Panchayati Raj in India


Panchayati raj a democratic system for governance of local areas of India. In India, in the year 1992 by 73rd amended of “Constitution of India 1950” added Article 243G and 11th schedule on the recommendation of “Balavantrai Mehata Committee” which was formed in year January 1957, to examine the functions of community development and national extension service to recommended measure for more smooth work of local areas and headed by Balvantraj Mehata.

In the of recommendation, they suggest a “Democratic Decentralized Government” which means to form a de-centralize system of governance for Local and Rural Parts of the country. In our country India, we have tri-level division to govern the whole Panchayati Raj Institution, the three systems Zila Parishad on District level, Panchayat Samiti on Block level and Gram Panchayat on Village level.

The concept of Panchayati Raj is of self-government are And Panchayati Raj is one of the systems to govern the local area or village area of which is not develop a few decades before it was the part of ancient India in different ways, later which was finalized in added to our constitution.

As we know we have a special provision in form reservation for woman, Scheduled Caste and Scheduled tribe people in the member of panchayats, the basics need of the reservation here is to provide equal opportunity to involve in the administration as well as the functioning of the panchayats for marginalized people of the local areas of the village because of the social and economical backwardness in the society especially in the rural region.

As we know the authority of panchayats comes under the state, the state has different powers to control and restrict some function of the panchayats.

Through this project, I am going to analyze the above topics. And its role in making better rules and governance in the rural part of India.

Questions Raise

  1. Has the special provision of reservation for marginalized sections that were given space in the local governance faired? And how does it affect the whole marginalized part of the rural area?

  2. Is the panchayat raj system developed as a self-government institution as per the Article 243G of the Indian Constitution or it has state influence in governance?


Panchayati raj system is not the system of after Independence after of India or after the 73rd amendment of the Constitution. This Phenomenon of self-government was is part of the local village of ancient India for centuries. In ancient times, the panchayat system was generally part elected council with the judiciary and executive power. Foreign domination, basically Britisher and Mughals and natural socio-economic changes, undermine the standing of the panchayats system. But near the end of the nineteenth century, British representative “Lord Ripon” introduce the rebirth of the panchayat system in the Indian society. In the year 1882, he introduced the system of Decentralize system called “Zamiradi system” but basics function and reason of the system is to for better revenue collection but it was a kind of decentralization of the power in which any power individual will collect the whole tax of the village and pass to the Britisher and take some part of that as commission. But latter evolution in the zamindari system in the year 1909 a new system was which created District and Rural board and village panchayat. But these systems did not a good success in its function and. With this setup of the panchayats, the main domination of theses panchayats was of the upper caste and class people of the village. This means that the decentralization of the power was limited to only the people of the upper caste and class of the panchayats. And that’s why we have don’t have a strong system of decentralization of power on social bases.

Post-independence, panchayats was established by the different state under their own power. Even Mahatma Gandhi urged to include the Panchayati raj system in the constitution because he thinks that it as an important part under his vision of the future if India in which the decentralization of political as well as economical power. But just after independence it was hard to implement them and enforce the Panchayati raj system in the local village area of India that’s why this system included in the future plan of our country i.e. in the Article 40 of the Constitution of India in the “Directive Principle of State Policy”. Later in the year 1957 “Balvant rai Mehata” committee to analyzing and examining the status, position and need for the institution of self-government after 30 years of forming the committee, in the year 1987 it was recommended to introduce the Panchayati raj system in the local area for governing system. So, in the year 1993, it was introduced as the tri-lateral system of panchayat Samiti i.e. on District level or Zilla Parishad, Intermediate or Block level and at lastly, on the Village level. These all units are interlinked such as the head or chairman of the head of the lower unit was an ex-officio member of the higher-level unit. And this counsel was undertaken development and planning work.

As per the question after the forming the of panchayat on the year 1993, a lot discussion held for critically analyze the work and functioning of panchayats in the year 1995, the reviewer critically examine the provision of passed under 73rd amendment for the Panchayati raj system, under his book, known as “state panchayat Act:

A Critical Review: which was published in “voluntary action network of India” so, the scope of the basis of examining and critically analysis of the part like, how better the institution of self-government Panchayati raj will going to work, how Panchayati raj system evaluates since it not just after the independence of India, how it is going to affect the local part and village are of India.

As we know the 73rd amendment in our constitution, for adding 11th schedule, which deals with the functioning of the Panchayati raj system of India and how it is going to work and apply over local areas of our constitution, In the chapters of State and Union Territories in our constitution of India 1950 which give a clear cut structure of Panchayat Raj. Article 243G of the constitution of India provides power to the State legislature to provide Panchayat such that they have enough power to form a self-institution of governance and form plans and policy for social and economical development of the people under that panchayat. For clear explanation and distinction, power comes under the panchayat 11th scheduled of the constitution which has the main focus on rural development such as Agriculture, Land Reform, Animal and Fish husbandry, Rural Housing, etc.

