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

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Kerala's Decentralisation

Idea in Practice

This paper attempts to comprehend and analyse the successes and shortcomings of the People's Campaign in Kerala. Although Keralaâ??s socio-economic context and political culture have placed it in a unique position to realise the goal of democratic decentralisation, and the campaign itself is a remarkable example of the state's capacity for intelligent public mobilisation, it was found that the plan implementation faced some major hurdles. On the basis of a case study conducted in Palakkad district, the author also looks at the actual follow-up events and the impact of political affiliations, staffing issues, and lack of technical expertise on the course of project implementation. The paper argues that the discourse on decentralisation in Kerala also has relevance for the whole country, as the People's Campaign has offered a new paradigm for participatory planning. The issues it has thrown up can help to focus attention on what needs to be done to make decentralisation a meaningful exercise in other states.

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