Democratic Politics

Chapter : 2. Federalism

Panchayati Raj

Panchayati Raj
Working of rural local government :
Under the 3-tier system of decentralization, Zila Parishad is the apex body at the district level. it is followed by Panchayat Samitis at the Block level as the second tier and is further followed by Gram Panchayats as the third tier. Each village, generally, has a Gram Panchayat whose members are elected by the entire adult population of that village. A few Gram Panchayats are joined together to form a Panchayat Samiti or Block. The members of this representative body are elected by all the Panchayat members in that area. All the Panchayat Samitis in a district collectively make the Zila Parishad.
The State governments are required to share some powers and revenue with local government bodies.
(A) 1. Each village, or a group of village in some state, has Gram Panchayat.
2. This is a council consisting Panch and President or Surpanch.
3. They are directly elected by all the adult population living in that village.
4. It is the decision making body for the entire village.
5. The panchayat works under the overall supervision of the Gram Sabha, All the voters in the village are its member.
6. It has to meet at least twice or thrice in a year to approve the annual budget and to review the performance of the Gram Panchayat.
(B) 1. At the district level a few Gram Panchayats are grouped together to form Panchayat Samiti.
2. The member of this representative body elected by all the Panchayat member in that area.
(C) 1. All the Panchayat Samiti in a district together constitute the Zila (district) Parishad. Most member of the Zila Parishad are elected.
2. Member of the Lok Sabha and MLAs of that district and some other officials of other district level bodies are also its members.
3. Zila Parishad chair person is the political head of the Zila Parishad.
(D) 1. Local government bodies exist for urban areas as well. Municipalities are step up in the towns. Big cities are constitutes into municipal corporations.
2. Both municipalities and municipal corporations are controlled by elected bodies consisting of people’s representatives.
3. Municipal chairperson is the political head of the municipality.
4. In a municipal corporation such an officer is called Mayor.

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