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Chapter 12. Local Government (Polity & Constitution of India Notes)


Panchayati Raj : Panchayati Raj is a subject of state list ➤ State Government have right to establish and election of it.
➤ Part IX of the constitution relates to it.
➤ It received constitutional status through the 73rd constitutional Amendment Act of 1992.
➤ At the central level, the ministry of Rural Development looks after the matters relating to the Panchayati Raj.
Balwant Rai Mehta Committee
➤ The Government of India appointed a committee in 1957.
➤ This committee was set up to examine the work of community Development Programme (1952), and National Extension Service (1953).
➤ The committee submitted its report in 1958.
➤ This committee recommends three level of governance viz zila parishad, Panchayat Samiti (Block) and Gram Panchayat (village).
➤ District collector should be a chairperson of Zila Parishad.
➤ The members of Zila Parishad and Panchayat samiti should be elected indirectly while the members of Gram Panchayat should be elected directly.
➤ These recommendation were accepted by NDC in Jan 1958.
➤ Rajasthan was the first state to establish the institution of Panchayati Raj.
➤ The scheme was inaugurated by the then PM. Jawahar Lal Nehru.
On october 2, 1959 in Nagaur District in Rajasthan.
➤ Rajasthan adopted a three tier system.
➤ Tamilnadu accepted a two tier system and west Bengal a four tier system.
Ashok Mehta Committee
➤ The Janata Government appointed a committee in 1977 on Panchayati Raj institutions under the chairmanship of Ashok Mehta.
➤ This committee recommends a two tier Panchayati raj system — Zila Parishad & Mandal Panchayat.
➤ Nyaya Panchayat should be kept as separate body.
➤ Seats for SCs and STs should be reserved on the basis of their population.
➤ These recommendations could not be implemented.
G.V. K. Rao Committee
➤ This committee was appointed by the planning commission in 1985.
➤ Zila Parishad should be of pivotal role in the scheme for democratic decentralisation.
➤ Create the post of district development commissioner.
➤ He should act as the chief executive officer of Zila parishad.
➤ Reservation for SCs, STs & women ➤ Recommendations could not be accepted.
L.M. Singhvi Committee
➤ Appointed by the Rajiv Gandhi Government in 1986.
➤ Chairman L.M. Singhvi
73rd Amendment Act of 1992
➤ The Act gives a constitutional status to the Panchayati Raj institutions.
➤ The Act has added new part IX and 11th schedule to the constitution.
➤ It is entitled as “The Panchayats” and consists of provisions from Articles 243 to 243 (O).
➤ It consists 29 functional items of the Panchayats and deals with Article 243 (G).
➤ The compulsory provisions of the Act are to be included in the state laws creating the new panchayati Raj System.
➤ The voluntary provision may be included at the discretion of the state.
Chief Characteristics
➤ This Panchayati Raj system is for only those states having population of more than 20 lakhs.
➤ The tenure of every Panchayat should be 5 years.
➤ The election of the new Panchayat should be held before the expiry of its tenure or within 6 months of its dissolution.
➤ Every Panchayat should have a chairperson.
➤ The total number of the seats in every panchayat should be filled by direct election.
➤ Seat should be reserved for SCs & STs.
➤ 1/3rd of the seats should be reserved for women.
➤ Panchayat can levy collect and appropriate taxes duties tolls and fees as its suits better.
➤ State also provide grants-in-aid to Panchayat.
➤ All elections of Panchayats are conducted, supervised, directed and controlled by the state election commission.
➤ The state election commissioner is appointed by the Governor.
➤ He can be removed on the same manner as the judge of the High
Urban Local Government
➤ The system of urban local government was constitutionalised through the 74th constitutional Amendment Act of 1992.
➤ This Act has added a new Part IX-A to the Constitution of India.
➤ It is entitled ‘The Municipalities’ and consist of provisions from Article 243-P to 243 -ZG.
➤ This act has added 12th schedule to the constitution.
➤ This schedule contains eighteen functional items of municipalities.
➤ The act gave constitutional status to the municipalities.
➤ The act aims at revitalising and strengthening the urban governments so that they function effectively as units of local government.
Co-operative Societies
➤ The 97th Constitutional Amendment Act of 2011 gave a Constitutional status and protection to co-operative societies.
➤ In this context, it made the following three changes in the constitution :
(a) It made the right to form cooperative societies a fundamental right.
(b) It included a new Directive Principle of state policy on promotion of co-operative societies
(c) it added a new Part IX-B in the Constitution which is entitled “The co-operative societies”.
Election Commission
➤ The Election Commission is a permanent and an independent body.
➤ It is established by the constitution of India.
➤ The elections to the Panchayats and the Municipalities in the states are conducted by state ➤ The election commission consists of one chief election commissioner and two other election commissioners.
➤ The powers of election commissioners have been made equal to those of the chief election commissioner.
Functions :
➤ The election commission works under the overall supervisions of the chief election commissioner.
➤ It conducts and supervises elections.
➤ It fixes the election programme dates, the number of polling booths and the declaration of the results.
➤ It advises the president or the governor on all electoral matters.
➤ It prepares guidelines for a code of conduct for candidates, political parties and voters.
➤ It fixes the limit of election expenses and examines the accounts of the electoral expenditures.
➤ It decides the election symbols for the political parties.
➤ It settles the election disputes and petitions referred to it by the president or the governor.
➤ The term of the chief election commissioner is for 6 years or 65 years of age whichever is earlier.
➤ He can be removed from the office in the same manner as the judges of the supreme court.
➤ He is not eligible for reappointment.
➤ He can’t hold any office of profit after his retirement.
➤ His salaries and allowances are met from the consolidated fund of India.

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