Q. 25.0( 2 Votes )

Suppose you are entrusted to evolve a local government plan of a State, what powers would you endow to the village panchayats to function as units of self-government? Mention any five powers and the justification in two lines for each of them for giving those powers.

Answer :

Village panchayat is a decentralised independent body which functions as a unit of self-government. If I am entrusted to evolve a local government plan of a State, the following powers will be endowed in the panchayats:

1. Public Amenities – to ensure better health and life of citizens and providing them with all sort of facilities, Gram Panchayats would have the powers to make arrangements for basic civic amenities for the people in the village.

2. Social Welfare Activities – The Gram Panchayat will need keep the records of birth and death in the village, family planning and its welfare also to organize social cultural events to increase participation and cooperation between people. The village can also organize charity programs for good social cause.

3. Agricultural Development – The Panchayats should supervise programmes and policies related to the modern agricultural practices and introduce new technologies and ways to increase the agricultural production.

4. Growth Works – The Gram Panchayats will also be responsible for development and growth functions at village level, such as construction of roads, tanks, irrigation facilities, maintenance of building and healthcare like hospitals an pharmacy at people’s reach, etc.

5. Educational work – The Gram Panchayats would be made responsible for the education in their village. I would make sure that gram Panchayats has the power and enough funds to open and maintain schools, Libraries and other educational institutions in the villages.

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A student of Delhi University, Raghavendra Parpanna, wanted to study the role of decentralisation in decision making about primary education. He asked some questions to the villagers. These questions are given below. If you were among those villagers, what answer would you give to each of these questions?

A meeting of the Gram Sabha is to be called to discuss what steps should be taken to ensure that every child of the village goes to the school.

a. How would you decide the suitable day for the meeting? Think who would be able to attend / not attend the meeting because of your choice.

(i) A day specified by the BDO or the collector

(ii) Day of the village haat

(iii) Sunday

(iv) Naagpanchami / sankranti

b. What is a suitable venue for the meeting? Why?

(i) Venue suggested by the circular of the district collector.

(ii) Religious place in the village.

(iii) Dalit Mohalla.

(iv) Upper caste Tola

(v) Village school

c. In the Gram Sabha meeting firstly a circular sent by the district collector was read. It suggested what steps should be taken to organise an education rally and what should be its route. The meeting did not discuss about the children who never come to school or about girls’ education, or the condition of the school building and the timing of the school. No women teacher attended the meeting as it was held on Sunday.

What do you think about these proceedings as an instance of people’s participation?

d. Imagine your class as the Gram Sabha. Discuss the agenda of the meeting and suggest some steps to realise the goal.

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