INDIAN PANCHAYATS Indian PANCHAYATS are endowed with the responsibility of taking care of the administration in the Indian villages and sub-urban areas in the country. The states in India are divided into many districts and the districts are further sub-divided into taluqs or tehsils. There are about 250-600 villages under each tehsil or taluq. The villages are managed and administered by the panchayat. Village PANCHAYAT The PANCHAYAT is the local self-government in the villages of India.
The Constitution of India, as per Article 40, had directed the Government of the country to set up PANCHAYATS in the villages so that they can act as local self-government. The Gram PANCHAYATS or village council is the basic unit in a village. There is a PANCHAYAT SAMITI or Block Council that formed from electing members from the village council. The ZILA PARISHAD or the District Council is at the head of this entire system. The ZILA PARISHAD takes care of the blocks as well as the villages of India.
Though the idea of the PANCHAYAT System was introduced in India long time back, it took considerable amount of time to implement the system in the Indian villages. Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation had always vouched for GRAM SWARAJ, so that the villages could work efficiently and independently. Funding of the Village PANCHAYATS is an important part of the PANCHAYATS administration. There are mainly three sources from where funds are available for PANCHAYATS in India.
The State Finance Commission recommends the State Governments for funds. The State Government then releases the funds as per its discretion. There are also many centrally sponsored schemes that help in funding the PANCHAYATS in India. Apart from grants from the Government, there are many local bodies that arrange for funds for the local PANCHAYATS. The Central Finance Commission also recommends the grants that are provided by the local bodies. In 1993, an amendment was made to the Constitution, which was the 73rd amendment.
The amendment was planned to change the scenario of the Indian villages. There was a plan of bringing true democracy even at the village level. There is also one-third reservation for women in the PANCHAYAT seats. The PANCHAYATS System in India basically looks after the upliftment of the Indian villages. Issues like powerlessness, illiteracy, corruption, malnutrition, health and hygiene and many more are handled by the PANCHAYAT. There are certain responsibilities that the Village PANCHAYAT has to take up.
Some of them include the following: • Safe and Clean Drinking Water • Agriculture, Including Agricultural Extension • Education Including Primary and Secondary Schools • Women and Child Development • Adult and Non-Formal Education • Poverty Alleviation programs, Rural Electrification, Including Distribution of Electricity • Animal Husbandry, Dairy and Poultry • Welfare of the Weaker Sections of Society that Include the Scheduled Castes and Tribes • Small Scale Industries Village and Cottage Industries • Health and Sanitation Inclusive of primary Health Centers, Dispensaries and Hospitals • Social and Farm Forestry • Land Improvement and Reforms • Water Management and Minor Irrigation • Technical Training and Vocational Education • Family Welfare • Maintenance of Community Assets • Public Distribution System • Libraries • Rural Housing • Roads and Other Means of Communication • Collection of Taxes and Revenues, Tolls and Taxes