Brief Introduction about Local Self Government
- Historically, local self governing institutions (LSGI) (Panchayats) have been integral to the Indian society and its governance.
- After Independence, 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts (1992) gave formal (Constitutional) recognition to these LSGIs.
- The objective was to push the democracy to the grassroot level (for better governance).
- However, there have been apprehensions that they have not proved to be effective instrument of governance which can be examined as follows:
Self Governing Institutions proving to be ineffective
- An examination of the working of LSGIs reveals that various limitations have left them ineffective to discharge their functions and roles.
- For example, insufficient devolution of budget, insufficient freedom to levy taxes, occasional conflict of interest between the officers (appointed) and the councilors (elected), corruption etc. come in the way of proper discharge of functions and duties of these LSG.
But a deeper examination reveals that certain instances and facts that depict the effectiveness of LSGIs in certain parts of the country.
Self Governing Institutions proving to be EFFEVTIVE
- For example, these institutions have contributed to the creation of political leaders who are well aware of the issues faced by the people at the grass root level.
- There are numerous examples of LSGIs all across the country that reveal that in spite of limited budgetary resources, the local bodies have played an important role in effective implementation of various policies (School Enrolment in Vellamuda Panchayat in Wayanad district; PMAY (rural) in Kangra District).
- This shows that LSGIs are capable enough to deliver on their objectives provided that certain limitations are tackled.
- To achieve this, policies to devolve more funds/ taxation powers to the local bodies; practices like compulsory social audits, delineating the duties and rights of officials and elected representatives etc. can prove to be important measures to improve the situation.