After 1992 both non-governmental and governmental different origination start working to frame the document for it is going to function, over the local area of India, as a range in both languages Hindi and English.

Basically, the publication deals under a chapter each in the state and Union territories, it contains three articles: -

  • An overview of the Panchayati Raj in our Country.

  • Functioning of Panchayati raj system in the Schedule area of India

  • Role of women in the system of self-government Panchayat raj.

But It would have increased the efficiency of the book if it will also include the chapter for the role of Schedule caste and scheduled Tribe in the functioning of the Panchayati raj system.

because of the same as women, SC and ST also get a reservation in some seats of which not less than one-third part of the whole seats of the panchayats.

The publication also includes static data on five different blocks, which are: constitution’s 73rd amendment of 1992, constitution’s 74th amendment, Article 243ZD, provisions of Panchayati Raj Act, 1996, list of Fifth scheduled areas of panchayats, term practice for the chairperson and head of the state and union territories.

To explore in the context of the reservation of the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe people lets in the depth of matter by considering the Bheem Rao Ambedkar’s speech, of the constituent assembly on the matter of decentralization of the government of year October 1932, where he talked about for the policies for the participations and some special provisions for SCs and STs in the functioning of the local government. He said that the village panchayat will be elected on the matter of adult suffrage of both the gender male and female, but I would like to make it clear that for the depress class, because adult suffrage is not sufficient, the depress class must be included in the suffrage, Honorable minister forget to include depress class they must be added in the suffrage because they are on severe condition on the different social aspect, especially, and approx. in every village there is a minority class living on the miserable conditions so, by including only the adult suffrage cant makes minorities in majorities.

As per Article 243 D of the constitution; the seat shall be reserved for- the Scheduled caste, Scheduled Tribe, in every panchayat in nearly in the same the portion of the population of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes on the at panchayat. Not less one-third part of the seats reserved for the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes are reserved for the women of the SCs and STs. It also provides reservation for the scheduled caste and scheduled tribe and also for women in the office of the chairperson as per the total pollution of the Scheduled Caste or the Scheduled Caste population in the Panchayat.

As we know we have a lot of stratification in our Indian society on different basis like Class, Caste, Religion, Gender etc. there is still discrimination of social bases especially in the local area of India we see a huge challenge to reduce the discrimination on caste. The people of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe and socially, economically as well as culturally backward. Providing reservations to the marginalized one of the steps to make unequal equality, which was implied in Article 15 of the constitution.

Apart from the reservation for both women and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe people still in many panchayats, there is the rule of the upper class and male domination in the panchayat raj system. There is still the influence of the powerful member or non-member of the individual of the village, the minorities and women are just puppets of the dominating people, they are ruling the whole system by using the mask women or marginalized.

Generally, it is seen as in the election the on the post of women her husband ruling in place from the back, the woman who the election is de-jure person who is ruling over the public but it is her husband who is ruling and de-facto won the election. Most of the decisions and steps are has been taken by her husband in the place of her.


The constitutional provided to the panchayat raj system in the year 1992 whereby seventy-third amendment of the constitution on the recommendation of Balvant Rai Mehta committee which was formed on the year 1957. From the decision it clear that the status for providing reservation is crucial to make marginalised as well as a woman both important to include in the quota of reservation. But still, on the practical ground, we still see in someplace the overall rule of the upper class people and also in the case of women who are using as a puppet by man to rule the panchayats, it normal that a husband ruling behind the women, she just doing her work on the order of her husband.

Ae we know the authority of panchayat raj comes under state rule there is any restriction, these restrictions enhanced the power control, which makes governance more responsive, accountable, effective and appropriate, but it does not provide unrestricted power or authority to the panchayats, there is some degree of control over of different degree on the freedom of the power the panchayats which play a crucial role in itself. A state has control over Institutional control, Financial control, juridical control and Administrative control.

The unlimited power may unbalance the whole institution of self-government, the Panchayati raj system. Since most of the member are illiterate and unprofessional so, there may be a lot of chance of framing wrong or bias polices, Here the role of the state is for proper and correct direction, co-ordination of the public provision and covering continuing, both implantation and formulation of the policies.


  • Singh Hoshiar, Constitutional Base for Panchayati Raj in India: The 73rd amendment Act, Asian Survey, vol. 34, no. 9, (1994).

  • E. A. Narayana, Panchayati Raj in Andhra Pradesh: An appraisal of its working since seventy-third constitutional amendment, The Indian Journal of Political Science, vol. 68, no. 4, (2007).

  • Kudva Neema, Engineering Elections: The Experiences of Women in ‘Panchayati raj’ in Karnataka, India, International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, vol. 16, no. 3, (2003).

  • Mahi Pal, Documenting Panchayat Raj, Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 36, no. 36, (2001).

  • B. Harriss White, India Working: Essays on Society and Economy 39 (2002).

  • E. Stokes, The Peasant and the Raj: Studies in Agrarian Society and Peasant Rebellion in Colonial India 107 (1978).


Jalaj Kumar Rohit

2nd year student,

West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata.

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