IMPORTANT COMMITTEES: PANCHAYATI RAJ

·        The introduction of Panchayati Raj took decades of consulting and various discussions before the institution of Panchayati Raj came into being.

·         Various committees submitted the recommendations on the functioning and modalities of Panchayati Raj.

·         Taking into account these recommendations,  the parliament in after the 73rd constitutional amendment,  which brought Panchayati Raj institution into the frame.

Balwant Rai Mehta Committee:

·        Following the failure of the community development programme of 1952,  the government,  in 1957, appointed a committee under the chairmanship of Balwant Rai Mehta.

·        To assess the political participation in rural areas and give recommendations as to what can be done in order to increase the political participation.

Balwant Rai Mehta committee recommendations:

·        Panchayati Raj institutions should be created and it should consist of elected representatives.

·         Such institutions must be given enough autonomy to function independently and must be a three tier system:

1.      Zila Parishad at the District level.

2.      Panchayat Samiti at the Block/Tehsil/Taluk level.

3.      Gram Panchayat at village level.

·        The one who is elected directly will constitute the Gram Panchayat and who are directly elected will constitute the Panchayat Samiti and Zila Parishad.

·        The primary objective of Panchayati Raj system should be planning and development.

·        Panchayat Samiti will act as an executive body and Zila Parishad as advisory body.

·        District collector will be the chairman of the Zila Parishad in Panchayati Raj system.

The Balwant Rai Mehta committee further revitalised the development of panchayats in the country,  the report recommended that the Panchayati Raj institutions can play a substantial part in community development programmes throughout the country.  The ideal of panchayats therefore was the popular decentralisation through the effective participation of locals with the help of well planned programmes.  Indeed the also Prime Minister of India,  Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru,  defended the Panchayati Raj system.

Balwant Rai Mehta committee:

·       The states should be given autonomy to determine and develop their own modalities as per the respective local conditions.

·        The committee further recommended that the Gram panchayat should be constituted with directly elected representatives whereas the Panchayat   Samiti and Zila Parishad should be constituted by the indirectly elected members.

·        The description of the  Panchayat Samiti would be of an executive body,  whereas of Zila Parishad will be off an advisory body,  such Zila Parishad  will be headed or chaired by the district collector of that area.

Ashok Mehta Committee:

·       In 1977,  the then government in power that is the Janta government appointed a 13 member committee to look into the issue of:

1.      Causes of poor performance of the Panchayati Raj institutions.

2.       what measures should be taken to address such issues so as to improve the functioning of panchayats.The committee made more than 130 recommendations.  The main recommendations include:

1.      The 3 tier model suggested by Balwant Rai Mehta committee to be replaced by the 2-tier model.  the upper tier should be the Zila Parishad, which will be at the District level and the lower tier should be Mandal Panchayat, which would be at the block level.

2.      There ought to be Nyaya Panchayat as separate bodies, different from that of development Panchayats and should be presided over by a well qualified judge.

·        The idea of decentralisation put forward by the Balwant Rai Mehta committee was carried forward by the Ashok Mehta Committee.

·        Before the recommendation could be taken into consideration by the Janta government, the government collapsed and the opportunity to implement the recommendations was washed away.

·        However,  Karnataka and West Bengal took initiatives to implement the recommendations of the Ashok Mehta Committee.

GVK Rao committee:

The GVK committee was constituted in the year 1985. The committee was appointed just before the 7th five-year plan in order to give recommendations on the issues of growth and poverty alleviation.  The committee was shouldered with the task of:

1.      Look into the existing infrastructure for rural development and lay down the key functions on revenue resources of the Panchayati Raj institutions.

2.       what steps the government should take in order to promote growth and for poverty alleviation.3.       How to recommend and revitalise the Panchayati Raj institutions.

·        Power to safeguard and preserve the traditions and the customs of the people including their cultural identity,  community resources and customary mode of dispute resolution.

·         mandatory recommendation by Gram Panchayat before any areas is granted for mining lease.

·        The right to enforce prohibition or to regulate or restrict the sale and consumption of any intoxicant.

The GVK Rao Committee gave following recommendations:

·       The Zila Parishad should be the basic unit for the policy planning and for the programme implementation. It should also be the pivotal body for this scheme of democratic decentralisation.

·       The state planning functions should be transferred to the Zila Parishad for effective decentralised planning.

LM Singhvi Committee:

·       The Zila Parishad should be the basic unit for the policy planning and for the programme implementation. It should also be the pivotal body for this scheme of democratic decentralisation.

·       The state planning functions should be transferred to the Zila Parishad for effective decentralised planning.LM Singhvi Committee:

·        The committee was constituted in 1986,  a year after the GVK Rao Committee.

·        The committee was set up in the prime ministership of Rajiv Gandhi and under the chairmanship of LM Singhvi.

·        According to the LM Singhvi committee, the decline of the Panchayati Raj institutions was because of three reasons:

1.      Absence of clear concept

2.       absence of political will

3.       lack of research,  evaluation and political planning.

·        few of the important recommendations by the committee were:

1.      The Panchayati Raj institutions should be recognised,  protected and preserved constitutionally.

2.       Free answer elections in the Panchayati Raj institutions.

3.       There should be optional and compulsory levies interested in the panchayats.  The government may also disburse money to the panchayats in the time of needs.

4.       establishment of judicial tribunals in the state,  which would address the election controversies in the Panchayati  Raj institutions.

All these things further the argument that panchayats can be very effective in identifying and solving local problems, involve the people in the villages in the developmental activities, improve the communication between different levels at which politics operates, develop leadership skills and in short help the basic development in the states without making too many structural changes. Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh were the first to adopt Panchayati raj in 1959, other states followed them later.

Though there are variations among states, there are some features that are common. In most of the states, for example, a three-tier structure including panchayats at the village level, panchayat samitis at the block level and the Zila Parishad at the district level-has been institutionalized. Due to the sustained effort of the civil society organisations, intellectuals and progressive political leaders, the Parliament passed two amendments to the Constitution – the 73rd Constitution Amendment for rural local bodies (panchayats) and the 74th Constitution Amendment for urban local bodies (municipalities) making them ‘institutions of self-government’. Within a year all the states passed their own acts in conformity to the amended constitutional provisions.

Reference

·        73rd Amendment Act

·        74th Amendment Act

·         www.manupatrafast.com

·         www.airwebworld.com

·         Wikipedia

·        The Indian Constitution, 1950.

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

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