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Working and Effectiveness of Local Self Government

Working and Effectiveness of Local Self Government

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Published by Soumen Mukherjee

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Soumen Mukherjee on Sep 04, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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Chapter IIntroduction
As Gandhi often pointed out, India lives in villages and unless village life can be revitalizedthe nation as a whole can hardly come alive. When India became independent in 1947, perhaps one-third of the villages of India had traditional Panchayats and many of them werefar from flourishing conditions. The congress government has made a determined effort to promote the creation of Panchayats and to make them effective units of local self-government. Article 40 of the Constitution clearly declares ³The state shall take necessaryactions to organize village Panchayats and to endow them with such powers and authority asmay be necessary to enable them to function as units of self-government´
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.The aim was to foster democratic participation, to involve villagers in the development of thecommunity and to reduce the burden of higher level of administration. Though various stepswere taken by
successive
governments to revitalize the system, Gramswaraj through villagePanchayats remained as a distant dream till 1992. Bureaucratic apathy, indifference of the people, lack of political will, lack of uniformity etc were the main factors behind the failure of the system. Realizing the potential of thePR system, Rajeev Gandhi government initiated a process of Constitutional amendment to give sanctity and uniformity to Panchayati Rajsystem so that it can be immune from political interference and bureaucratic indifference.Rajeev Gandhi introduced 64th Constitutional amendment Bill in 1989. But the Bill did notmaterialize because of the fall of his Ministry. Finally the P.V.Narasimha Rao governmentintroduced Panchayati Raj system in India through the 73rd ConstitutionalAmendment in1992.
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D.D.Basu, Constitution of India.
 
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Chapter IIDefinition
 
L
ocal Self Government
The functioning of a Government can be categorized into National, State and Local. LocalSelf- Governments are those bodies that look after the administration of a area or smallcommunity such as village, town or a city. These bodies are appointed by the Governmentrepresenting the local inhabitants, which raises its revenue partially through local taxation andother means. . The Local Self- Government can be divided into various classes likeCorporations, Cities, Town Municipalities and Town Panchayats on the basis of population.The administration system has 3 levels: village, block and district. Panchayats operate at thevillage level. The Panchayats of India are the local bodies working for the welfare of thevillage. It constitutes of members ranging from 7 to 31. However, it can have members morethan 31 but not less than 7. Panchayat is a form of Indian political system which combinesfive neighbouring villages known as panch. The primary units of administration in Panchayatsare the gram panchayats.The members of the Panchayat are known as "panches", who take decisions regarding thedisputes among the villagers and villages. According to the Indian Constitution, Panchayatshave the authority to work as organizations of self-government. Panchayats play a vital role inthe administration of the rural areas of India.The Local Self Government is entitled to discharge certain compulsory functions like:Supplying safe and clean drinking water Imparting and maintaining proper drainage and sewage systemsProviding public street lightingTo keep up sanitation and hygiene of public placesBuilding and maintenance of bus terminals, roads, culverts and bridges
 
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Preservation of public parks and gardensTo make sure that the urban or rural growth is systematic and plannedPreparing guidelines for building constructionIssuing Licenses for Trade activitiesIssuing and maintaining Birth and Death recordsApart from these the Local Self Government can deliver some discretionary functionsincluding educational, health, community and recreational services etc.In order to deliver the above duties, the Local Self Government have been given certain powers to earn revenues by levying certain taxes and fees. In addition to it, the StateGovernment also transfers some of its general revenues to the Local Self Government. Their main sources of is from taxes on construction and lands, taxes levied on people for water supply, and fee from trade license.
Chapter IIIEvolution of local self-government
A brief account of the evolution of local self-government in the country has undergonethrough time, and the extent to which the present system represents a departure from the past.
The Historical background
Local self-government, to borrow a phrase from Sydney Webb, is ³as old as the hills´.
 
Thiscan be more true of India than any other country of the world. There is sufficient
 
evidence toestablish the fact that the institution of local self-government is almost
 
 pre-historic, and theconception of local self-government is indigenous to the Indian
 
soil. Municipal governmentshave flourished in India since times immemorial. While
 
empires rose and fell, village panchayats which formed an integral part of the nationallife, helped to preserve democratictraditions in social, cultural, economic and political
 
life, survived the onslaughts of centuriesof political upheavals and saved Indian
 
society from disintegration. The existence of local bodies in ancient India is a positive
 
 proof of the inherent genius of our people to manage localaffairs efficiently and on a
 
decentralised basis. The decentralisation of power in the kingdomsof the Maurya and
 
the Gupta period was unique. Such a devolution of power was unknown to

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