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Strengthen Panchayati raj

  • IASbaba
  • April 30, 2021
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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POLITY/ GOVERNANCE

Topic:

  • GS-2: Devolution of powers and finances up to local levels and challenges therein. 

Strengthen Panchayati raj

Local Bodies – Importance

  • Historical Roots: The Cholas were the pioneers in the formation of local bodies as part of a well-organised hierarchy to oversee the implementation of progressive plans.
  • Voices of People heard: Panchayati raj ensures that the voices of the people are heard loud and clear. “The voice of the people is the voice of god; The voice of the Panchayat is the voice of the people,” is the quote attributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi.
  • Good Governance: Seamless administration is impossible without power sharing.
  • Inclusive Governance: To ensure that even the last man sitting in a remote corner of the last row should have access to benefits.
  • Participative Governance: Every grama sabha meeting ensures the equal right to highlight the issues that disrupt life. Active participation of the people in governance.
  • Transparency & Accountability: Elected members of the Panchayat are obliged to read out the financial statements and balance sheet to ensure transparency.

Issues

  • Inadequate deliberations: Gram Sabhas Functioning like auction houses – Example Nadu government did not seek opinions and consensus of people on significant issues like the eight-lane highway project and hydrocarbon project.
  • Poor Participation: Meetings marked by poor attendance and poor representation from the people.
  • Corporate Interests Dominates: Several projects are being implemented for the benefit of private and corporate entities.
  • Role of Women: Women do not find themselves in major administrative roles in the local bodies, though, on paper, women are shown to be a considerable force. Eg. Sarpanch Pati.

Way Ahead

  • Ensuring the proper use of allotted funds.
  • Ensuring the efficiency of administration and eligible member appointments.
  • Need to strengthen our grama sabhas, hold area sabhas in cities, form ward committees, hold online Panchayat meetings
  • Ensure decent remuneration to Panchayat chiefs and councillors.
  • Bestow the grama sabha with the power to revoke appointed members and representatives.

Conclusion

  • The demand for federal rule in the Centre and autonomous rule in the States should resonate along with the need to have autonomous local bodies too. 
  • Collectively ensure that Panchayati raj should be strengthened. This should be the outcome of a peoples’ movement.

Connecting the dots:

  • 73rd & 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts

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