The Essence of Local Self - Governance in India
Mahatma Gandhi, the father of the nation, often emphasized that India lives in villages and unless the village life is re-energized, the nation as a whole cannot make progress. In India, the system of panchayats has a long history. We also find references of Gram Panchayat in ancient and medieval literatures. The Article 40 of the Constitution of India, which affirmed that ‘the state shall take steps to classify Village Panchayats and to award them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as the units of self-government,’ paved the way for the introduction of Panchayati Raj. It mainly aimed to promote democratic participation, involve villagers in the development efforts and simplify the administrative burden on the states. This system was also considered necessary for the growth of a strong democracy in India. The structure of Panchayati Raj varies from state to state. Some states have three-tier structure, whereas some have two-tier structure. A few states have only single-tier structure at the village level. In this background it is necessary to study the essence of local self governance in India. It is a descriptive study. The data were collected through the literary review, journals, secondary sources and Primary sources. Structured Interview schedule was prepared to collect the primary data from the Panchayat villages of Namakkal Block at Namakkal District in Tamil Nadu
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