Panchayati Raj

The term Panchayati system refers to India’s system of local autonomy. It was introduced in all states of India through the legislature law to build grassroots democracy. The Constitution was enacted by the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992.

In January 1957, the Government of India appointed a committee to investigate the functions of community development programs and national dissemination services and propose measures for their better functions. This committee was chaired by Balwant Rai G Mehta. The community submitted a report in November 1957, encouraging the establishment of a “democratic decentralization” scheme that eventually became known as the “Panchayati system”.

Here are some recommendations from this community-

1. Establishing a three-tiered Panchayati system: village-level Gram Panchayat, block-level Panchayati Samiti,and district-level Zila parishad. These three levels should be organically linked through indirect elections.

2. All planning and development activities should be outsourced to these agencies.

3. The village Panchayat should be formed by directly elected representatives, and the Panchayati Samiti and Zila parishad should be formed by indirectly elected members.

4. The district collector must be the head of zila Parishad.

5. Panchayat Samiti should be the executive body and Zila Parishad should be the advisory, coordinating and supervisory body.

6. These agencies should be given sufficient resources to enable them to carry out their missions and fulfill their responsibilities.

Rajasthan was the first state to establish the Panchayati system. The program was started on October 2, 1959 by the Prime Minister of the Nagpur district. Most states established the Panchayati system by the mid-1960s, but there were variations from state to state in terms of number of levels, relative positions of Samity and Parishad, tenure, function, and finances. For example, Rajasthan adopted a three-layer system and Tamil Nadu adopted a two-layer system.

Many research teams, committees, and working groups have been appointed to investigate various aspects of the Panchayati system.

1. 1960 V.R.-chaired Panchayati Statistics Rationalization Committee

2.S.D. Mishra-chaired 1961 Working Group on Panchayati and Co-operatives.

3. 1962 research team on Nyaya Panchayats chaired by V. Iswaran.

4. A 1963 research team on the position of Gramsabha in the Panchayati movement, chaired by R.R. Diwakar.

5. The 1965 Panchayati Election Commission, chaired by K. Santhanam.