The Bold Voice of J&K

EMPOWERING PANCHAYATI RAJ INSTITUTES

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It is the endeavour of the ruling dispensation that it took a lot of proactive initiatives for putting in place a vibrant democratic system by empowering the Panchayati Raj Institutes (PRIs) at various levels. To strengthen Panchayati Raj System and thereby improve the rural areas of the country, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) is implementing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA) with the primary objective of strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) by way of capacity building and training of the elected representatives and the functionaries of the PRIs, providing infrastructural support like Gram Panchayat Bhawan and Computerisation. The efforts are also on for incentivization of Panchayats (IoP), a Central Components of RGSA scheme to encourage competitive spirit among PRIs under which, Awards including financial incentives are given to best performing Panchayats in recognition of their good work for improving delivery of services and public good. Moreover, Mission Mode Project on e-Panchayats, a Central component of RGSA scheme under which various e-governance projects are funded towards digitalization of Panchayats to bring in efficiency, accountability and transparency in the functioning of the PRIs for overall transformation of PRIs (No funds are released to States under the scheme). While giving a written reply in Lok Sabha, the Union Minister of State for Panchayati Raj, Kapil Moreshwar Patil informed that Article 243D of the Constitution of India provides for not less than one-third reservation for women in PRIs out of total number of seats to be filled by direct election and number of offices of chairpersons of Panchayats. As per the information available with the Ministry, 21 States namely, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Tripura, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, and 2 UTs namely ‘UT of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu’ and ‘UT of Lakshadweep’ have made provision for 50% reservation for women in PRIs in their respective State Panchayati Raj Acts. In respect of remaining Part-IX States/UTs, Constitutional provision, as prescribed in Article 243D, applies.
Further, Government has been encouraging increased involvement of women in the functioning of Panchayats through active participation in the Gram Sabha meetings for preparation of Gram Panchayat Development Plans and various schemes being implemented by the Panchayats. This Ministry has also issued advisories to the States to facilitate holding of separate Ward Sabha and Mahila Sabha meetings prior to Gram Sabha meetings, enhancing the presence and participation of women in Gram Sabha and Panchayat meetings, allocation of Panchayat funds for women centric activities, combating the evil of women trafficking, female foeticide, child marriage etc.

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