This book explores experiences, issues and challenges which have emerged since Constitutional status was granted to the local bodies at grassroots level in India in the early 1990s. Among other issues, it focuses on: the contrasting political ideas of Mahatma Gandhi and B. R. Ambedkar on Panchayati Raj Institutions the legal and constitutional provisions which were introduced through the 73rd and 74th Amendment Acts the devolution process, status and challenges of democracy for local governmental bodies empowerment of the women and lower castes through reservations in the local bodies governance in Schedule V and VI tribal areas Based on extensive fieldwork across India, this volume will be useful to scholars and researchers of political science, sociology, public administration as well as policymakers and civil society activists.
Kerala'S Development Experiments And Experiences Are Of Profound Significance Throughout The Globe. This Handy Volume Is A Collection Of Twelve Papers Which Deals With Hetrogeneous Topics Ranging From Panchayati Raj, Municipal Administration, Financial Administration, Electoral Politics And Politics Of Development. These Papers Will Help To Throw Light On The Transformation Of The State Polity During The Recent Past. Papers Can Be Broadly Categorised Under Three Major Captions Politics Of Democracy, Decentralisation And Development. The Focus Of Attention In The First Five Chapters Is On The Inestimable Impact Of The Modern Political Forces Political Parties, Interest Groups And Pressure Groups On Kerala Polity. Special Attention Is Paid To Assess And Evaluate The Electoral Process, Voting Behaviour, Participation Of Women And Weaker Sections In Its Dynamism. Chapters Six To Eleven Depict On The Origin, Growth And Performance Of The Civic Bodies Both Rural And Urban On Kerala. This Part Is Of Paramount Importance Because Of The Adoption Of The 73Rd And 74Th Constitution Amendment Acts By The Centre And Its Ratification By The State. The Central Theme Of Discussion In The Concluding Chapter Is To Evaluate The Various Developmental Measures Carried Out By The State For The Upliftment Of Weaker Sections Of Kerala.
This book provides a vantage point of comparison, of the actual reality of decentralisation in India with Gandhi’s vision of decentralised democracy, or what he referred to as Gram Swaraj. It looks at the historical evolution of panchayats from ancient times to India’s independence, and critically discusses the developments after. It examines the functioning of the present Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) and the performances of urban local bodies. The basic thrust of this work is the need for constitutional reforms meant to strengthen and deepen democracy. The book will be useful to those in political studies, policy studies, public administration and development studies.
Academic Paper from the year 2012 in the subject History - Asia, language: English, abstract: This paper analyses the decentralization in India with special interest in the history of the country and his government. Decentralization is popularly known as Panchayati raj in India. Panchayati raj institutions have been considered as instruments of socio-economic transformation in rural India. Decentralization of power to the Panchayats is seen as a means of empowering people and involving them in decision making process. Local governments being closer to the people can be more responsive to local needs and can make better use of resources. The democratic system in a country can be ensured only if there is mass participation in the governance. Therefore, the system of democratic decentralization popularly known as Panchayati Raj is considered as an instrument to ensure democracy and socio-economic transformation. From ancient to Mughal period village bodies were the pivot of administration. In the British period our villages remained backward and they lacked all the essentials of civilized existence. They did not have adequate communications, sanitations, public health, medical aid, good education facilities and all other things that a modern man needs as essentials of life. In the independent India, The role of the local self government acquired a new significance.
Decentralization implies the devolution of state authority. Decision-making capacity and resources are transferred from the center to organs at the local level. Such reforms can enhance the quality of democratic governance: the state becomes more effectiv
This handbook examines 25 years of decentralised governance and development in India. It provides a historical overview of developments since the introduction of decentralisation reforms (73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts) and critically assesses the measures initiated to strengthen decentralised institutions and deepen grassroots democracy. It also discusses the status of service delivery and identifies the issues and challenges involved in achieving development at the local level. The volume studies themes such as the devolution of powers in India, administrative and fiscal decentralisation, decentralised planning, Panchayats in scheduled areas, the sociological aspects of decentralisation, caste, gender and local democracy, capacity building, ICT for local governance, urban local governance, workfare and decentralisation, and decentralised natural resource management. It also looks at Panchayati Raj institutions from a Gandhian perspective. The first of its kind, this handbook will be an essential read for scholars and researchers of decentralisation and development, development studies, fiscal decentralisation, political studies, political sociology, Indian politics, Indian government, public policy and governance, political economy, South Asian studies, and South Asian politics.
