within the ambit of organised justice in India (iv) providingadequaterepresentationforthe was planned as part of the Panchayati Raj weaker sections like Scheduled Castes, reforms of Rajiv Gandhi in the 1980s. But it Scheduled Tribes and women. was not carried out. The bill on the issue is proposed to be debated in the winter session ? Fund Raising of Panchayats of the Indian Parliament. Certain states like The panchayats receive funds from three Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and sources Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Madhya i.) local body grants, as recommended by the Pradesh and Chattisgarh have already made Central Finance Commission; provisions for establishing Nyaya Panchayats. (ii) funds for implementation of centrally? Ministry of Panchayati Raj sponsored schemes, and (iii) funds released by the state governments In India, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj looks on the recommendations of the State into all matters relating of Panchayati Raj and Finance Commissions. Panchayati Raj Institutions. It was created in

? State Development Council

This is headed by the Chief Minister and consists of the entire Cabinet, Opposition Leader, Vice-Chairman of the State Planning Board, the Chief Secretary, all the District Panchayat Presidents who are also Chairperson of District Planning Committee and representatives of other tiers of local governments.

May 2004. The ministry is headed by a minister of cabinet rank. As of May 2008, the ministry is headed by Vilasrao Deshmukh. Ministry of Panchayati Raj is responsible for the work of advocacy for and monitoring of the implementation of Constitution 73rd Amendment Act the Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas)Act. The Ministry of Panchayati Raj will also be responsible for formulation and implementation of an Action Plan for seeing Panchayat Raj Institutions to emerge as Institutions of Local-Self Government

? Write about Nyaya Panchayat

A Nyaya Panchayat is a system of dispute resolution at village level in India. Legislation to formalise these bodies and

securing economic development and social justice in their respective areas.

? Kudumbasree Project

Kudumbasree is a major group initiative in Kerala aiming at women empowerment. Kudumbashree, the State Poverty Eradication Mission (SPEM) was launched by Government of Kerala in 1998. Kudumbashree project envisages self-help as different from the traditional subsidy-based approach. Kudumbashree envisages prosperity of the economically backward families in the state with multiple programmes that will provide them information, create awareness, build up their capability and capacity, enhance their confidence and show them opportunity for better social security and empower them physically, socially, economically and politically. Under the project, Neighbourhood Groups (NHGs) consisting of 15 to 40 identified families, each represented by a woman would be organised. Each Neighbourhood Group would have a five member elected committee functioning for a period of two years. The Neighbourhood Groups at the local level would be democratically organised. Area Development Societies (ADSs) at the level of Gram Sabhas and the representatives from the above would be organised into the Community Development Society (CDS) at the Gram Panchayat level. The Community Development Society will function as the informal bank of the poor financed by the commercial banks. Within a short span of 9 years Kudumbashree could bring about considerable change in the

that aims to rofit or ga niza tion -p or t-f no a is fo r ci tiz en Ja na agra ha di a by w or ki ng In in cy ra oc m aims to st re ngthen de ment. Janaagraha rn ve go l ca lo n ba participa tion in ur en ga gi ng lo ca l th e be ne fi ts of of s es en ar aw the G overnment sp re ad them and to lobby g tin ec el r te af ts endment to governmen extend the 74th Am to n tio sla gi le t ac cal ur ban of India to en e representative lo or m r fo a di In of the Constitution government.

Ja naa graha

lives of women of Kerala by converging resources, ideas and programmes of various departments through the CDS system.

Local Self-Government in Colonial Rule.

Lord Ripon (1882) was the first to initiate the decentralisation discourse during the colonial regime. His resolution stood for decentralisation of administration through the establishment of a large network of local selfgoverning bodies. Ripons schemes could not make itself much fruitful. Then came a series of efforts in the form of Committees, Commissions and Acts. Notable among them are: 1. The Royal Commission on Decentralisation 1907. 2. The Government of India Act, 1919 3. The Government of India Act, 1935 But the result was not remarkable, since no colonial rule can promote decentralisation in its real sense.

Panchayati Raj systems in Independent India

After the Independence, Community Development Programme was started in 1952, Balwantrai Mehta Committee tried to find out the cause for the failure of this programme and came up with the inference that there should be an organisation at village level, which would select the true beneficiaries and

implement various government programmes and schemes. Balwantrai Mehta tried to achieve local self-government though Panchayats. This concept of local self-government was the right step towards decentralized democracy. Rajasthan for the first time adopted the three leveled structure of Panchayati Raj at Village Level, Intermediate Level and District Level. In 1977, Ashok Mehta Committee was set up to review the working of Panchayats. The committee found out that Panchayati Raj is the soul of democracy and therefore it should be empowered with more authority. Those Panchayats which formed after 1977 are known as Second Generation Panchayats. During 1990, Central Government passed the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act in 1992, which became effective from 20th April 1993 (from the date of publication in the Gazette of India).

resource, By making decision for utilizing these resources, By formulating plans, By implementing plans, By evaluating plans Self-governance is a concept which is the base for success of democracy. And for selfgovernance Panchayati Raj System is essential.

