In a village, responsibilities are given to a responsible person known as the Panchayat. Each village has its own Panchayati Raj System. In 1992, the Amendment Act included the provision of passing the responsibilities and the powers to the Panchayats for the social and economic development of the village. It is a three-tier system of the Indian administration for rural development. The Panchayati Raj’s main target is to develop the zones, villages, and districts through local self-Governments.
Understanding Panchayiti Raj System: Essence Of Self Governance
Introduction Of The Panchayati Raj System
Most of the states of India have established the Panchayati Raj System except Mizoram, Nagaland, and Meghalaya. All the Union territories have also accepted the system except Delhi. One of the main objectives of this system is to develop rural zones.
Adaptation Of This System
Panchayati Raj is a system that was not developed post-independence. The dominant political institution of rural India became the Panchayat Raj for centuries. Panchayats were usually elected with judicial powers and the council. The Mughals and the British were dominating as the foreign powers. The natural socio-economic changes also undermined the significance of the Panchayat Raj system. During the pre-independence period, this system was used by the upper castes to dominate the lower castes.
The evolution of the Panchayat Raj got into a different stage after attaining independence. Article 40 of the Indian constitution mentioned that the state would take responsibility for organizing the village panchayats and would allow them powers and responsibilities for running their self-Government system smoothly.
The Government of India appointed several committees to study whether the Self-Government implementation is successful or not. Some of the popular committees that were appointed are:
– Ashok Mehta Committee
– LM Singhvi Committee
– GVK Rao Committee
– Balwant Rai Mehta Committee
Ashok Mehta Committee
In 1977, this committee was appointed to revive the diminishing Panchayat Raj system.
Some of the measures are:
The Zila Parishad should be responsible for managing the district level being the executive body.
A Two-tier panchayat system will be used instead of a three-tier system. The Mandal Panchayat and the Zila Parishad should be the two Governing bodies.
Mandal Panchayat and Zila Parishad should have sufficient taxation powers for mobilizing their financial resources.
After the state level, the district level should be considered the first level of supervision.
LM Singhvi Committee
In 1986, the Government appointed a committee named LM Singhvi Committee. The committee’s main objective was to develop the Panchayati Raj System by revitalizing it. The recommendations by the committee are
Each state should set up judicial tribunals for adjugating matters related to the elections.
The committee should present a constitutional recognition. The constitutional provisions should recognize fair and free elections for the Panchayati Raj systems.
For the activities performed by the Village Panchayats, more finances are to be allotted to them.
Villages need to be reorganized to make the Panchayat system more viable.
GVK Rao Committee
This committee was formed in 1985 and was appointed by the planning commission. Due to the bureaucratism, the Panchayet Raj system was considered grass without roots as its foundation was not strong at the grassroots level. The recommendations are as follows.
A development commissioner who will become the Chief Executive Officer of the Zila Parishad needs to be created.
In planning democratic decentralization, Zila Parishad is the most important body. It is considered to be the most important body for managing the activities at the district level through developmental programs.
The elections in the Panchayati Raj Systems need to be held regularly.
Specific planning and implementation need to be assigned at the district and lower levels and monitor the rural development programs.
Balwant Rai Mehta Committee
In 1957, Balwant Rai Mehta Committee was appointed to improve the Panchayat system through National extension services and development programs. The decentralized and democratic local Government was suggested by the establishment of the committee and was known as the Panchayat Raj. The committee recommendations are
The District collector is to receive the post of the Zila Parishad’s chairman.
The Panchayati system is three-tiered with Panchayat Samiti, Zila Parishad, and the Gram Panchayat.
The prime objectives of the Panchayati Raj System are development and planning.
The directly elected representatives create the Gram Panchayat; the indirectly elected ones are Zila Parishad and the Panchayat Samiti.
Provisioning resources can fulfil their duties and responsibilities.
Zila Parishad can act as a supervisory body, and the Panchayat Samity is the executive body, development activities went on.
Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992
The significances of the Act are as follows
With this constitutional Act, the Panchayati Raj systems come under the context of the justifiable parts of the Indian constitution. The will of the State Government should not be dependent on the election process. The process must be completely independent of the constitution.
This Act is included in Part IX of the constitution. 29 functional characteristics of the Panchayat are described in the eleventh schedule of The Panchayats.
Both voluntary and compulsory parts are included within the Act. The voluntary provisions work independently through the discretion of the State Government. Compulsory provisions, on the other hand, work under the State Government.
For creating democratic institutions at the foundation level, the Act has changed from a representative democracy into a participatory democracy.
Panchayati Raj System can be converted into a 3-tier system with the district, village, and intermediate levels.
The chairperson and the other executive members are being elected directly or indirectly for the smooth functioning of the Panchayat Raj System. This Act also confirms the reservations within the three-tier system of the population percentages of SC and ST castes.
Balwant Rai Mehta was considered the Father of the Panchayati Raj for pioneering the concept. Gram Sabha is the main Governing body and the village assembly where decisions and judgments can be declared for the villagers. The district-level members are elected indirectly, whereas the chairpersons are elected directly by the villagers within the three-tier system.