In News: In 2010, the first National Panchayati Raj Day was observed. Since then, India has observed National Panchayati Raj Day on April 24 every year.
National Panchayati Raj Day 2021
- The Ministry of Panchayati Raj commemorates the National Panchayati Raj Day on 24th April 2021.
- During the National Panchayat Raj Day event, the following awards were given to the best performing Panchayats.
- Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar (DDUPSP) in General and Thematic categories for all three levels of Panchayats.
- Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar (NDRGGSP) to Gram Panchayats for outstanding performance of Gram Sabha.
- Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) Award: To be conferred upon three best performing Gram Panchayats across the country.
- e-Panchayat Puraskar
- Child-friendly Gram Panchayat Award
- Article 40 of the Constitution listed panchayats, and Article 246 of the Constitution allowed the state legislature to legislate on any subject relating to local self-government.
- The Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) was founded in 1992 under the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act to promote democracy at the grassroots level and to oversee rural development in the country.
- Rajasthan was the first state that carried the Panchayati Raj System in 1959 during the times of late Prime Minister Jawarharlal Nehru.
- In India, the PRI is a form of rural local self-government.
- The administration of local affairs by those local bodies that have been elected by the local people is known as local self government.
The 73rd Constitutional Amendment’s Highlights
- Part IX, titled “The Panchayats,” was added to the Constitution by the 73rd Constitutional Amendment.
- Gram Sabhas (villages) are the basic unit of the democratic structure, comprising all the adult members registered as voters.
- Except in states with populations under 20 lakhs, a three-tier structure of panchayats exists at the village, intermediate block/taluk/mandal, and district levels (Article 243B).
- Article 243C requires direct elections to fill seats at all levels (2).
- Reservation of seats
- Seats reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), as well as Panchayat chairpersons at all levels, shall be reserved for SCs and STs in proportion to their population.
- Women will be allocated one-third of the total number of seats.
- Women hold one-third of all chairperson ships at all levels (Article 243D).
- Time frame
- Elections to shape new bodies must be concluded by the end of the uniform five-year period.
- Elections must be held within six months of the dissolution (Article 243E).