What is the basic concept of Panchayati Raj? The basic concept of Panchayati Raj is that the villagers should think, decide and act for their own socio-economic interests. Selfgovernment allows us to decide about ourselves without hampering others interest. Collective interest on one side and social and national interest on the other side. The state government plays major roles to support the village Panchyats and to coordinate the village Panchayats. They will ensure the implementation of this system. Self reliance is a must for the success of SelfGovernment. Every village must produce according to its capacity and try to increase its capacity. Self reliance can be achieved in following ways. By identifying economic and human resources of the Panchayat area, By estimating the capacity of these

Panchayat and Environment 73rd Amendment Act has not mentioned the term Environment in the Schedule IX, but out of the 29 duties some are related to environment in one way or the other, these are Agriculture, including agricultural extension. Land improvement, implementation of land reforms, land consolidation and soil conservation. Minor irrigation, water management and watershed development. Social forestry and farm forestry. Minor forest produce. Small scale industries including foodprocessing industries. Khadi, village and cottage industries. Rural housing. Drinking water. Fuel and fodder. Non-conventional energy sources. Education including primary and secondary schools. Health and sanitation, including hospitals, primary health centers and dispensaries. Maintenance of community assets. Government of India, has set up ENVIS Centre on Panchayati Raj and Environment at Indian Environmental Society (IES), Delhi under the ENVIS scheme with the following objectives:

To develop facilities for collection, compilation and dissemination of information related to environment and rural development to the Panchayats. To develop networking of Panchayati Raj Institutions and work as connecting link between Ministry and Panchayats. To provide regular input to Panchayat about latest happenings in the field of environment through Newsletter, other resource material and training programmes. To conduct training programmes on various crucial issues of environment and related areas prevailing in Panchayats.

IES publish a quarterly newsletter named Panchayat to disseminate various environ mental news, government schemes and other information useful for empowerment of Panchayats and grass root people. Important features of Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension Scheduled Areas) Bill 1996

Important features of Provisions of the Panchayats (Extension Scheduled Areas) Bill 1996 are following: State Legislations that may be made shall be in consonance with the customary law, social and religious practices and traditional management practices of community resources. Every village shall have a Gram Sabha, shall be vested with the powers to approve the programmes and projects for social and economic development as also identification of beneficiaries under such programmes. Panchayats at the appropriate levels shall be endowed with ownership of minor forest produce. The Gram Sabha or the Panchayat at the appropriate level shall be consulted for granting prospecting licences or mining lease

for minor minerals and their prior recommendation obtained for acquisition of land in the Scheduled Areas for development projects or for resettlement of project affected members of the Scheduled Tribes. Panchayats at the appropriate level and the Gram Sabha shall have the power to prevent alienation of tribal lands and to take appropriate action to restore any unlawfully alienated land of a Scheduled Tribe, have powers to regulate money lending to the members of the Scheduled Tribes, to manage village markets and to enforce prohibition or to regulate or restrict sale and consumption of any intoxicant. State Legislations shall endow the Panchayats at the appropriate levels with specific powers and provide safeguards to prevent Panchayats at the higher level from assuming the powers and authority of Panchayats at the lower level or of the Gram Sabha. The offices of the Chairpersons in the Panchayats at all levels shall be reserved for the Scheduled Tribes. The r eservation of seats at every Panchayat for the Scheduled Tribes shall not be less than one-half of the total number of seats. Revitalisation of Panchayat in 1980s. A committee under the chairmanship of G.V. K. Rao (ex-member of Planning Commission) was appointed on 25th October, 1985 for revitalisation of Panchayat institutions. The recommendation of the committee are as follows: District should be the basic unit for policy planning and programme implementation. Regular elections should be held to the Panchayati Raj Institutions.
The concern of the Indian states for revitalisation of the Panchayats in all states

