Panchayati Raj

Idea behind Panchayats is to enhance community participation in village decision making. There are three levels of government in India: the National government, the State government and the Local government. States have their own government. At the top of the Structure of Panchayati Raj is Zila Parishad (District Level). Each Zila is divided into Block Samiti (Block level). Each Block has several Panchayats (Village Level).

Village administration in India is called Panchayati Raj System. It is local or grassroot level government. Representative democracy in India becomes meaningful only with people’s participation. Village people elect their representatives for managing village affairs. Gram Sabha is a meeting of adult members in village. Every village is divided into Wards (smaller areas). Each ward elects a representative, known as Ward Member (Panch). All members of Gram Sabha also elect a Sarpanch, (Panchayat President). He is assisted in his work by Deputy Sarpanch. Gram Panchayat has a Secretary – Gram Sewak. Different matters discussed in Gram Sabha are related to selection of beneficiaries under all rural schemes, validation of electoral rolls, watershed development and finalisation of list of people Below Poverty Line.

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