Panchayati Raj System: Panchayat Before and After 73rd Amendment

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National Panchayati Raj Day

History

  • Panchayats existed in 1950s too
  • But failed due to poverty, corruption, etc.

In 1957, Balwant Rai Mehta Committee called for:

  • Democratic decentralization
  • Power to local Govt.
  • 3 tier structure with elected representatives
  • PRI first launched in Nagaur, Rajasthan
  • Failed due to: (studied by Sadiq Ali Committee)
  • Non- cooperation from states

Illiteracy and Poverty

  • In 1978, Ashok Mehta Committee gave 132 recommendations like reservation, 2 tier structure, etc.
  • As a result of this report, the Indian states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal passed new legislation.

Why PRI?

  • Grassroot level politics, understanding and representation
  • To enhance understanding of problem of villages
  • Rural local self-government in India
  • Elected by the local people
  • Real decentralization of power

After 73rd Amendment

  • 73rd CAA, 1992
  • Article 40
  • ‘States shall organize and empower Panchayats to work as efficient units of local self Govt.’
  • Participatory democracy
  • Can be heard, meetings can be done at Gram Sabha
  • Scrutinize functions of PRI at Gram Sabha discussions
  • Meetings on – Labour Day, Gandhi Jayanti, Independence Day and Republic Day
  • P. V. Narshimha Rao
  • 73rd amendment
  • XI Schedule, 29 subjects
  • Articles 243 – 243 (O)
  • Members elected directly

Structure

Structure of PRI in India
  • Gram Sabha or General Assembly is the general body of all residents of the village.
  • Sarpanch is the ex-officio member

Role

  • Tax collection, tolls, etc.
  • Grants given to Panchayats
  • Rural development
  • Economic development
  • Political development

Achievements

  • Women empowerment, Women leaders, (1/3 reservation of women)
  • Representation of backward classes
  • Empowered villages
  • Inclusive growth – ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’
  • Rural manufacturing hubs
  • Confidence, enthusiasm, employment, benefit of schemes
  • Education and awareness
  • Self sufficiency

MCQs

Q. 1. Which Committee recommended three tier systems for Panchayati Raj?

(A) Balwant Rai Mehta Committee

(B) Ashok Mehta Committee

(C) Sangama Committee

(D) Parliamentary Committee

Ans: (A)

Q. 2. What was the main purpose behind bringing Panchayati Raj system in India?

(a) To Prevent criminalization of politics

(b) Development of villages

(c) Decentralization of the political power to the general peoples

(d) To reduce election expenses

Ans: c

Q. 3. Which statement is not correct regarding “Gram Sabha” ?

(a) It is a body consisting of persons registered in the electoral rolls of a village comprised within the area of the Panchayat level.

(b) It is a village assembly consisting of all the registered voters in the area of the Panchayat.

(c) Its powers have been determined by the Central Government

(d) Its powers and functions at village level are like state legislature at the state level.

Ans. C

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