was heard during mid-1980s when Rajiv Gandhi was the Prime Minister. The government appointed a Committee under L.M. Singhvi to suggest measures for revitalisation of Panchayat institutions. The 8 member Committee headed by Dr. L.M. Singhvi was instituted in June 1986. It recommended (i) Reorganisation of villages, viable for more financial resources (ii) Setting up of judicial tribunals in each State to adjudicate controversies in relation of the functioning of PRIs (iii) For Constitu tionalisation of Panchayats and looked at the system as a vehicle for homogenisation and socialisation of national goals. The government approached Parliament in 1989 for amending the Constitution to constitutionalise Panchayats, and make them more powerful and broad-based. But the Bill evoked sharp public protests because there were many features which sought to tighten Central control. Hence it was subsequently withdrawn. The V.P. Singh government made an attempt to push through the Bill after deleting the controversial sections. But the government was too short lived to do this. The Narasimha Rao government was able to enact the 73 rd (Constitution Amendment) Act, 1992 meant for Constitutionalisation of Panchayats. This marked a watershed in the history of the village self-government in postcolonial India.

the government accepted the recommendations and ordered for the formation of panchayats, it failed to perform as efficient institutions.

The Royal Commission on Decentralisation 1907. The Royal Commission on Decentralisation (1907) under the chairmanship of C.E.H. Hobhouse recognised the importance of panchayats at the village level. It recommended for the formation of panchayats in all villages in India. Eventhough

Gandhijis idea of Grama Swaraj Gandhiji believed that India lives in villages. As such he stressed the need of improving the lot of villages and making each village an independent entity. He thought that the right kind of local self governments with effective participation of people can make use of the locally available resources to convert each village into a self sufficient unit. Gandhijis ideas greatly influenced the later visionaries who gave concrete shape to Panchayat Raj Institutions in India. Santhanam Committee K. Santhanam Committee was appointed to look solely at the issue of PRI (Panchayati Raj Institution) finance, in 1963. The Committee made the following recommendations: panchayats should have special powers to levy special tax on land revenues and home taxes, etc., people should not be burdened with too many demands (taxes), all grants and subventions at the state level should be mobilised and sent in a consolidated form to various PRIs, a Panchayat Raj Finance Corporation should be set up to look into the financial resource of PRIs at all levels, provide loans and financial assistance to these grassroots level governments and also provide nonfinancial requirements of villages. Tribunal for Local Governments in Kerala The Government of Kerala constituted the Tribunal for Local Self Government Institutions to hear appeals and revisions as

State Finance Commission

The Governor of a State shall, after every five years, constitute a Finance Commission to review the financial position of the panchayats. It shall make the following recommendations to the Governor. The Principles which should govern the distribution between the States and the Panchayats of the net proceeds of taxes, duties, tolls and fees levied by the State. The Principles which should govern the determination of taxes, duties, tolls and fees which may be assigned to the Panchayats. The Principles which should govern the grants-in-aid to the Panchayats from the Consolidated Fund of State. The measures needed to improve the financial position of the Panchayats. Anyother matter returned to the Finance Commission by the Governor in the interest of sound finance of the Panchayats. The State Legislature may provide for the composition of the commission, the required qualifications of its members and the manner of their selection. The Governor shall place the recommendations of the commission along with the action taken report before the State Legislature. The Central Finance Commissioner shall also suggest the measures needed to augment the Consolidated. Fund of State to supplement the resources of the Panchayats in the States (on the basis of the recommendations made by the Finance Commission of the State). The Presidebt of India may direct that the provisions of this Act shall apply to any Union Territory subject to such exceptions and modification as he may specify. The Act does not apply to the States of Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram and certain other areas. These areas include the Scheduled Areas and the Tribal Areas referred to in Article 244 of the Constitution, the hilly areas of Manipur for which a District council exists and Darjeeling District of West Bengal for which Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council exists. The State Legislature may make provisions with respect to the maintenance of the accounts by the Panchayats and the auditing of such accounts. The date of commencement of this Act was 24th April 1993. per the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act 1994 and the Kerala Municipality Act 1994. The headquarters of the Tribunal is at Trivandrum. Creation of a Tribunal for adjudication of conflicts between local governments and the citizens is an important step for solving disputes. Any person aggrieved can submit an appeal or revision against a notice order or proceedings of the Village Panchayat or Municipality or its Standing Committee for Finance or the Secretary in respect of any matter specified in the schedule appended to the Tribunal for Kerala Local self Government Institutions rules.

