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Local Governments NCERT Textbook With Solutions Book PDF Free Download
Chapter 8: Local Governments
Geeta Rathore belongs to Jamonia Talab Gram Panchayat, Sehore district, Madhya Pradesh.
She was elected Sarpanch in 1995 from a reserved seat; but in 2000, the village people rewarded her for her admirable work by electing her again – this time from a non-reserved
From a housewife, Geeta has grown into a leader displaying political farsightedness – she has harnessed the collective energy of her Panchayat to renovate water tanks, build a school building, construct village roads, fight against domestic violence and atrocities against women, create environmental awareness, and encourage afforestation and water management in her village. Panchayati Raj Update Vol. XI, No 3 February 2004.
There is another story of yet another woman achiever. She was the President (Sarpanch) of a Gram Panchayat of Vengaivasal village in Tamil Nadu. In 1997, the Tamil Nadu government allotted two hectares of land to 71 government employees.
This piece of land fell within the vicinity of this Gram Panchayat. On the instructions of higher authorities, the District Collector of Kancheepuram directed the President of the Gram Panchayat to pass a resolution endorsing the allotment of the said land for the purpose already decided.
The President and the Gram Panchayat refused to pass such an order and the Collector issued an order to acquire the land. The Gram Panchayat filed a writ petition in the Madras High Court against the Collector’s action.
The single judge bench of the High Court upheld the Collector’s order and ruled that there was no need to take the Panchayat’s consent. The Panchayat appealed to the Division bench against the single judge’s order.
In its order, the Division Bench reversed the order of the single judge. The judges held that the
government order amounted to not only an infringement of the powers of the Panchayats but a gross violation of the constitutional status of the Panchayats. Panchayati Raj Update, Vol. 12: Vol. XII, June 2005
Both these stories are not isolated incidents. They are representative of a larger transformation that is taking place across India especially after the constitutional status was accorded to local government institutions in 1993.
Local government is government at the village and district level. Local government is about the government closest to the common people. Local government is about a government that involves the day-to-day life and problems of ordinary citizens.
The local government believes that local knowledge and local interest are essential ingredients for democratic decision-making.
They are also necessary for efficient and people-friendly administration. The advantage of local government is that it is so near to the people.
It is convenient for the people to approach the local government for solving their problems both quickly and with minimum cost.
In the story of Geeta Rathore, we noticed that she was able to bring about a significant
change in Jamonia Talab because of her proactive role as Sarpanch of the Gram Panchayat.
Vengaivasal village is able to still retain its land and the right to decide what to do with it because of the relentless efforts of its Gram Panchayat President and members. So, local governments
can be very effective in protecting the local interests of the people.
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NCERT Solutions Class 11 Political Science Chapter 8 Local Governments
The Constitution of India visualized village panchayats as emits of self-government. Think over the situation described in the following statements and explain how these situations strengthen or weaken the panchayats in becoming units of self-government.
(a) Government of a State has allowed a big company to establish a huge steel plant. Many villages would be adversely affected by the steel plant. Gram Sabha of one of the affected villages passed a resolution that before establishing any big industries in the region, village people must be consulted and their grievances should be redressed.
(b) The government has decided that 20 % of all its expenditure would be done through the panchayats.
(c) A village panchayat kept on demanding funds for a building for the village school, but the government officials turned down their proposal saying that funds are allocated for certain other schemes and cannot be spent otherwise.
(d) The government divided the village Dungarpur into two and made a part of villages Jamuna and Sohana. Now village Dungarpur has ceased to exist in government books.
(e) A village panchayat observed that water sources of their region are depleting fast. They decided to mobilize village youth to do some voluntary work and revive the old village ponds and wells.
(a) This refers that Gram Panchayat was not consulted before the establishment of the steel plant, by the state government. This action can weaken the institution of panchayats. The resolution passed by Gram Sabha strengthened the panchayats by giving them the right to move to courts against the unilateral move of the state government.
(b) This decision of state government help the panchayats financially on the ground not to interfere in the decisions and priorities of the panchayats as well as panchayats need independent sources of revenue to operate effectively at the local level.
(c) This will weaken the Panchayati Raj because these institutions prioritize their developmental agenda themselves and denial of the same weaken them to become a self-government.
(d) If this division has taken place on the recommendations of Panchayati Raj Institutions, it strengthens their powers but if it has been done on its own by the state, it would weaken these institutions.
(e) This will strengthen the Panchayati Raj Institutions’ respect and power.
Suppose you are entrusted to evolve a local government plan of a State, what powers would you endow to the village panchayats to function as units of self-government? Mention any five powers and the justification in two lines for each of them for giving those powers.
- Development works at village level, i.e. irrigation facilities, drinking water, construction of roads, etc.
- Agricultural development to be supervised and implemented by the panchayats only related to agricultural practices in a modem method.
- Social welfare related activities to keep the records of birth and death in the village, family welfare and family planning.
- The Gram Panchayat should be given the powers to open and maintain schools and Libraries in the village to maintain primary education.
- Gram Panchayats should enjoy the powers to ensure better health and life of citizens to provide basic civil amenities.
NCERT Class 11 Political Science Textbook Chapter 8 Local Governments With Answer PDF Free Download