This book is an in-depth empirical study of four Asian and African attempts to create democratic, decentralised local governments in the late 1980s and 1990s. The case studies of Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Karnataka (India) and Bangladesh focus upon the enhancement of participation; accountability between people, politicians and bureaucrats; and, most importantly, on whether governmental performance actually improved in comparison with previous forms of administration. The book is systematically comparative, and based upon extensive popular surveys and local field work. It makes an important contribution to current debates in the development literature on whether 'good governance' and decentralisation can provide more responsive and effective services for the mass of the population - the poor and disadvantaged who live in the rural areas.
Social Capital, Politics & Governance in West Bengal
Author: Harihar Bhattacharyya
Publisher: Vedams eBooks (P) Ltd
Contents: Preface. I. Introduction: 1. Problem. 2. Case study of West Bengal. II. Social capital, democracy and governance: 1. Concept of social capital. 2. Neglect of the political. 3. Indian democracy as a puzzle. 4. Chhiber?s counter argument. 5. Post-colonial context: democratic consciousness. 6. Building social capital in the colonial world. 7. Formation of social capital : colonial and post-colonial world. 8. Micro-level evidences of post-colonial associationalism: i. Communist movement in the district of Burdwan. ii. Co-operatives and associationalism: micro-level evidences. 9. Conclusion. III. Decentralisation and local democracy in India: 1. Asian context of decentralisation. 2. Factors for decentralisation in Asia. 3. Indian story. 4. Historical legacy of decentralisation in India. 5. Indian nationalist thought and decentralisation. 6. Tradition of local governance. 7. Constituent assembly and village governance. 8. Decentralisation in the Indian constitution. 9. State sponsored institutional measures. 10. Local government in India?s federal polity. 11. Institutional mechanisms and accommodation of diversities. 12. Conclusion. IV. Local democracy, governance and empowerment in West Bengal: 1. Governance as a global agenda. 2. Governance and democracy. 3. Case of West Bengal?s decentralisation and democracy. 4. Asia?s most decentralised region? 5. A multi-cultural society. 6. Marxist approach to decentralisation. 7. History as a resource. 8. Decentralisation in West Bengal since independence. 9. Profile of governance in West Bengal (1958-93). 10. CPI-M?s conceptual framework of rural governance: i. Operational mechanisms for running local democracy. ii. The CPI-M?s redefinition of the panchayats. 11. Multi-party competition at panchayat elections since 1978. V. Making local democracy work in West Bengal : civic competence and popular task: 1. Institutions, trust and governance. 2. Political environment for panchayats. 3. Democratic participation and panchayat members. 4. Empirical evidences from panchayats: i. Socio-political portraits of elected members of Gram Panchayats. ii. Members of Satinandi Gram Panchayats. iii. Socio-political portraits of Jaugram Gram Panchayat. iv. Empirical evidences from Gurap Gram Panchayat. v. Empirical evidences from other panchayats from West Bengal. 5. Popular perception and citizen competence. 6. Panchayat Prodhans as democratisers: i. Case of nine Prodhans of Galsi (Burdwan). 7. Democratic potentialities. 8. Elite perception of decentralised governance: i. Elite perception of high governance. VI. Panchayats and social capital in West Bengal: empirical evidences from the localities: 1. Introduction. 2. Consciousness of rights and the panchayats. 3. Villagers of Belgram (Galsi). 4. Social capital among the schedules and tribes of rural Burdwan. 5. Social capital in Burdwan town. 6. Socio-political awareness of the villagers of under Jaugram Gram Panchayat. VII. Making urban democracy work in West Bengal: 1. Methodological question. 2. Recent constitutional arrangements for urban democracy in India. 3. Marxists and the municipalities. 4. Two case studies: i. Burdwan municipality. ii. Uttar Para municipality. 5. Conclusion. VIII. Gram Samsad as grassroots democracy: evidences from rural Bengal: 1. Gram Sabha as primary democracy: early beginning. 2. From Gram Sabha to Gram Samsad. 3. Concept of Gram Samsad: i. Legal concept. ii. Political concept. 4. Performances of Gram Samsad: case studies. 5. Performances of Gram Samsad: over all Bengal experiences. 6. Party?s self-critical assessments. 