G.V.K. Rao Committee The G.V.K. Rao Committee was appointed to once again look at various aspects of PRIs. The Committee was of the opinion that a total view of rural development must be taken in

which PRIs must play a central role in handling people's problems. It recommended the following PRIs have to be activated and provided with all the required support to become effective organisations, PRIs at the district level and below should be assigned the work of planning, implementation and monitoring of rural development programmes, and the block development office should be the spinal cord of the rural development process.

the Rabi (Winter) crop. The quorum for the meeting is one-fifth of the total membership. Who are the functions of Grama Sabha? The functions of the Grama Sabha are as follows a. to approve the budget for the year; b. to consider new taxes which the Grama Panchayat may like to levy; c. to review the audit report of the last years accounts of the Panchayat; d. Grama Sabha elects the Grama Pradhan as well as the members of the Grama Panchayats; e. If the President or the Vice President are not working properly, they can be removed from their offices, provided two-thirds of the members of the Grama Sabha pass a resolution to that effect; f. it oversees all other activities regarding the village. Grama Panchayat Gram panchayats are local selfgovernments at the village or small town level in India. The gram panchayat is the foundation of the Panchayat System. A gram panchayat can be set up in villages with minimum population of 300. The Sarpanch or Chairperson is the head of the Gram Panchayat. The elected members of the Gram Panchayat elect from among themselves a Sarpanch and a Deputy Sarpanch for a term of five years. In some places the panchayat president is directly elected by village people. The Sarpanch presides over the meetings of the Gram Panchayat and supervises its working. He implements the development schemes of the village. The Deputy Sarpanch, who has the power to make his own decisions, assists the Sarpanch in his work.

What is the present position of Panchayatiraj system? There are about 3 million elected representatives at all levels of the panchayat one-third of which are women. These members represent more than 2.4 lakh Gram Panchayats, about 6,000 intermediate level tiers and more than 500 district panchayats . Spread over the length and breadth of the country, the new panchayats cover about 96 per cent of India's more than 5.8 lakh villages and nearly 99.6 per cent of rural population. This is the largest experiment in decentralisation of governance in the history of humanity. What is Grama Sabha?
Grama Sabha means a body consisting of persons registered in the electoral rolls relating to a village comprised within the area of Panchayat at the village legel. Article 243 A provides that the Grama Sabha may exercise such powers and perform such functions at the village level as the Legislature of a State may by law provide. The Grama Sabha has atleast two meetings in a year, the first after the harvesting of the Kharif (summer) crop and the second after

The President and the Vice President of the Grama Sabha are the ex-officio members of te Grama Panchayat. What are the powers and functions of the Grama Panchayats? Under Articles 243G-243H of Schedule XI of the Constitution the Panchayats have been entrusted with many responsibilities in regard to matters listed in the XIth Schedule which contains 29 items (inserted by 73rd Amendment). Their main functions are as followsi. Obligatory Functions They include a) provision of safe drinking water which involves construction and maintenance of public wells and tanks; b) for health care facilities, Panchayats must set up dispensaries and health centres; c) arrangements for primary education; d) upkeep of roads, foot paths and culverts; e) good drainage; and f) street lights. ii. Discretionary Functions If their resources permit the Panchayats can undertake the following activities plantation of trees; levelling the ground by filling up the pits; setting up the insemination centres for cattle; helping villagers at the time of famines; maintaining libraries and the reading rooms. Developmental Functions The Eleventh Schedule speaks of a number of developmental activities, such as minor irrigation schemes; preparation and execution of agricultural plans; rural electrification anti non-conventional energy programmes; vocational education;

e) cottage and small scale industries including food processing industries; f) rural housing g) poverty alleviation programmes; and h) welfare schemes for weaker and handicapped sections of society. iv. Regulatory and General Administrative Functions The Panchayats perform a number of administrative functions as well. These are registration of births, deaths and marriages maintenance of watch and ward service collection of records and statistics; maintenance of the common property of the villages; and helping the government in maintaining law and order.

a) b) c) d) e)

v. Judicial Functions An important function of the Panchayats is to secure speedy and inexpensive justice to the villagers. At some places, Panchayat itself acts as a court, whereas in other States Nyaya Panchayat is a separate institution which only administers justice. The jurisdiction of nyaya panchayats (or Panchayats) varies from State to State. However, a Panchayat tries only petty civil suits relating to movable property and minor offences. Offences such as petty thefts, trespass, unauthorised occupation of public places, cheating and assault fall within the jurisdiction of a panchayat. The Panchayats have no power to imprison a person, they can only fine upto Rs. 1000. What do you mean by Panchayat Samiti and what are its functions? At the Block level, there exists the Panchayat Samiti to co-ordinate the activities of all the Village Panchayats in each Block. Block or Panchayat Samitis are known by different names in different states. Rural Development is broad-based

a) b) c) d) e) iii.

