National Panchayati Raj Day

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    Every year, the National Panchayati Raj Day is celebrated on 24th April.

    About the Day

    • It marks a defining moment in the history of decentralisation of power, with the institutionalisation of Panchayati Raj, through the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 which came into force with effect from 24th April 1993.
    • It is commemorated by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
    • The first such Day was celebrated in 2010.
    • It provides an opportunity for direct dialogue with Panchayat representatives from all over the country as well as recognising their achievements to empower and motivate them further.
    • During 2021 celebrations, the Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas (SVAMITVA) Scheme has been dedicated to the entire nation and Property Cards/Title Deeds will be electronically distributed.

    National Panchayat Awards

    • Every year, the Ministry awards the best performing Panchayats/States/UTs under the Incentivization of Panchayats in recognition of their good work for improving delivery of services and public goods.
    • These are conferred under various categories namely
      • Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar (DDUPSP).
      • Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar (NDRGGSP).
      • Child-friendly Gram Panchayat Award (CFGPA).
      • Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) Award.
      • e-Panchayat Puraskar (given to States/UTs only).
    • In 2021, the award money (as Grants-in-Aid) ranging from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 50 lakh will be directly transferred to the bank account of the Panchayats. This is being done for the first time.

    SVAMITVA Scheme

    • It is a Central Sector Scheme of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
    • It was launched on the National Panchayati Raj Day in 2020.
    • Aim: To provide the ‘record of rights’ to village household owners in rural areas and issuance of Property cards.
    • It has been approved for implementation at an outlay of Rs. 566.23 crore across the country in phased manner over a period of five years (2020-2025).
    • Its pilot phase was implemented during 2020-2021 in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh and a few border villages of Punjab and Rajasthan.
    • The scheme will be carried out in close coordination with the Survey of India, Panchayati Raj departments and Revenue departments of various states.
    • Significance
      • It has the potential to transform rural India and will ensure streamlined planning, revenue collection and provide clarity over property rights in rural areas.
      • It will pave the way for using property as a financial asset by villagers for taking loans and other financial benefits.
      • This is the first time ever that such a large-scale exercise involving most modern technology is being carried out to benefit millions of rural property owners.
      • Disputes related to the property would also be settled through the Property Cards/Title Deeds.
        • Property Cards are allotted through this Scheme for every property in the village and will be prepared by states using accurate measurements delivered by drone-mapping.
        • Different States have different nomenclature for the Property Cards 

    Title Deed

    Haryana

    Rural Property Ownership Records

    Karnataka

    Adhikar Abhilekh

    Madhya Pradesh

    Sannad

    Maharashtra

    Patta 

    Rajasthan

    Svamitva Abhilekh

    Uttarakhand

    Gharauni

    Uttar Pradesh

     

    Panchayati Raj in India

    • The Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 came into force with effect from 24th April 1993 and vested Constitutional status on Panchayati Raj institutions.
    • Panchayat raj is the oldest system of local government.
    • The word ‘Panchayat’ is an amalgamation of two words where ‘Panch’ means ‘five’ and ‘Ayat’ means ‘assembly’ and ‘Raj’ means ‘rule’.
    • Rajasthan was the first state in the country where the Panchayati Raj system was implemented. It was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on 2nd October 1959 at Nagaur district.

    Genesis

    • Balwant Rai Mehta Committee, 1957: Suggested a three-tier Panchayati Raj system of Gram Panchayats at the village level, Panchayat Samiti at the block level and Zilla Parishad at the district level.
    • Ashok Mehta Committee, 1977: Incorporated novel thinking in the concepts and practice of the Panchayat Raj and recommended a two-tier Panchayat Raj structure consisting of Zilla Parishad and Mandal Panchayat.
    • G V K Rao Committee, 1985: Recommended making the district as the basic unit of planning and holding regular elections.
    • L M Singhvi Committee, 1986: Recommended providing more financial resources and constitutional status to the panchayats to strengthen them.
    • Other Contributing Committees: Hanumantha Rao Committee (1983), Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State relations (1988), P.K. Thungan Committee (1989) and Harlal Singh Kharra Committee (1990).
    • 1991: P V Narashima Rao’s government introduced a bill for this purpose in Lok Sabha in September and the bill finally emerged in 1992 and got enforced in 1993.

    73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments

    • Both were passed by Parliament in December 1992 and introduced local self-governance in rural and urban India.
    • The Acts came into force as the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 on 24th April 1993 and the Constitution (74th Amendment) Act, 1992 on 1st June 1993.
    • The 73rd Amendment Act added Part IX titled “The Panchayats” and the 74th Amendment Act added Part IXA titled “The Municipalities”.

    Salient Features of these Acts

    • Basic units of democratic system, Gram Sabhas (villages) and Ward Committees (Municipalities) comprising all the adult members registered as voters.
    • Article 243B: The three-tier system of panchayats at the village, intermediate block/taluk/Mandal and district levels except in States with the population are below 20 lakhs.
    • Article 243C (2): Seats at all levels to be filled by direct elections
      • Seats reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) and chairpersons of the Panchayats at all levels also shall be reserved for SCs and STs in proportion to their population.
    • Article 243D: One-third of the total number of seats to be reserved for women. One-third of the seats reserved for SCs and STs are reserved for women. One-third offices of chairpersons at all levels reserved for women.
    • Article 243E: Uniform five-year term and elections to constitute new bodies to be completed before the expiry of the term. In the event of dissolution, elections are compulsory within six months.
    • Article 243K: Independent Election Commission in each State for superintendence, direction and control of the electoral rolls.
    • Article 243G: Panchayats to prepare plans for economic development and social justice in respect of subjects as devolved by law to the various levels of Panchayats including the subjects as illustrated in Eleventh Schedule.
      • The Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution places as many as 29 functions within the purview of the Panchayati Raj bodies.
    • Article 243ZD: 74th Amendment provides for a District Planning Committee to consolidate the plans prepared by Panchayats and Municipalities.
    • Article 243H: Budgetary allocation from State Governments, the share of revenue of certain taxes, collection and retention of the revenue it raises, Central Government programmes and grants, Union Finance Commission grants.
    • Article 243I: Establish a Finance Commission in each State to determine the principles on the basis of which adequate financial resources would be ensured for panchayats and municipalities.

    Significance

    • Panchayati Raj has increased cooperation among people, their democratic participation and representation.
    • It has played an important role in decentralization of power and has made India more inclusive.
    • Gram Panchayats provide basic services in villages and also plan for local economic development of the population.
    • Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) improves efficiency of public services.
    • It includes less privileged sections of society and ensures their participation in the village level governance wherein they can advocate their developmental aspirations.
    • It helps in ensuring Good Governance as the Panchayati Raj system works on the pillars of ‘Consensus’ and ‘Participation’ which form an important part of Good Governance.

    Source: PIB