Panchayati Raj System is the system under which power is decentralized administrative powers are divided into different areas.
This is done so that the plans of development can be implemented in every region of the nation. Under the Panchayati Raj system, arrangements for local self-government are made in a particular area.
Today we will study in detail about Panchayati Raj and know what is Panchayati Raj system? The topic is very important for UPSC Prelims and Mains as well.
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Panchayati Raj System
The Panchayati Raj system was first introduced by the Rajasthan government in September 1959.
The Government of Rajasthan first passed the Panchayat Samiti and Zilla Parishad Act in its Legislative Assembly.
Who inaugurated the Panchayati Raj System in India?
The Panchayati Raj system was inaugurated by the Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru on 2 October 1959 at Nagaur in Rajasthan.
After that, the Panchayati Raj system was inaugurated in many states and union territories. So that rural areas can be brought within the limits of development.
The purpose of creating the Panchayati Raj system was that the government schemes could be reached far and wide. So that, the development of the nation takes place at a rapid pace.
Organs of Panchayati Raj System
In the Panchayati Raj system, the Gram Panchayat is constituted at the village level. Above it is the Panchayat Samiti at the block level and the Zilla Parishad at the district level.
Gram Panchayat is formed for the village level. Whose goal is to play its role in the development of a certain area.
All the members of the Gram Panchayat are elected by the people of the village. There is a Sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat who is also called the head of the Gram Panchayat.
Panchayat Samiti is the committee at the intermediate tehsil (taluka) level in India.
Many people appointed to constitutional posts in this committee are its members. Its work is done at tehsil and block level.
Elections to this committee are held after every five years. Its members include members of the Lok Sabha, members of the Legislative Assembly, municipalities, all heads, members of scheduled castes and tribes, etc.
The secretary of this committee is the development officer of the Panchayat Samiti.
Zila Parishad is also known as the District council. It functions as a superior and high council. Its function is to look after the works of Gram Panchayat and Panchayat Samiti and guide them when required.
The jurisdiction of this council is the entire district. It provides grants to the lower committees when necessary.
The District Magistrate (DM) is the highest representative of the State Government in a District and he has a very important role in this council.
While Zilla Parishad is a part of local self-government, the district magistrate is the administrative and revenue head of a district. He is also empowered with Magisterial powers to deal with law and order situations within the district territory.
The head of all the Panchayat Samiti is mainly included in this committee.
That is, the members playing an important role in these committees from every area of the entire district are the members of this council.
The Zilla Parishad functions as the higher unit of Panchayati Raj.
The main function of this council is to coordinate the work and plans of the following committees and act as a link between the state government and the committees.
Ashok Mehta Committee Report
The report of the Ashok Mehta Committee has a very important role in the Panchayati Raj system.
While the report of the Balwant Rai Mehta Committee talks of a three-tier system, the report of the Ashok Mehta Committee talks of a two-tier system.
We are giving importance to this committee because the recommendations of this committee are highly accepted.
This committee was in favor of the district level and the Mandal Panchayat (which should have representatives from all the rural areas). But it gave more importance to the Panchayat at the district level and suggested assigning many responsibilities to it.
Functions of Panchayati Raj System
1). Health-related work – The main function of the existing committees in the Panchayati Raj system is to run the health-related schemes smoothly in rural areas and to implement the various schemes run by the government.
2). Education-related work – To arrange education of children in rural areas and give financial assistance to the students of the poor class. Along with it, the proper arrangement of scholarships has also to be made.
Other functions of the Panchayati Raj System include – Maintenance and repair of the school buildings to make the teaching-learning process of the students effective.
3). Agriculture and animal husbandry-related work – Agriculture and animal husbandry are the biggest sources of livelihood in rural areas.
In view of this importance, it is the duty of the Panchayat Samitis to make proper arrangements for agriculture and animal husbandry and provide all facilities to the farmers. So that they can able to accelerate the economy and fulfill their daily needs.
India has always been an agricultural country. In view of this, the introduction of this setup was important so that the development of the country can happen at a faster pace.
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