a) b) c) d)

programme which includes many things like employment programmes, proper wages for the landless workers, public health education and literacy and development of communications. Broadly speaking, the functions of a Panchayat Samiti are of three kinds. i. Civic facilities and Developmental functions. These are as follows: Rural Health Programme Rural Water Supply, Rural Roads and Regulation of Markets Functions relating to agriculture, animal husbandry and fisheries Development of Cotton Industries Social Welfare Rural Employment ii. Supervisory functions iii. Delegated functions What is Zila Parishad and What are the functions of the Zila Parishad? Zila Parishad is an apex body under the Panchayati Raj. It co-ordinates the activities of the various Panchayat Samitis. The functions of the Zila Parishad may be classified as follows: Co-ordinating and Supervisory function The Zila Parishad supervises the activities of the Panchayat Samitis and the Grama Panchayats. It co-ordinates the developmental plans prepared by the Panchayat Samiti in the district. The Zila Parishad examines and approves the budgets of the Panchayat Samitis. Advisory and Financial Functions The Zila Parishad tenders advice to the State government regarding needs of the people in rural areas. It receives funds from the Union or State government which it distributes among the Panchayat Samitis. Developmental Functions The Panchayati Raj institutions at all levels will undertake many developmental functions such as irrigation schemes, rural electrification, poverty alleviation programmes and public distribution

system, etc. The District Board will now be expected to play a much greater role in the development of its area and people. Notes on Muncipal Corporations The Municipal Corporation is the top most urban local government. It is set up under a special statue passed by the State Legislature, except in Delhi. The corporation comprises of members called Councillors. These Councillors are elected on adult franchise. The size of the Council varies from State to State, as it is primarily related to the population of the city. The term of the Council varies from three to five years. Who is a Mayor? The mayor is elected annually from among the members of the corporation. He is the first citizen of the city. He presides over the meetings of the Corporation and guides its deliberations. He regulates the conduct of business at such meetings. He has access to all the records of the Corporation. He obtains reports from the Commissioner on administrative matters. He is the proper channel of communication between the Commissioner and the State Government.

Who is a Municipal Commissioner?

He is appointed by the State Government. His salary and service conditions are fixed by the State Government. His salary is paid out of Municipal funds. He may be replaced by the State Government or at the recommendation of the Corporations Council. He is placed at the apex of the Municipal administrative hierarchy. He is entrusted with the entire administrative machinery under his direct control, giving the necessary guidance and direction. He performs all the duties imposed or conferred upon him under the Act. He takes part in the discussions of the Council meetings. But he has no right to vote and move

resolutions in the meetings. He is the custodian of all municipal records. As head of the administrative machinery, he distributes the entire office work among the different departments. He writes personal file of each and every staff member. He inflicts punishments for offences committed by the Staff. What are the functions of Municipal Corporation? The obligatory functions are 1. supply of wholesome water and construction and maintenance of water works. 2. Supply of electricity. 3. Road transport services. 4. Construction, maintenance, naming and numbering of public streets. 5. Lighting, watering and cleansing of the public streets and other public places. 6. Scavenging, removal and disposal of rubbish. 7. Construction, maintenance and cleansing of drains and drainage works and public latrines, urinals etc. Discretionary functions 1. construction of public parks, gardens, libraries, museums, theatres, akharas and stadium 2. Public housing. 3. Planting and care of trees on roadsides and elsewhere. 4. Relief to destitute and disabled persons. 5. Destruction or detention of ownerless dogs or stray pigs and animals causing a nuisance. 6. Playing of music for people. 7. Civic reception of VIPs. 8. Registration of marriages. 9. Survey of buildings and lands. 10.Organisation and management of fairs and exhibitions.

Write a short note on Notified Area Committee? Notified Area Committees (Nagar Panchayat) are set up in towns having a population of less than 10 thousand. Their formation was notified by the Government in the State Gazette and hence they were known elected by all the adult citizens registered as voters in the Committee area. A few members may, however, be nominated by the State government. The members of the Committee elect their own Chairman. The day-to-day business is transacted by the Secretary. Seats would be reserved for SCs, STs and women. The notified Area Committees normally perform these functions: construction of roads, provision of medical facilities, maintaining primary schools and maternity centres, supply of electricity and registration of births and deaths. Their sources of income are the same as those of a Town Area Committee. What is Cantonment Board? Cantonment Boards have been set up in those areas where armed forces personnel are living. There are at present 62 Cantonment Boards in the country. The Cantonment Board comprises elected, nominated and ex-officio members who function under the administrative and financial control of the Army General Officer in Command. The term of the elected members of the Cantonment Board is 5 years. The Cantonment Boards look after the health, welfare and security of the people living there. They also see that important services such as water, electricity or gas are provided for every one. Cantonment Boards are being funded by the Ministry of Defence. With the prior approval of the Government, they could impose such taxes as are being levied by the Municipalities.

