Rural Local Government Bodies Class 6 Civics Notes Maharashtra State Board
Local government bodies play an important role in the regulation of social life. In our country, along with local bodies, the Union Government and the State Government also participate in the work of regulation. The local government bodies are broadly classified as rural and urban local bodies. In this chapter, we will learn about the rural local government bodies. The Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti, and Zilla Parishad are the rural local government bodies that are collectively known as the ‘Panchayati Raj Institutions’.
The administration in our country is carried on at three levels. The administration of the entire country is carried out by the Union Government. Subjects such as defense, foreign affairs, currency, etc. are under the jurisdiction of the Union Government. At the second level is the State Government. The State Government of Maharashtra makes laws related to law and order, health, education, etc. The local government bodies work at the third level.
The Gram Panchayat looks after the administration of the village. If the population of a village is less than 500, two or more such villages come under one Gram Panchayat. It is then called a ‘Group Gram Panchayat’. The Gram Panchayat carries out the functions relating to water supply, electricity, and registration of births, deaths, and marriages.
The Office bearers and Officers of the Gram Panchayat
The elections to a Gram Panchayat are held every five years. The elected members elect a Sarpanch and Deputy Sarpanch from among themselves. The meetings of the Gram Panchayat are held under the chairmanship of the Sarpanch. It is his responsibility to implement the development schemes of the village. The members of the Gram Panchayat can bring a motion of no confidence against a Sarpanch who is not carrying out his responsibilities properly. In the absence of the Sarpanch, the Deputy Sarpanch looks after the work of a Gram Panchayat.
He is the secretary of the Gram Panchayat. He is appointed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Zilla Parishad. His main function is to look after the day-to-day functioning of the Gram Panchayat, to explain its development schemes to the residents of the village, etc.
The assembly of all the voters of the village or rural area is the Gram Sabha. It is the most important organization of the people at the local level. It is binding to hold at least six meetings of the Gram Sabha in each financial year. The responsibility of calling the meetings of the Gram Sabha is with the Sarpanch. In the first meeting of each financial year, the Gram Sabha discusses the annual report and accounts submitted by the Gram Panchayat. The suggestions of the Gram Sabha are conveyed to the Gram Panchayat. The Gram Sabha gives sanction to the development schemes proposed by the Gram Panchayat. The Gram Sabha has the authority to decide upon which individuals deserve the benefits of Government schemes.
Women’s Participation in the Gram Sabha:
A meeting of the women of a village is held before the meeting of the Gram Sabha. Here, women feel free to discuss a variety of issues. During the Gram Sabha, they speak with greater concern about issues such as drinking water, prohibition, employment, fuel, health, etc. They also suggest measures for bringing about necessary changes.
The Source of Revenue of the Gram Panchayat:
The Gram Panchayat carries out many schemes and programs for the welfare of the village. For this purpose, it requires money. The Gram Panchayat raises these funds through different taxes.
All the villages within a taluka form a development block. The body that looks after the functioning of the development block is the Panchayat Samiti. It also acts as a link between the Zilla Parishad and Gram Panchayat.
The Office bearers of the Panchayat Samiti:
Elections to the Panchayat Samiti are held every five years. The elected members elect from among themselves, the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Panchayat Samiti. The Chairman is responsible for calling the meetings and conducting the business of the meetings. In the absence of the Chairman, the Deputy Chairman presides over the meetings.
The Functions of the Panchayat Samiti:
The Panchayat Samiti prepares a plan for the schemes to be implemented in the development block. It is binding on the Panchayat Samiti to hold at least one meeting every month. The Panchayat Samiti receives a certain amount of money from the district funds. It also receives grants from the State Government to carry out the development schemes of the development block.
Every District has a Zilla Parishad. At present, the State of Maharashtra has 36 districts but only 34 Zilla Parishads. The reason is that Mumbai City District and Mumbai Suburban District do not have a rural population. Therefore, they do not have Zilla Parishads.
The Office-bearers of the Zilla Parishad:
Elections to the Zilla Parishad are held every five years. The elected representatives choose a President and a Vice-President from among themselves. The President of the Zilla Parishad presides over the meetings of the Zilla Parishad. He exercises control over the business conducted during the meetings. He also controls the financial transactions of the Zilla Parishad. He has the authority to undertake appropriate expenditure from the Zilla Parishad’s funds. The Vice-President carries out these duties in the absence of the President.
How does the Zilla Parishad Function?
The work of the Zilla Parishad is carried out through different committees – the Finance Committee, Agriculture Committee, Education Committee, Health Committee, Water Management and Sanitation Committee, etc. The Women and Child Welfare Committee takes up issues related to problems faced by women and children.
Chief Executive Officer:
The decisions taken by the Zilla Parishad are implemented by the Chief Executive Officer of the Zilla Parishad. He is appointed by the State Government.
Functions of the Zilla Parishad
Our Constitution was amended in 1992 by the 73rd and 74th Amendments Act. These amendments have granted a constitutional status to the rural and urban local government bodies. It has also given them more powers to develop their respective areas more efficiently. The number of subjects under their jurisdiction was also increased. In order to enable them to work effectively, their sources of revenue have also been increased.
Who can Contest Elections?
In order to get elected to the Gram Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti, and Zilla Parishad, candidates must fulfill certain conditions of eligibility. For example, he/she should be a citizen of India. He/She should have completed 21 years of age. The person’s name should be enrolled in the local voter’s list. These conditions also apply to the urban local government bodies.
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