Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Amendment Bill 2015 - Benefits & Loopholes

Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Amendment Bill 2015 - Benefits & Loopholes

Question:-The Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Amendment Bill 2015 which was under debate for fixing the minimum qualifications for the candidates contesting the Panchayat polls, was passed by the State Legislative Assembly recently. Explain the benefits which would be achieved from this bill. Also, mention the loopholes of this Amendment.

The Rajasthan Panchayati Raj Amendment Bill 2015 was passed by the Rajasthan State Legislative Assembly in March 2015. With the passing of this bill, Rajasthan has become the first and the only state in India to make the educational qualifications compulsory for the contesting candidates.

The Bill states that to contest for the Zila Parishad polls, the contestant should have a minimum qualification of secondary education (Class 10) from the State Board or any approved board. It also states that to contest the Sarpanch elections, the candidate should have passed Class 8 from any school under the general category. While contesting for the scheduled area of Panchayat for the post of a Sarpanch, the candidate should have the qualification of Class 5 passed.

- Benefits achieved from the Bill

- Use of technology – A good educated leader can bring in a lot of new technology to the state. With the help of this bill, more Internet facilities and banking services etc can invade the state. With the passing of the amendment, a lot of educated leaders will take up the role of improving the IT (Information Technology) sectors of the state. To improve the quality of governance in the states like Rajasthan, the Government of India has initiated schemes like e-governance that connects the various panchayats. It is known as e-panchayat.

- Development – Apart from the invent of new technology, an educated leader can bring about a lot of other developments into the state. The various sectors of the state like agriculture, industrial and banking can be improved with the knowledge of the leaders. The bill can help to reduce the corruptions which are taking place in the various governmental departments.

- Standard of Living – An educated leader can help to improve the standard of living of the people in the state. He can use his knowledge in the areas such as improving the issues caused due to water scarcity, electricity etc.

- Growth of education – There has been a significant growth in the educational sector of Rajasthan since 1991. An educated Panchayat leader can increase the quality of the education in the state as well as increase the educational institutes.

Loopholes in the Amendment

- Exclusion of women> – The amendment states that a minimum educational qualification is required for the candidate who is contesting an election. But due to certain cultural and social reasons, most of the women in Rajasthan are illiterate. Around 15% of the women in Rajasthan fall under the category of illiterates. Thus, the women may be excluded under this bill. Men would get a good opportunity to contest the Panchayat elections.

- Gender Inequality – The concept of gender inequality would be largely practiced under this amendment as the men would be getting a lot of opportunities. Due to the practice of the patriarchal system, most of the women are deprived of the good opportunities. Thus, by imposing the educational qualification, this gap is widened further.

- Poor local administration – In most of the rural areas, the male members migrate to the Urban side in search of employment opportunities. Thus, the women are mostly involved in the local administration. By imposing this ordinance, the women will not get an opportunity to represent and they would be taken over by the male members. As the male members work in the urban side, they do not have a fair knowledge about the working of the administration. Thus,this would create an ineffective local administration.

- Potential Women – Though 80% of the women in Rajasthan are not educated, most of them have the potential to participate in the elections. Even without the help of an educational background, they have the capability to handle the administration effectively. A good educational qualification does not always make a good leader. Such women who have the strong capabilities to change a system would be neglected under this ordinance.

- SC and ST – Most of the people belonging to the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes are excluded from the participation. As most of them fall under BPL and have a low literacy, so they can not contest the Panchayat elections.

Facts and Figures

- Literacy rate increased from 38.55% to 60.41 % in 2001.

- According to the Census of 2011, the literacy rate of Rajasthan was 67.06%.

- The literacy rate in the rural areas of Rajasthan is 71.16% for males and 45.8% for females.

Rajasthan becomes the first and the only state to make the minimum educational qualification compulsory for the candidates who are contesting for the Panchayat polls.
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