What is Improvement Trust? Apart from the Municipal Corporation, an Improvement Trust or a Development Authority is also constituted in large cities. The main objective of an Improvement Trust is to properly plan all types of constructions buildings, roads, shopping centres, flyovers and bridges in a city. Some representatives of the Municipal Committee are always associated with the Improvement Trust. Some of the Trust members are nominated by the Government.


Kerala Panchayat Raj Act 1994 The Panchayat Raj-Municipality Act on the basis of 73 rd and 74th amendments of the Constitution came into force in the State on 23rd April 1994 and 30th May1994 respectively. As per the provisions made in the Act a number of powers and responsibilities and projects of the Government were transferred to the local self-governments with effect from October 2, 1995. The Kerala Panchayati Raj Bill was adopted by the legislative Assembly on May 22, 1994. It replaced the then existing laws governing village Panchayats and district councils, viz the Kerala Panchayat Act 1960 and the District Council Act 1991. The Act gives constitutional and legal validity to the Panchayat Raj System in Kerala and ensures rights, responsibilities, devolution of powers and financial .independence to the Panchayat Raj Institutions in Kerala. It is provided that the people have the right to know the full information regarding the administration of the local self-government bodies and withholding of information is made punishable. The procedure to get information is also provided.

Describe the Panchayati Raj system adopted by Kerala Panchayat Raj Act 1994. The Act created a three-tier structure of Panchayats at the village, Block and District levels. Direct Election is being held for each of the three tiers. It is provided in the Act that the grama sabhas in the Panchayat should meet at least once in three months and the meeting of the quorum should be 10%. The powers and duties of the sabha have been increased. As in the grama sabhas of the panchayats, in municipalities where the population is less than 1 lakh, there is provision for forming ward sabhas in each ward. The grama sabhas/ward sabhas have power to discuss budget, Audit report, plan documents, estimate of public works. Provision is also made that Panchayat president/municipal chairperson shall be a full time member. They are empowered to suspend any other person, subject to enquiry, under the local self-government bodies. Control was placed on the power of the Government to dissolve panchayat/municipal councils. Only after ascertaining the opinion of the ombudsman can the panchayat/ municipal councils be dissolved. It is also provided in the act that grant should be given to the local self government bodies according to the specific yardsticks. In this matter an annual report should be submitted to the Governor and a copy be placed before the Assembly. Standing Committees in the Panchayati Raj System in Kerala. All Village and Block Panchayats have three Standing Committees and the District Panchayat five Standing Committees. The Standing Committees are constituted in such a way that every Member of the Panchayat gets a chance to function in one Standing Committee or the other. Each Standing

Committee is assigned certain subjects and these Committees are expected to go into the subject areas both at the planning and implementation stage in great detail. For the purpose of co-ordination, a Steering Committee is constituted consisting of the President and Vice President of the Panchayat and the Chairpersons of Standing Committees. In addition, there are Functional Committees for different subjects which can include experts and practitioners and the Panchayats are free to constitute Sub Committees to assist the Standing Committee or Functional Committee. There is also provision for constitution of Joint Committees with neighbouring Local Governments.

Any person aggrieved can submit an appeal or revision against a notice order or proceedings of the Village Panchayat or Municipality or its Standing Committee for Finance or the Secretary in respect of any matter specified in the schedule appended to the Tribunal for Kerala Local self Government Institutions rules. State Development Council This is headed by the Chief Minister and consists of the entire Cabinet, Opposition Leader, Vice-Chairman of the State Planning Board, the Chief Secretary, all the District Panchayat Presidents who are also Chairperson of District Planning Committee and representatives of other tiers of local governments. Ombudsman for local self government in Kerala. It is an independent quasi judicial authority which investigates the complaints against local governments in Kerala or the functionaries working under them. Ombudsman is functioning at the State level with its Head Quarters in the State Capital. Ombudsman started functioning in the year 2000 as a 7 member body with a Retd. Judge of the High Court as its Chairman. The objectives of Ombudsman for Local Governments are to deal with corruption and mal-administration in local governments in Kerala. The Ombudsman can look into instances of favouritism, nepotism, lack of integrity, excessive action, inaction, abuse of position, etc. on the part of officials and elected representatives of all local governments (Corporations, Municipalities, and Panchayats of all three levels) in Kerala. Ombudsman can even register cases suo moto if instances of the above kind come to his notice.

