The Panchayati Raj Day is celebrated across India with fgreat enthusiasm to honour the Panchayati Raj System. On this day the governemnt honours the various members of Panchayati Raj systemfor their work and contribution. It is a very important day for India. Hence students from schools and college are asked to write essays, speech, paragraphs on Panchayat Raj Day and system. So in this article, we have given yoou all the information about Panchayat Raj Day 2018 and Panchayat Raj System in India such as what is Panchayat Raj Day? what is Panchayat Raj system in India? The history of Panchayat Raj Day, what is E-Panchayat? Someinteresting fun and interesting facts about Panchayati Raj Diwas or the National Panchayati Raj Day (NPRD). So, let’s start.
What is The Panchayati Raj Diwas?
Every year on April 24, India celebrates the Panchayati Raj Diwas or the National Panchayati Raj Day (NPRD), where the government felicitates the members of the Panchayati Raj System, a system that stems from the villages and works for their betterment and development. This day marks the day in history when the Constitution Act (73rd Amendment, 1992) came into effect in 1993. This day is lauded, as it was on this day that the constitution endowed the village Panchayats with the power to function as self-sustained units of self- government. The Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj organizes national conferences on this day and honors the best performing Panchayats with the following awards:
- Deendayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar
- Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar
- Award to Gram Panchayats for good work in the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Generation Scheme (MGNREG), awarded by the Ministry of Rural Development
The very first Panchayati Raj Diwas was celebrated on April 24, 2010, under the aegis of the then Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh.
The Origin and History of Panchayati Raj
The Panchayati Raj owes it to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi for advocating it as the foundation of India’s political system. He envisioned a decentralized form of government in the form of Panchayats, where each village will be held accountable and work towards its own affairs. He called them ‘Gram Swaraj’ but along with the name, there are several differences between the blueprint planned by Mahatma Gandhi and the current day Panchayati Raj System. The Balwant Rai Mehta Committee headed Mr. Balwantrai Mehta was the one that recommends the system of decentralized democracy which later came to be known as the Panchayat System. The very first Panchayat was formed in the state of Rajasthan on 2nd Oct 1992 in the Nagaur District. The 73rd Amendment 1992 added a new Part IX to the constitution under the title ‘The Panchayats’ which covered provisions from Article 243 to 243(O).
The purpose and functioning of the Panchayati Raj System in India
The Panchayati Raj is divided into a three-tier structure, namely:
- The Village Panchayat
- The Panchayat Samiti
- The Zila Parishad
The same can be seen clearly in the diagram below:
Let us understand how each of these tiers functions at their respective levels:
The Village/ Gram Panchayat– This is the lowest tier of the Panchayati Raj system. Every village in India has its own Village Panchayat. In case the number of people in a particular village is too less, then two or more villages get together to constitute one Village Panchayat, headed by an elected representative from all the combined villages. Eligibility to be a part of the Panchayat elections includes that the nominated candidate must not hold any office of profit under the government and he/she must be a registered voter. There is a reservation of one third in the Panchayat elections for women, across all categories.
The Gram Panchayat is accountable to a village body, the Gram Sabha, for its annual budget and administrative reports. Furthermore, the approval of the Gram Sabha is needed by the Gram Panchayat for tax and development programme proposals. Every Gram Panchayat is headed by elected representatives, the Sarpanch (President) and the Upsarpanch (Vice President). The Sarpanch is an official member of the Panchayat Samiti which is the next tier and represents his Gram Panchayat in it. The principal function of the Gram Panchayat is to handle the upkeep of the villages under it and to maintain the birth and the death records.
The Panchayat Samiti– The second tier of the Panchayati Raj System is the Panchayat Samiti. The Balwant Rai Mehta Committee describes the Panchayat Samiti as ”an area large enough for functions which the Village Panchayat cannot perform. Every Panchayat Samiti is made up of twenty to sixty villages with a total population ranging from 35k to 1 lakh. The office of every Panchayat Samiti is formed of:
- 20 members elected out of the Sarpanches of the Gram Panchayats falling under its purview
- Two women members
- One member each from the SC/ST category, if not otherwise adequately represented in the above.
