panchayati raj
Panchayati Raj Mind Map upsc

The village has been considered the fundamental unit of the organization since Vedic times. In any event, during the English days, the town panchayati raj was a unit of neighborhood organization. At the point when Indian pioneers requested neighborhood independence, the English government gave concessions at the lowest level first, for example, self-government at the town level. For instance, the Bengal Neighborhood Self-Government Act of 1885 and the Bengal Town Self-Government Act of 1919 were passed.

The Public Authority of India Act of 1935 empowered the Common Council to issue sanction regulations. In any case, the powers were not palatable. Thus, the creators of the Indian Constitution remembered the arrangement for Panchayat Raj in Article 40 of the Indian Constitution under DPSP.

Prior to the formation of the Panchayat Raj framework, rural development projects were carried out through local area improvement projects.

Community Development Programs

The significant marks of the Local Area Advancement Program of 1952 are:

It gave a managerial structure through which the public authority might arrive at the town level from the regional and tehsil levels.
Every one of the regions was partitioned into “development blocks.” Furthermore, every improvement block was assigned a “Block Development Official.”
“Town Level Laborers” were designated underneath the BDO. These laborers were allocated to 10–12 towns.
The “Local Area Advancement Exploration Center” was founded by the best academic minds in the country at the time.
A sharp accentuation on the development of farming was saved for the initial five years. Be that as it may, later on, this program became overly troublesome and consequently was not continued.

Local Self Government - Panchayati Raj

Local Self Government – Panchayati Raj

Local Self Government is the management of local affairs by such local bodies that have been elected by the local people.
PRI was constitutionalized through the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 to build democracy at the grassroots level and was entrusted with the task of rural development in the country.
After the Constitution came into force, Article 40 made a mention of panchayats and Article 246 empowers the state legislature to legislate with respect to any subject relating to local self-government.

List of Committees that recommended Panchayati Raj Institution:

1.Balwant Rai Mehta1957
2.V.T. Krishnammachari1960
3.Takhatmal Jain Study Group1966
4.Ashok Mehta Committee1978
5.G.V.K. Rao Committee1985
6.Dr. L.M. Singhvi Committee1986
7.P.K. Thungon Committee1989
8.S. Mohinder Singh2013

Committees formed to materialize PRIs

1. Balwant Rai Mehta Committee (1957)
The three-tier system of panchayats at the village, intermediate block/taluk/Mandal, and district levels except in States. Balwant Rai Mehta Committee submitted its report in 1957 and in 1958 it was approved by National Development Council.
2. Ashok Mehta Committee (1977)
Recommended a two-tier Panchayat Raj institutional structure consisting of Zilla Parishad and Mandal Panchayat.
3. G.V.K. Rao Committee (1985)
Recommended making the “district” the basic unit of planning and also holding regular elections.
4. L.M. Singhvi Committee (1986)
Recommended providing more financial resources and constitutional status to the panchayats to strengthen them.

(Note- On 2nd October 1959 the birthday of Gandhiji, the Panchayat Raj system was implemented for the first time in India at Nagaur District of Rajasthan. Rajasthan was followed by Andhra Pradesh to implement the Panchayat Raj system. To review Panchayat Raj System in Rajasthan. Sadiq Ali Committee was Constituted in 1964.)

level of panchayati raj

Contribution Of Rajiv Gandhi

The credit for changing the Panchayati Raj framework goes to Rajiv Gandhi, who once conceded that assuming Focus sends one rupee, just 17 paisas arrive at the designated recipient at the grass-roots level. The rest, 83 paise, is stashed by degenerate officials and priests. He sincerely desired to redo the Panchayat Raj framework in order to align it with the adolescents, remove defilement from this Constitution, and make a vote-based system accessible at the grass-roots level.

He was instrumental in sorting out classes, gatherings, and a conference on Panchayati Raj, lastly, another draft was likewise ready to redo the Panchayati Raj establishment by correcting the Constitution. The Narasimha Rao government, driven by sections of the 73rd and 74th Established Correction Acts in 1992, made Rajiv Gandhi’s fantasies a reality.

The 73rd Amendment Act is connected with Panchayati Raj, while the 74th Amendment Act is connected with Nagar Palika/district.