What is the role of State government in the local self government The amended Kerala Panchayat Raj & Municipality Acts drastically reduces the powers of direct governmental control over Panchayat Raj Institutions. The Government can cancel resolutions of the Panchayat only through a process and in consultation with the Ombudsman or Appellate Tribunal according to the subject matter of the resolution. Similarly a Panchayat can be dissolved directly by government, only if it fails to pass the budget or if majority of its members have resigned. In all other cases a due process has to be followed and the Ombudsman has to be consulted before dissolution takes place. Describe Tribunal for Local Governments in Kerala. The Government of Kerala constituted the Tribunal for Local Self Government Institutions to hear appeals and revisions as per the Kerala Panchayat Raj Act 1994 and the Kerala Municipality Act 1994. Creation of a Tribunal for adjudication of conflicts between local governments and the citizens is an important step for solving disputes.

State Election Commission Besides conducting election to the local self government bodies, the powers like division

of wards, reservation of wards, disqualification of peoples representatives, implementation of Prohibition of Defection Act etc. are vested with the Election Commission. In no other state in the country the Election Commission has been vested with this much of power. The Election Commission has been given powers which go beyond those required for the conduct of elections. It is empowered to involve in delimitation of Wards as a member of the Delimiation Committee. Delimitation of wards was formerly done through the executive. The Commission has been given powers to disqualify defectors. State Finance Commission State Finance Commission is the Constitutional body of experts on public finance and public administration appointed by each state government at regular intervals of five years. The Commission review and revise the financial position of panchayati raj institutions and urban local governments. State Finance Commission is appointed for five years to make recommendations for the distribution of fund between the State and Panchayats. Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) It is an autonomous training, research and consultancy organisation constituted under the Ministry of Local Self Government, Government of Kerala, registered as per Travancore Cochin Literacy, Scientific and Charitable Societies Act-1995. KILA was established in 1990, with the main objective of strengthening decentralization and local governance. Write notes on Swaraj Trophy The Government have decided to congratulate the panchayats that do exemplary work in the conduct of administration and development. They will be given state level and district level swaraj trophy and cash prize. The panchayats are selected for award on the basis of general conduct of administration, collection of revenue, performance of village

assemblies, planning, peoples participation, transparent and efficient execution, physical achievement, distribution of social security pension etc.

Describe importance of Kerala Grama Panchayat Association. Kerala Grama Panchayat Association is an association of Grama Panchayaths. It is formed under the Kerala Government Order on 29th December 1966. All Grama Panchayaths are affiliated to the Grama Panchayath Association.The Kerala Grama Panchayath Association has responsibility in strengthening decentralization process and local governance in Kerala. For the purpose, the association organizes necessary research activities, Studies and conduct discussions, seminars, training etc Kerala Panchayati Raj Acts since 1994 Transfer of powers and functions to local governments; along with institutions, offices and functionaries on October 1995. Introduction of a Special Budget Document for local government allocations on February 1996. Peoples Plan Campaign launching on August 1996. Comprehensive Restructuring of the Kerala Panchayati Raj Act and the Kerala Municipality Act made on March 1999. Amendments to 34 Acts having relevance to local government functioning on March 2000. Transfer of district level offices and staff to District Panchayat on July 2000. Kerala Panchayat Raj (Constitution & Utilisation of Distress Relief Fund) Rules 2003. Kerala Panchayat Raj (Preparation of Citizen's Charter) Rules 2004. Kerala Municipal Building Rules Implementation in Grama Panchayats: Notification on 6th June 2007 Kerala Panchayat Buildings Rules 2011

