Gram Panchayat - A Rural Self-Government in India
Gram Panchayat or Gram Panchayet
Gram Panchayat or Gram Panchayat (village council) is a village-based form of self-government in India. The word Panchayat comes from Sanskrit panch which means five. This is because such councils originally consisted of five members. Gram Panchayat is the grass-roots level statutory institution of rural self-government. The state government establishes a Panchayet in the name of a particular village. Members are elected by public votes. A citizen of at least 18 years of age can participate in this election. He is prompted to the activity of politics. There were no details on local self-government in the main Constitution of India. The Principles of Nirdesmulak Neeti (Directive Principles) had a promise to build Panchayet. In the list of the State in Seventh Schedule, the Construction of the Local System of Self-Government has been scripted.
In the month of December in 1992, the 73rd and 74th Amendments were made for the matter of Panchayet and Purosabha (Municipality). Structure and facts relating to election are explained in the 73rd Amendment in the 11th Schedule. A bill relating to municipalities is appendixed by the 74th Amendment in the 12th Schedule.
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At least 5 and not more than 25 are to be elected in each village. Members of the Panchayet Samity from that village can also be a member of that village's Panchayet, except for the President and the Deputy President.
The first meeting is organized by the B.D.O. (Block Development Officer). In that meeting, members select a head and a vice for the Panchayet by secret vote or ballot. The head or vice can be dismissed by the majority votes of the elected candidates. In a meeting,the Sabhapati (president or Pradhan) cannot lead the meeting for the special purpose relating to the dismissal of the Pradhan. The chief is called the Pradhan or Sarpanch in the Gram Panchayat. There is a secretary employed by the state government to assist the Pradhan. The secretary is the communication between the Pradhan or Sarpanch and the B.D.O., who is the representative of the state government. The secretary to the Pradhan is like the secretary to a minister.
Woman Giving a Speech in a Panchayat Meeting
Eligibility, Tenure, Resignation and Removal
- A member of a Gram Panchayet will not be a member of Naya Panchayet, Panchayet Samity, Zilla Porishad/Zilla Parishad or Municipality.
- He is not a salaried employee of Central Government, State Government, Gram Panchayet, Panchayet Samity or Zilla Porishad.
- If a Government co-ordination or an Organization led by Government dismisses one, he will not attain eligibility for the Panchayet Election.
- A maniac person declared by court, bankrupt or being punished continuously for six months is not eligible for the post.
- If a member of the Panchayet is proved to be a corrupt, he will not be able to participate as a candidate.
- A person who has not submitted tax,customs or toll cannot join the Panchayet.
There is certain reservation for women for participation in the Panchayat election .
- The Gram Panchayet is convened for five years. Before the date of collapse, a general election will be organised. General election means the combined elections of the Gram Panchayet, Panchayet Samity, Mahakuma Porishad or Zilla Porishad, or any two or more of the Gram Panchayets, Panchayet Samity, Mahakuma Porishad or Zilla Porishad.
- Time may be expanded for six years for any part or any locality if circumstances of that area are expected to obstruct the election. But the Government should notify in a Government Gadget.
- If the Government needs more than six month's extension, then it should have filed a proposal before the State Legislative Assembly. State Legislative Assembly may add a necessary amendment to that proposal.
- If a member wishes to resign their post before the expected date he can lodge a written resignation to the local B.D.O.
- The B.D.O. makes all members of that particular Panchayet aware of this fact within 30 days.
- For moral degradation, being punished for more than 6 months in jail, due tax, absence from three consecutive meetings in the Panchayet to which one is elected, the S.D.O. (Sub Division Officer) can dismiss a member.
- But he has to be given a chance to show cause for his misbehavior.
- If a reply is not received, then he can appeal to the definite authority engaged by the State Government .
- The decision taken by this authority will be granted as the final decision.
Leading Power of Women in Panchayat
Gram Sabha/Panchayet Meeting
To organise the meetings of Gramsabha and Grampanchayat is the main responsibility of a Gram Panchayat.
For each and every Gram Panchayet, Gramsabha must be conducted. Persons having names in the electoral rolls of State's Legislative Assembly will form the Gramsabha. Each Gram Panchayet will convene meetings annually and half yearly for each and every village it consists of. The Panchayat may summon more than two meetings. Place, date and time will be fixed by the Panchayet. The President (Pradhan) will preside over the meeting. In case of his absence, the Deputy President (Upo Pradhan) will preside. But if both are absent, then a member from that Gramsabha elected to the Gram Panchayet will preside over the meeting. Members present there must be enlisted and the functions of the sabha must be written officially. The decisions made in the Gramsabha will be considered in the Gram Panchayet. Decisions along with arrangements will be put in the report of the Gram Panchayet.
A Gram Panchayat also has the following duties:
- Constructing and repairing roads in villages
- Setting up and repairing village markets
- Collection of tax
- Festivals and celebrations
- Street lights
- Keeping a record of births, deaths and marriages in the village
- Public health and hygiene
- Free education
- Drinking water, sanitation,
- Digging ponds, ditches, and dams
- Soil reservation
- Solution for problems related to land disputes
- Solution for problem of field disputes
Gram Panchayat, The Root
Women in Panchayat Meeting
Earning and Purpose
The Gram Panchayet earns its money by
- Grants from the State Government in proportion of land revenue
- Grants from the Zila Parishad
- Property tax
- Professional tax
- Pilgrimage tax
- Animal trade
Purpose of the Gram Panchayet
- The local mob becomes aware of the administrative authority and closely watches for bad administration. Corruption is restrained. They understand what is wrong and what is right. It becomes easy to uproot problems.
- They lessen the functions and activities of the Central Government and the State Government. Thus they help them to engage in greater problems.
- Wastage of money is marginally controlled by their active participation. They patrol it because they know well that they bear a part of the expenditure of self-government.
- Last but not least, this is a stage for the employment of would-be politicians who collect experience from this step and learn politics practically and theoretically.
- The Gram Panchayat is the power-point of direct rural politics. One is here only to serve the people. He should remember always that, 'Government is by the people, of the people and for the people.' The people are his or her the godfather. He should have gathered patience, compassion, sympathy, a sense of humor, improvement and development.
In Case of All Members' Resignation Along With the Pradhan
Alok kumar mahapatra said to me, 'In case no political representation is there in the village/panchayat (their tenure is over or all elected persons resigned from their post), then who is authorised to call for Gram Sabha?'
In this situation, the Block Development Officer of the Block Office over the Panchayat will engage an officer of the block to execute all official activities in absence of the Panchayat's elected members along with the Pradhan or sarpanch. The officer should work under the B.D.O. This is like the national administration in a state of emergency when presidential administration or presidential rule reigns in the country. No government is there. Officers are the administrators. Such is the case when the Pradhan along with his members plus the members from the opposition resign.
Solving Problems Through Proper Channels:
Guddu said, "My village mainparpur dist.-azamgarh is a very bad village with no road and no electric wire, no nali, and no street lights." Adhikari023 asked,"Hi my name is Harendra Adhikari. I live in Ranikhet Almora at Aeror Uttrakhand. How can I solve the problem of water in my village?"
I would suggest you to submit mass petition for the problem through proper channels, which means the respective higher authority with forwarding letters to the regarding lower authority. You must maintain proper channels.