- Two local persons having rural and administrative experience
- Representatives working with the co-operatives that come under the jurisdiction
- One representative from the municipalities that come under its jurisdiction
- Members of state and union legislatures representing the area
The President of the Panchayat Samiti is called the Pradhan and he is also the ex officio member of the Zilla Parishad. He also oversees the work of the BDOs and the staff under them. The principal function of the Panchayat Samiti is to coordinate the activities of the Gram Panchayats under it. They supervise the work of the Gram Panchayats and suggest measures to improve their functioning.
The Zilla Parishad– They form the topmost tier of the Panchayati Raj System and consist of the following members:
- Representatives of the Panchayat Samiti
- All members of the state legislature and the parliament representing part or whole of the district
- All district level officers of the Public Health, Public Works, Engineering, Agriculture, Veterinary ,Education and other development areas
- The collector of the area is also a member of the Zilla Parishad
The head of the Zilla Parishad is called the Chairman and is elected from among its members. There is also a CEO who is deputed to the Zilla Parishad by the Government. The principal function of the Zilla Parishad is coordinating and supervising the activities of the Panchayat Samitis. They also play an advisory role to the government with respect to the implementation of government schemes.
What are e-Panchayats?
The World Bank defines E-governance as “The use by government agencies of information technologies (such as Wide Area Networks, the internet, and mobile computing) that have the ability to transform relations with citizens, businesses and other forms of government’. To this effect, the Government of India launched the National e-Governance Plan in 2006. The aim behind it was to provide easy access to information to the citizens and to solicit their active participation in governance. e-Panchayat is one of the Mission Mode projects under this programme, directed towards automating 2.45 lakh Panchayats in India. The e-Panchayat Mission Mode project aims to achieve the following through Information and Communication technology ICT:
- Full automation of the working of the Panchayats
- Improving service delivery
- Capacity building of the elected representatives of the Panchayats
- Social audit
- Transparency, Accountability, Efficiency, and compliance to RTI by the Panchayats
- Aiding the local self –government
Some fun facts and quotes about the Panchayati Raj
- ‘The day Panchayati Raj comes into effect, the opinion made by the people will be able to implement changes that otherwise could not have been achieved by Violence’ – Mahatma Gandhi
- ‘Panchayati Raj is seen as Good Governance at the village level that can help in developing any village- Mahatma Gandhi
- Panchayati Raj works for the better of the rural people and it helps in transforming Rural India into a better place to live.
- A mobile app ‘Gramoday Sankalp’ was launched in the year 2017, on the Panchayati Raj Diwas.
- Also launched in 2017 was the YouTube channel of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, which showcases short videos based on the inspirational stories and achievements of the Panchayati Raj members.
The presence of the Panchayati Raj on social media
In the upcoming elections to the Panchayati Raj, the representatives plan to harness the power of the social media in creating awareness among the youth about the Panchayats and their achievements. With the smartphones becoming cheaper by the day, Whatsapp groups have been created for each block for daily updates and several representatives have also taken to Facebook and Twitter to voice their opinions.
Highlights for Panchayati Raj Diwas, 2018
- PM Narendra Modi will be visiting Jabalpur which is the chosen venue for the Panchayati Raj Diwas, on the occasion on April 24, 2018.
- Jabalpur has been chosen to keep in line the Deendayal Upadhyay’s philosophy of targeting and reaching out to the tribal sector. One of the Panchayati Raj Diwas awards has been named after Deendayal Upadhyay.
- The Day is being celebrated this year as part of the Gram Samaj Abhiyaan (14th April- 5th May)
India lives in its villages and now even technology has started to make a foothold in the villages with the Panchayats now connecting with the cities and learning from their development while at the same time the city councils too can learn a thing or two from the Panchayats about creating more out of fewer resources. With the Panchayats and their representatives now also connected with each, there is a better coordination among the Gram Panchayats, Panchayat Samitis and the Zilla Parishad. The involvement of youth in the Panchayati System ensures that new ideas are brought into the system and they move forward rapidly with their effective implementation.
I hope you liked this article. If this article helped you in any way then please RATE THE ARTICLE WITH 5 STARS and don’t forget to leave a comment in the comment section below. Thank you. 🙂