ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Decentralisation, Development and ‘Elite Capture’

Decentralised Governance, Development Programmes and Elite Capture by D Rajasekhar, M Devendra Babu and R Manjula, Singapore: Springer Nature, 2018; pp 169, Price not mentioned.

Haryana’s Panchayati Raj

The conditions imposed by the amendment to the panchayati raj law in Haryana have not only excluded a large section of the population from contesting elections but have also deprived voters of their right to choose. All appropriate measures must be undertaken to ensure that these exclusionary conditions are withdrawn.

Problems with the Eco-Sensitive Zone

Eco-Sensitive Zones are being touted by the government as transition zones around protected forest areas, that would minimise forest depletion and man-animal conflict. This report, from the Corbett National Park, suggests how ESZs marginalise local interests and would prove detrimental to conservation in the long run.

Grass Roots Politics and 'Second Wave of Decentralisation' in Andhra Pradesh

This article considers the impact of multiple channels of village level participation from the perspective of the macro political motives and micro political dynamics. Recent fieldwork from Andhra Pradesh shows that party politics plays an important role in elections to local bodies and that a subset of rural voters, that the author calls the 'political stratum', is emerging. The article goes on to consider the importance of newly created political party structures in the state, and their role in establishing de facto horizontal and vertical linkages that have to date been insufficiently accounted for in studies of the matrix of grass roots development associations.

Education: Panchayat and Decentralisation

Since the 1950s, primary school education has seen a significant decline across certain regions of West Bengal. In this paper that focuses on three districts of the state, the sorry state of affairs that prevails in the panchayati system is largely to blame for the debacle. Panchayati raj institutions, instead of spearheading the decentralisation of the educational process, became a tool in the hands of the major political parties, which sought to implement populist policies like 'no detention' rather than bringing in a thorough revamp of the entire system.

Uttaranchal : A People-Oriented Panchayati Raj Framework

Uttaranchal has a golden opportunity to frame its Panchayati Raj Act so as to reflect the letter and spirit of the Central Act, incorporating at the same time provisions keeping in view local socio-economic conditions. Suggestions for a people-friendly legal framework for panchayati raj.

Recent Reforms in the Panchayat System in West Bengal

The experience of West Bengal under the panchayat system stands in sharp contrast with that of other states and, together with land reform, it has been credited for playing an important role in the impressive economic turnaround of the state since the mid 1980s. West Bengal is the first and the only major state to have had timely panchayat elections on a party basis regularly every five years since 1978. However, despite its pioneering status in terms of reforms of the panchayat system, West Bengal lags behind several other states today in terms of devolution of power, finances and functions to the panchayat. Also, the extent of people's participation in the planning process is significantly less compared to that in Kerala. This paper studies a particular component of a set of recently introduced reforms of the panchayat system in West Bengal that is aimed precisely at addressing this concern - the introduction of mandatory village constituency (gram sansad) meetings.

Documenting Panchayat Raj

Status of Panchayati Raj in the States and Union Territories of India , General Editor George Mathew; Concept Publishing Company for Institute of Social Sciences, 2000; pp 516, Rs. 1000

Making the Gram Sabha Work

Non-participation of the rural people has hobbled the development of the gram sabha, denying the true benefits of this institution to the people. The concept of gram sabha has also not been grasped clearly, right from the policy-makers to the villagers. A gram sabha needs to generate a feeling of belonging. The real challenge now is to 'reconnect' the sabha, by communicating clearly its function and purpose both at the individual and public levels

Mahya Pradesh - Gram Swaraj: Experiment in Direct Democracy

The state government has initiated a bold experiment in local selfgovernment by amending the panchayat raj legislation to devolve powers to the village-level gram sabha. What does the new legislation envisage? How effective will it be in bridging the gap between people and structures of governance?

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