7. Conclusion: liberal vs dialogic democracy. IX. Conclusion. Bibliography. Index."Local democracy in India remains neglected in the ongoing studies of Indian democracy and politics. As a political sociology of democracy in India, this study seeks to rectify this neglect by locating the subject of local democracy in India, generally, and in West Bengal, in particular, in the appropriate historical, institutional and theoretical contexts. This study seeks to evaluate, in particular, the successes of the so-called (post-1978) ?Bengal model? of rural local self-government (panchayats) that is considered to be responsible for better governance, and political participation, decreasing the level of political violence, and ensuring some level of popular identification with representative political institutions in West Bengal, and to assess its relevance for other regions of India. Written in the backdrop of social capital theory, which privileges civil society as a precondition for the success of democracy, this study argues, alternatively, the case for ?democracy without associations? in the post-colonial societies including India as a possibility. Without denying the importance of associationalism in making democracy work, this study seeks to show that this act of associationalism may be performed by agencies not typically civil societies. There is thus a positive lesson to learn: the other regions of India, and other post-colonial societies beyond, deficient in civil society, need not despair because democracy is possible without civil societies. The democracy search in India, it is argued here, should not be hindered by the prior civil society search. In India and other post-colonial societies, the scholarly search should not concentrate on whether there is civil society or not, but whether there is democracy or not, and if yes, in what ways. The detailed case studies show that how political parties and their mass associations can be at work in making local democracy work in a favourable political and institutional contexts. Contrary to scholarly misconceptions about local democracy in India, this study asserts that local democracy, rural and urban, is based on the same twin principles of modernity?individuation and democracy?as democracy at national and state levels, and that there lies its developmental and progressive potentialities."The book should be of interest to students of political science, sociology, development, democratisation and public administration as well as policy makers and political activists." (jacket)
The book captures the first five decades of constitutional democracy in India with particular reference to democracy, development, governance. This publication presents an original assessment of the constitution in action. The various issues discussed here revolve round the management of institutions of governance and process of development. It is a beautiful comprehensive analysis on the subject.
The Kerala People's Campaign for Decentralized Planning
Author: T. M. Thomas Isaac
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Category: Political Science
In this definitive history, a key figure in the People's Campaign in Kerala provides a unique insider's account of one of the world's most extensive and successful experiments in decentralization. Launched in 1996, the campaign mobilized over 3 million of Kerala's 30 million people and resulted in bottom-up development planning in all 1,052 of its villages and urban neighborhoods. The authors tell a powerful story of mass mobilization and innovation as bureaucratic opposition was overcome, corruption and cynicism were rooted out, and parliamentary democracy prevailed. Considering both the theoretical and applied significance of the campaign in the context both of India's development since independence and of recent international debates about decentralization, civil society, and empowerment, the book provides invaluable lessons for sustainable development worldwide.
Both India and China have experienced economic changes and growing social consciousness which have generated new challenges for local institutions. This volume closely studies the resultant grass-roots political experiences in these countries from an interdisciplinary perspective. It examines the process of democratisation and highlights the growing demands for participation and the complex power structures interjecting them. The contributors to this volume discuss issues relating to institutional structures and the dynamics of local governance in a changing socio-economic environment that panchayati raj in India and village committee system in China represent. In addition to the political economy of rural areas, they also focus on the role of gender, caste, class, ethnicity and religion in local political processes.
Highlights the gap between the official rhetoric and the political reality of democratic decentralisation and bottom-up planning using an in-depth study of the metropolitan planning process in Kolkata, India. This book focuses on the dynamic interactions between planners and the operation of the political process that shapes this reality.
This is a collection of 20 essays, dedicated to Dr George Mathew, by eminent scholars and academics on decentralised governance and its importance in a globalising world. Based on emperical studies and paradigms of developed and developing countries, it has an overarching focus on India s panchayati raj institutions. The Seventy third constitution Amendment Act of 1992, by making PRIs mandatory, was a historic move towards deepening democracy and advancing development through decentralisation. Decentralisation programmes in other countries (e.g S.Africa and Pakistan ) are also reviewed. The book offers a comprehensive account of development and governance at the grassroots through a broad canvas of multiperspective and interdisciplinary presentations.