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India is a country with a population of billions. While it has its problems of its own, the most complex problem to solve is managing this big a population. In a democratic country with a billion people under the hand of one government body is humongous to govern. Different states, different territories, different people with different thoughts, different opinions, different problems, some being bigger than others, some being urgent than others. How is a single governing body supposed to look after everything? The most ideal solution to this is the method of self- governing. Breaking down the governing sector into smaller parts makes it a lot easier.

The Local governing bodies:

  • Municipalities
  • Panchayats
  • Election Commission

Further self-governing bodies are of two types

  1. For urban area – Municipalities
  2. For rural area – Panchayats

The Panchayati Raj System - Background

  • Our governing sector consists of central and state. However there has been a further addition by the states on the local level that is of panchayats to govern the villages.
  • Article 40 of the constitution under the Directive principles of the state policy mentions this provision.
  • This term was given by Jawaharlal Nehru adhering to the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments where each state has its own local government legislation.
  • India is a country of her villages. Panchayati Raj system brings faith in administration from these people because it is seen as a governance by the people of the village itself and has a vested trust.
  • The state government gives authorities and powers to these panchayats who are democratically elected.
  • Nearly 100% of the Indian village population is governed by the rural authorities

What is it

  • It is an assembly of people for the rural governance, elected by the villagers itself and implement authority at the very grassroot level.
  • Since the as old as Rig Veda, Indian culture has seen management by selg governing bodies now legally called as Panchayats.
  • Looking after the welfare of the people, collecting the state dues, ensuring peace and harmony, setting up laws for the betterment of people, taking hold of the offenders, etc are all tasks done by the Panchayats.
  • Seats are reserved for the SC’s and ST’s. In fact 1/3rd is reserved for women too.

Urban areas – Municipalities

  • The Municipalities belong to the provisions from Articles 243-P to 243-ZG.
  • Just like Panchayats, even the municipality members are directly elected by the people.
  • There are three types of Municipalities:
  1. Nagar Panchayat
  2. Municipal Council
  3. Municipal Corporation
  • This word is derived from French municipalité and latin municipalis.


  • The economic, geographic and social welfare of the territorial area.
  • To ensure an important development factor that is the infrastructure. [ Buildings and maintaining of roads and bridges.
  • All other tasks like water supply, sanitation facilities, solid waste management, street lighting etc.
  • Looking after the domestic, industrial and commercial purposes.
  • Healthcare, fire services, urban forestry


The legal framework of the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments have created a huge gate pass in the governing system of our country. The very base of the election and authority is strengthened. Proper distribution of power beings about efficiency and smooth flow of the work as well as finances in the political sector. It needs to be ensured that these powers don’t just remain on papers but are well implemented and existent. Systematic data and timely updates are essential to the functioning of these bodies. These are the pillars of our political environment. If they collapse then, all citizens of the country will have a governing turmoil.

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