Revision Notes on Panchayati Raj Institutions

1. Balwant Rai Mehta committee:
– Appointed and reported in 1957
– Gave scheme of ‘Democratic decentralization’-Panchayati Raj
3 tier Suggested– Gram Panchayat at village, Panchayat Samiti at block, Zilla Parishad at Dist.
– Gram Panchayat to be directly elected, the other 2 indirect
Panchayat Samiti: Executive Body and Zila Parishad : Advisory, Supervisory
Accepted by NDC; 1st PR at Nagaur in Rajasthan on 2nd Oct, 1959then 2nd at A.P

2. Ashok Mehta Committee:(Appointed in 1977 and report-1978)
2-tier Suggested: Zilla Parishad(dist.) & Mandal Panchayat(group of villages-total population=15K to 20K)
Zila Parishad : Executive Body and Planning at district level
– PRI should have compulsory powers oftaxation
– State govt. should not supersede PRI, else elections within 6 months
Nyaya Panchayat presided by a qualified judge
Chief Electoral Officer with CEC to organise elections
Minister for PRI in State’s CoMinisters.
Reservation of seats for SC/ST according to population
Constitutional Recognition to PRI

3. GVK Rao Committee:(1985) On Administrative Arrangement for Rural Dev. & Poverty Alleviation
-Zila Parishad-principal body for management; dist. proper unit of planning
– Transfer few planning functions of state levelto dist. level
Create post of Dist. DevelopmentCommissioner- CEO of Zila Parishad
-Regular elections should be held.

4. LM Singhvi Committee (1986)- Revitalizationof PRI
– Suggested for Giving ConstitutionalRecognition to PRI’s
Nyaya Panchayat
Emphasized imp. of Gram Sabha
– More financial resources
Judicial Tribunal in each state for controversies in election to PRIs.

73rd Amendment Act of 1992 under PV Narsimha Rao Govt. – came into force on 24th April, 1993
Art 40- DPSP – asks state to organise village Panchayat
This act made it justiciable by Part-IX(Art :243 to 243-O) + 11th Schedule specifying 29 functions of Panchayat like:
  • Agriculture,
  • Minor irrigation,
  • Social & farm forestry,
  • Khadi, village & cottage industries,
  • Roads,
  • Rural electrification,
  • Education(primary, secondary, technical, vocational, adult),
  • Libraries,
  • Family welfare, women,
  • PDS,
  • Health and Sanitation
  • Poverty Alleviation Prog.
  • Land and Land Development etc.- This is in Art 243- G.
Provisions of the 73rd CA Act can be divided in 2 categories: Compulsory (have to be included in state law) & Voluntary (may be included )
Features of Act/Important Articles Relevant from Exam Point of View:=
. Art 243 :-Definition
. Art 243-A: Gram Sabha-(Compulsory) Body of people registered in the electoral rolls of a village; its functions & powers according to state legislature.
. Art 243-B: Constitution of panchayat-(Compulsory) 3-tiers(village, intermediate-for states with population > 20 lakh, dist.)- hence uniformity throughout the country
. Art 243-C: Composition(Compulsory) All members at all levels directly elected.
Chairperson at Intermediate & Dist. Levels indirectly elected & at Village level- to be elected acc. to the procedure established by state legislature
. Art 243-D: Reservation of seats:(Compulsory)
  • For SC/ST in every Panchayat at all level according to their population ratio in Panchayat area- and 1/3rd of it for women of SC/ST
  • State legislature may make law for Reservation of chairperson at village or any other level for SCs/STs
  • For women :- Not <1/3rd total seats for women ( including seats for women of SC/ST).
  • Not <1/3rd of total offices of chairpersons at each level for women.
  • State can reserve for backward classes in any Panchayat any level.
.Art 243-E: Duration of Panchayat-(Compulsory) 5 year term at every level and election before expiry of 5 years.
If dissolved before 5 years then elections within 6 months from date of dissolution and this newly constituted panchayat will continue only for remaining period (not 5 years).
***But if the remaining period of the last dissolved panchayat was <6 months then No new elections required and the Newly Elected Panchayat will Complete the Term of 5 years .
. Art 243-F: Disqualification of membership: Minimum Age for Election is 21 Years (Compulsory) Hence No need to be of 25 years as is the case for State Legistlature Elections.
So You can’t be disqualified for not being 25 years of age.
. Art 243-G: Powers & Functions– Given to Panchayat by state legislature (voluntary Provision)
. Art 243- H: Finances (voluntary):
  • State Legistlature may authorise the Panchayat to levy, collect and appropriate taxes
  • Assign to it taxes levied & collected by state
  • Make grants-in-aid out of CFS(Consolidated fund of state)
  • Provide constitution of funds
. Art 243-I: State Finance Commission(Compulsory)- to be constituted by Governor every 5 years.
  • Will make recommendations regarding distribution between state & Panchayat of net proceeds of taxes and tolls by state;
  • determine taxes, duties to assigned to Panchayat.
  • Any other Matter Referred to it by the Governor
Article 243J:- Audit of accounts of Panchayats:- The Legislature of a State may, by law, make provisions with respect to the maintenance of accounts by the Panchayats and the auditing of such accounts.
Article 243K:- Elections to the Panchayats :-Power of Superintendence ,Control and Preparation of Electoral Roll for Election lies with the State Election Commission consisting of a State Election Commissioner to be appointed by the Governor.
This SEC can be removed only with the Procedure used to remove a High Court Judge.
Article 243M :- Non Applicability of the 73rd Act in Certain Areas :-
  • Scheduled Areas referred to in clause ( 1 ), and the tribal areas referred to in clause ( 2 ), of article 244
  • Nothing in this Part shall apply to :-
  • (a) the States of Jammu and Kashmir, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram;
  • (b) the Hill areas in the State of Manipur for which District Councils exist under any law for the time being in force.

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