Salient Features
Three Tier System: Panchayats shall be
constituted at (a) The Village level (b) The Intermediate level (c) The District Panchayat at the district levels. The State/Union Territories having a population not exceeding 20 lakhs have been given the option of not constituting panchayat at the intermed-iate level. Composition: The elections of all the Members to Panchayats at all levels will be direct. The electorate has been named Grama Sabha consisting of persons registered in the electoral rolls relating to a village comprised within the area of the Panchayat. The elections in respect of the post of Chairman at the intermediate and district levels will be indirect. The mode of elections of Chairman to the village level has been left to the state governments to decide. Reservation of Seats: Reservation of seats for SCs/STs has been provided in proportion to their population at each level. Not less than 1/3rd of the total membership has been reserved for women and these seats may be alloted by rotation to different constituencies in a Panchayat. Duration of Panchayat: The term of office Panchayat at every level shall be for five years. If dissolved earlier or on expiry of the term, elections must be conducted within six months from the date of dissolution or expiry. Qualifications for Membership: Article 243 F provides that all persons who are qualified to be chosen to the state Legislature shall be qualified to be chosen as a member of a Panchayat. The only difference is that a person who has attained the age limit of 21 years will be eligible to be a member (in state legislature the prescribed age limit is 25 years). Powers and Functions of Panchayats: State Legislatures confer on the Panchayats such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as institutions of selfgovernment (Articles 243G - 243H). Thus they may be entrusted with the responsibility of: a) Preparing plans for economic development and social justice b) Implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice. c) In regard to matters listed in the 11th Schedule. The list contains 29 items, e.g. land improvement, animal husbandry, fishery, minor irrigations, education, woman and child developments etc. Financing of Panchayats: The act has dealt with this subject in three parts. (a) Mobilisation of Resources: Panchayats are authorised to levy and collect appropriate suitable local taxes. It is also provided for making grants - in - aid to the Panchayats from the Consolidated Fund of the concerned State. (b) Periodical review of the financial position of Panchayats: A State Finance Commission has to be constituted once in every five years to review the financial position of the Panchayats and to make suitable recommendations to the state on the distribution of funds between the State and the local bodies. (c) Audits and Accounts of the Panchayats: The Act left it over to the States to make provisions with respect to the mainten-ance of accounts by the Panchayats and the auditing of such accounts. Benefit of Decentralisation: 1. Effectively minimizes corruption: Due to transparency in all matters of local institutions there is hardly any chance of corruption. 2. Reduce governmental expenditure 3. Democratic decentralisation accelerates the process of development in all areas. 4. Ensures peoples participation at local levels. The potentialities of thousands of unemplo yed men and women available in the village can be harnessed for socially useful projects. State Election Commission: Art. 243 K of the Constitution provides for an Election Commission in respect of the Panchayats. Powers of superintendence, direction and control of elections to the Panchayats, including prepartion of electoral rolls shall vest with the State Election Commission. The State Election Commissioner is to be appointed by the Governor and can only be removed in the same manner and on the same grounds as that of a judge of a High Court. The State legislatures have the power to legislate on all matters relating to elections to Panchayats.

History of Panchayati Raj

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Art. 40 deals with organisation of villages. The fifth entry of the state list of the seventh schedule to the constitution deals with Local Government. Balwant Rai Mehta Committee - 1957 - recommended democratic decentralisation and three -tier Panchayat Raj System. K. Santhanam Committee - 1963, appointed to look solely at the issue of PRI (Panchayati Raj Institution) finance. Ashok Mehta Committee . 1977- recommended two tier system and reservation for SC and ST. G.V.K. Rao Committee . 1985 L.M. Singhvi Committee - 1986 recommended that P.R. Institutions must be constitutionally recognised. 64th amendment bill introduced during Rajiv Gandhis reign, but was a failure. V.P. Singh Govt. reintroduced the Bill in 1989, but a failure. The Constitutional (73rd Amendment) Act, passed in 1992 by the Narasimha Rao government, came into force on April 24, 1993. This act added part IX and schedule eleven to the constitution. This gave constitutional status to Panchayati Raj institutions. The act contains 29 functional items under Art. 243.G The act has given life to Art.40 a directive principle. The Act provides for a Gramma Sabha as the foundation of the Panchayati Raj system. The act envisages a three -tier system Village level, Intermediate level, District level. All the members at the village, intermediate and district levels are elected directly by the people. However chair persons to the intermediate and district levels are elected indirectly. The act provides for reservation for SC & ST in proportion to their population. one third of total number of seats is reserved for women. The act gives five year period to panchayati at every level. The conduct of election to panchayats is vested in the state election commission. The Governor shall after every five years constitute a finance commission to review the financial position of panchayat. This act does not apply to the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram. The commencement day of this act is 24th April 1993. The 74th Constitutional Amendment Act, related to Municialities came into effect on June 1, 1993. The act (Nagarapalika act) has been enacted to accord constitutional recognition to the Urban Local Bodies as third tier of Government.


Orissa was the first state in the country to implement 33% reservation of seats for women in Panchayats. State Election Commission is entrusted with the duty of the preparation of electrol rolls, conduct of elections to the Panchayat etc. State Finance Commission is the Constitutional body of experts on public finance and public administration appointed by each state government at regular intervals of five years. The Commission review and revise the financial position of panchayati raj institutions and urban local governments.