ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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New Initiatives for Democratic Decentralisation in Haryana

The 73rd amendment to the Constitution has given a new lease of life to panchayati raj institutions in terms of the continuity of regular elections and certainty for their permanent existence. But the strength of these institutions has been left to the apathy of the state government. The political leaders and bureaucracy did not allow the institutions of self-governance to grow by granting them the desired functions, finance and functionaries. However, the present government in power in the state has delegated several schemes to strengthen these institutions.


Gram Kachahary in Rural Bihar

Bihar has an innovative system of rural local governance through judicial institutions led by the people. Each gram panchayat has a gram kachahary. How these institutions work, the challenges they face, while settling disputes, and the ways these challenges could be met are examined.

Lohia's Thinking on Local Governments

The papers in the special issue on Rammanohar Lohia (EPW, 2 October 2010) did not dwell on the socialist leader's thinking on local governance and local development, ideas which continue to be relevant today for rural development.

Accountability of Panchayats

A Datta’s letter “Panchayat Accountability” (EPW, 15 August 2009) on M A Oommen’s paper “Limits of a ‘Devolution Index’” (EPW, 18 July 2009) needs discussion in the context of accountability.

Why Rethink Rotation of Reservation in Panchayats?

Extending the tenure of women in panchayats to 10-15 years as argued by Nupur Tiwari (EPW, 31 January 2009) will not automatically empower them. The existing pattern of reservation should be supplemented with various capacity-building measures. Action-oriented training programmes and adequate representation for women in the local administration will go a long way in ensuring their development and participation in the decision-making process.

Community Sanitation Campaign: A Study in Haryana

This article presents a case study of a successful Community-led Total Sanitation Campaign from Bhiwani district in Haryana. Social acceptance of hygienic sanitation practices has led to enormous benefits for the village community.

Agenda for Panchayats

New Issues in Panchayati Raj edited by D Bandyopadhyay and Amitava Mukherjee; Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi, 2004;
MAHI PAL Aconsiderable body of literature has been written both in English and Hindi on panchayati raj after the enactment of the 73rd Amendment Act, 1992, and Provisions of Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996. The book under review is a valuable addition to this existing literature. One of the editors of the book is a retired bureaucrat and the other taught bureaucrats in the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie. Both the editors are prolific authors of long-standing. The book contains seven essays which have been authored by senior bureaucrats and academics.

Role of Social Capital in Haryana

A report on a workshop on how social capital could aid rural development in Haryana.

Haryana : Caste and Patriarchy in Panchayats

The caste system and patriarchy still exercise a stranglehold on Haryana's panchayat institutions making a mockery of decentralised governance. The women elected representatives need adequate support systems as well as education to make them effective leaders.

Voluntary Sector and Credibility Issues

It is important for voluntary organisations to work in a transparent and accountable manner in order to win the confidence of the people among whom they work. A series of workshops held recently in northern India highlighted the need for NGOs to incorporate good governance practices.

Panchayati Raj and Rural Governance

One of the objectives of the 73rd Amendment was to give certainty, continuity and strength to the panchayats. The experiences of the functioning of the panchayats reveal that while elections have been held regularly, barring a few states the states, have been slow in devolving power to the panchayat bodies. What should be the future line of action for further deepening grass roots democracy to bring about socio-economic transformation in rural India?


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