Strengthening the Panchayats: An Overview

Strengthening the Panchayats: An Overview

Question: Decentralisation of political power to the people has to be uniformly implemented across rural and urban areas. Discuss the steps taken to make Panchayats self sufficient in governance in rural areas.

- 73rd AA effective from April 1993 has institutionalised the Panchayats as units of local self governance

- This date marks a crucial moment in the process of decentralisation of political power

- Strengthening of Panchayats through manpower, office space, use of ICT and more is essential

- Centre has worked to strengthen the ability of Panchayats to support states and devolve powers to panchayats to promote ethical conduct and transparency

- Ministry also undertook the flagship programme of Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan (RGPSA).

- Ministry also sanctioned 75,000 personnel at Gram Panchayat level besides 2037 bhavans and 19741 computers for them

- Training of over 17 lakh Panchayat Elected Reps was also initiated

- Strengthening of Panchayats through RGPSA and representation of women, ST and SC in the panchayats has been emphasised

- This will have a long term impact on pro-poor projects, programmes and schemes

- Ministry has also implemented the Backward Regions Grants Funds Programme

- This provides funds to 272 backward districts and filled resource gaps of other schemes for capacity building of panchayats and municipalities

e-Panchayat project also aims to automate functioning of Panchayats and address all its aspects such as:

- Planning,

- Monitoring,

- Implementation,

- Budgeting,

- Accounting,

- Social audit

- Delivery of citizen services such as issue of certificates, licenses etc.

- e-Panchayats have also taken up incorporation of GIS concepts to IT training on Elected Representatives and Panchayat functionaries for introducing space technology to local bodies

- Ministry is also promoting electronic service delivery through best practices and straightening of panchayats

Ministry has also been preparing reading material for panchayats pertaining to the following topics:

- Sanitation in Gram Panchayats,

- Drinking Water in Gram Panchayats,

- Governance in Gram Panchayats,

- Child Development in Gram Panchayats

- Animal Husbandry in Gram Panchayats.

- States are translating these books in their own languages as well to make Panchayats pro-poor and proactive

- Audio visual and animation training films were prepared for education of reps of the panchayats and functionaries regarding duties and responsibilities

- FFC has also recommended grants devolution amounting to INR 2.29 lakh crore to Gram Panchayats for 2015-2020

Facts and Stats

- Ministry also aims to assist state and gram panchayats in preparing GP development plans for effectively using FFC funds

- Capacity building of panchayat functionaries is on to help them perform with greater skill and efficiency through various programs

- Acts such as PESA and the constitutional framework has been reworked to provide more female reps in PRIs
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