Panchayati raj system in India; what is Panchayati raj

Panchayati raj system in India; what is Panchayati raj – The Panchayati Raj system is a unique feature of Indian Democracy. Local self-government bodies give people the opportunity to participate in decision making. Political decentralization is good for the welfare of the people in any democracy. Panchayati Raj system made an extraordinary change in countries. It helps to connect the people towards democracy. people get more connected to democracy.

Evolution of Panchayati Raj System in India

Local self-governments existed in ancient India. Until the time of Mughals, villages were self-sufficient and they were governed by panchayats. Panchayats were degraded during the British rule with the aim of destroying local autonomy and strengthening the central government. Later, an attempt was made to reorganize the Panchayats from 1882 onwards.

The committees appointed for Panchayati raj system are as follows:

  • Balwant Rai Mehta Committee
  • Ashok Mehta Committee
  • G V K Rao Committee
  • L M Singhvi Committee

  • Balwant Rai Mehta Committee
  • The Balwant Rai Mehta Committee was set up by the Government of India in 1957 under the chairmanship of Balwant Rai Mehta.The purpose of the committee was to examine the work of the Community Development Program and the National Extension Service, as well as to suggest improvements.

    Recommendations of Balwant Rai Mehta Committee

    1) 3 Tier panchayatiraj system – i) Gram Panchayat, ii) Panchayat Samiti iii) Zillha Parishad
    2) Appointment of District Collector as Chairman of Zilla Parishad.
    3) Democratically decentralization of local government

  • Ashok Mehta Committee
  • Ashok Mehta Committee was appointed by Government of India in 1977 to come up with new ideas for strengthening the Panchayati Raj system in India and to find solutions to the flaws in the system.

    Recommendations of Ashok Mehta Committee

    1) Two-tier panchayati raj system – i) Zilla Parishad at the district level, ii) the Mandal Panchayat (Group of villages)
    2) Participation of political parties in Panchayat Elections
    3) Panchayat Raj Institutions should have the power to levy taxes.
    4) Seats should be reserved for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes on the basis of their population

  • G V K Rao Committee
    • G V K Rao Committee was appointed by Government of India in 1985

  • L M Singhvi Committee
  • L M Singhvi Committee was appointed by the Government of India in 1986

    Features of Panchayati raj system in India

    The Panchayati Raj system in India is a decentralized form of government that aims to promote local self-government and grassroots democracy. It was launched to empower rural communities and enable them to participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives. Features of the Panchayati Raj system in India include:

    1. Three Tier Structure: The Panchayati Raj system consists of three tiers of local government:
      a Gram Panchayat at village level.
      b Panchayat Samiti at central or block level.
      c Zilla Parishad at the district level.
    2. Elected representatives: Members at each level of the Panchayati Raj system are elected by the residents of their respective areas through regular elections.
    3. Reservation for Marginalized Groups: To ensure inclusion and representation of marginalized sections of society, Panchayati Raj institutions have reservations for Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and women.
    4. Democratic decision making: Panchayati Raj institutions are responsible for taking decisions related to local development, planning and administration. Elected representatives participate in this decision-making process.
    5. Financial Autonomy: Panchayati Raj Institutions have financial autonomy and receive funds from the State Government through grants and allocations. They may also collect local taxes and fees.
    6. Functions and Powers: The functions and powers of Panchayati Raj institutions vary from state to state but generally cover areas such as rural development, agriculture, health, education, sanitation and local infrastructure development.
    7. Accountability and Transparency: The system emphasizes transparency and accountability in local governance. Panchayat Sabhas are open to the public and financial records are made available for scrutiny.
    8. Decentralization of Power: The Panchayati Raj system aims to decentralize power and decision-making, ensuring that local problems are resolved at the grassroots level.
    9. State Election Commission: Every state in India has its own State Election Commission which is responsible for conducting Panchayati Raj elections and monitoring the functioning of Panchayati Raj institutions.
    10. Cooperative Unionism: Panchayati Raj institutions work in collaboration with state governments to plan and implement rural development programmes. This concept of cooperative federalism helps in effective utilization of resources.
    11. Regular Elections: Panchayat elections are held at every five years, to ensure a democratic and accountable system of local governance.

    The Panchayati Raj system has played an important role in empowering local communities to participate in governance and decision-making processes to promote rural development, social justice and grassroots democracy in India. Please note that the specific features and functioning of the system may vary from state to state in India due to the federal structure of the country.

    Notes on Panchayati Raj system in India

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