National Panchayati Raj Day

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    The Ministry of Panchayati Raj in collaboration with the Government of Madhya Pradesh commemorated National Panchayati Raj Day (NPRD).

    Major Highlights of the Day

    • The Prime Minister inaugurated an integrated e-GramSwaraj and GeM portal for public procurement at the Panchayat level. 
      • The integration aims at enabling panchayats to market their goods and services through GeM leveraging the e-GramSwaraj platform.
    • The Prime Minister handed over SVAMITVA Property Card to select beneficiaries, symbolizing the attainment of the milestone of 1.25 crore property cards distribution under the SVAMITVA Scheme in the country. 
    • A dedicated website and Mobile App on “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav – SAMAAVESHI VIKAS” was launched by Prime Minister. 

    About National Panchayati Raj Day

    • It is celebrated on April 24 every year in India to commemorate the historic day when the Panchayati Raj System was introduced in the country.
      •  The Panchayati Raj System is a decentralized system of governance in India, where local bodies or Gram Panchayats are given the power to govern themselves and make decisions for the development of their respective areas. 
      • This system was introduced in 1993 by the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, which aimed at bringing democracy at the grassroots level and empowering people in rural areas.

    Historical Linkages 

    • The Panchayati Raj System has its roots in ancient India, where the village council or Panchayat was the primary unit of governance.
    •  The system was revived in the early 1950s when the first National Development Council recommended the establishment of a democratic system of governance at the grassroots level. 
    • However, it was not until 1993 that the Panchayati Raj System was given a constitutional status and made mandatory for all states in India.

    Significance 

    • The Panchayati Raj System has been instrumental in bringing about significant changes in the rural landscape of India. 
    • It has given people in rural areas a voice and an opportunity to participate in the decision-making process, leading to the overall development of their respective areas. The system has also helped in decentralizing power and reducing corruption at higher levels of government, as decisions are made at the local level. 
    • The system has been successful in bringing about socio-economic development, promoting social justice, and empowering women in rural areas.

    SVAMITVA Scheme

    • SVAMITVA (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas): It is a Central Sector Scheme launched by the Prime Minister on 24th April 2020 on the occasion of the National Panchayati Raj Day.
    • It aims to provide “Records of Rights”/ Property Cards to rural household owners of the inhabited area of the village. 
    • It covers multifarious aspects viz. facilitating monetisation of properties and enabling bank loans; reducing property-related disputes; comprehensive village-level planning. 
    • It will further enhance the socio-economic profile of the Panchayats, making them self-sustainable. 

    Source: ET