Salient Features of the 73rd Amendments

  • Added two new parts to the Constitution, namely, added Part IX titled “The Panchayats” (added by 73rd Amendment), and Part IXA titled “The Municipalities (added by 74th Amendment).
  • The basic units of the democratic system-Gram Sabhas (villages) and Ward Committees (Municipalities) comprising all the adult members registered as voters.
  • The three-tier system of panchayats at the village, intermediate block/taluk/Mandal, and district levels except in States with a population below 20 lakhs (Article 243B).
  • Seats at all levels are to be filled by direct elections Article 243C (2).
  • Seats reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) and the chairpersons of the Panchayats at all levels also shall be reserved for SCs and STs in proportion to their population.
  • One-third of the total number of seats is reserved for women.
  • One-third of the seats reserved for SCs and STs are also reserved for women.
  • One-third of offices of chairpersons at all levels are reserved for women (Article 243D).
  • Uniform five-year term and elections to constitute new bodies to be completed before the expiry of the term.
  • In the event of dissolution, elections are compulsory within six months (Article 243E).
  • Independent Election Commission in each State for superintendence, direction, and control of the electoral rolls (Article 243K).
  • Panchayats to prepare plans for economic development and social justice in respect of subjects as devolved by law to the various levels of Panchayats including the subjects as illustrated in the Eleventh Schedule (Article 243G).
  • 74th Amendment provides for District Planning.
  • Budgetary allocation from State Governments, the share of revenue of certain taxes, collection, and retention of the revenue it raises, Central Government programs and grants, and Union Finance Commission grants (Article 243H).
  • Establish a Finance Commission in each State to determine the principles on the basis of which adequate financial resources would be ensured for panchayats and municipalities (Article 243I).
  • The Eleventh Scheduled of the Constitution places as many as 29 functions within the purview of the Panchayati Raj bodies.

Gram Sabha And Gram Panchayat

A Panchayat’s seats are all held by individuals elected directly from local constituencies within the Panchayat jurisdiction.
The members of the Gram Sabha elect the members of the Gram Panchayat for a term of five years.
The Gram Panchayat is led by the Sarpanch. He also goes by the title of Gram Panchayat Chairman. Each Panchayat’s chairperson must be chosen in accordance with state legislature-passed legislation.

Gram Sabha

The members of the Panchayat Area who are registered in electoral rolls (that are eligible to vote) constitute the Gram Sabha.

Qualification For Gram Panchayat

A person who has attained the age of 21 years.
All persons who are qualified to be chosen for State Legislature are qualified to be chosen as a member of the Panchayat.

Powers And Authorities Of Panchayats

The State Legislature has the power to confer on the Panchayats its powers, authorities, and responsibility (Article 243G-243H). Some of the responsibilities of the Panchayats are:

  • Preparing plans for economic development and social justice
  • Implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice
  • In regard to matters listed in the Eleventh Schedule.

The Eleventh Schedule has 29 items. Some of them are:

  1. Land improvement
  2. minor irrigation
  3. Animal husbandry
  4. Fisheries
  5. Education
  6. Women
  7. Child Development etc.

Impose Taxes: A Panchayat can impose levies, collect and appropriate taxes, duties, tolls, etc.
Grand-in-aid: A State Government may give grant-in-aid to the Panchayats from the Consolidated Fund of the State.

State Finance Commission

After every five years, the State government shall appoint a Finance Commission to review the financial position of the Panchayats and to make recommendations as to:

  • The net earnings of taxes, tariffs, tolls, and other charges leviable by the State may be split between the State and the Panchayats.
  • What taxes, tariffs, tolls, and other charges the Panchayats may be given a grant-in-aid for?
  • The State Legislature shall be presented with the Commission’s report.

State Election Commission – Panchayat Election

Under Article 243K, free and fair elections to the Panchayats are ensured. A State Election Commission must be constituted consisting of a State Election Commissioner to be appointed by the Governor. According to this Article:

  • He has the power to:
    • Power of superintendence
    • Direction and control of elections to Panchayats
    • Preparation of the electoral rolls.

He can only be dismissed using the same procedures and justifications as a High Court judge. All aspects concerning elections to Panchayats may be regulated by the State Legislature.


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