๐Ÿ‘ค Author : Kamlesh

๐Ÿ—“๏ธ Date Published : 12th August, 2022

Introduction

Panchayati Raj is a village-level form of governance in which each community is accountable for its own operations. The early days of the new Panchayati Raj system in India were seen as the most hopeful for Panchayati Raj Institutions. In 1964-65, according to the report of the Ministry of Community Development, a new doctrine of younger leadership emerged to execute their job in the decision-making process of Panchayati Raj Institutions, and there was widespread satisfaction among the populace with the functioning nature of panchayats. After 1965, however, there was a decline in Panchayati Raj Institutions, while the majority of development programmes that supported PRIs' functionaries were maintained.

The most important factor was that finances were cut, and the bureaucracy also attempted to diminish the influence of PRIs. This was continued until 1977. During the era of national emergency, bureaucracy dominated, and the significance of these institutions further diminished. Village panchayats were compelled to work subordinately to the government in order to accomplish its policies and programmes.

Part IX ('The Panchayats') is one of the Constitution's longest and most comprehensive amendments since its adoption over seventy years ago. If implemented in word and spirit, the components could bring about a quiet revolution to drastically transform the outlook for grassroots development via grassroots democracy in rural India by granting authority to the rural people. Unfortunately, the outcomes on the ground have fallen well short of expectations. Gandhiji's vision of Poorna Swarajya remains a remote dream.

Bureaucratic Structure

In an organisational structure, rules and procedures are strictly adhered to; this is called as bureaucratic system. A bureaucracy is characterised by an intricate administrative system operated by personnel who have no personal stakes in the functioning of the system. There are elaborate regulations, extensive controls, a rigorous structure, and highly specialised duties carried out by professionals in bureaucracy. Managers at the lower and intermediate levels are impersonal rule-followers. As long as they follow the rules and do not rock the boat, system employees enjoy job security. As each individual attempts to defend himself from several others at multiple levels of the system, managerial action is sluggish and paper work is tedious. Typically, the expression of individuality and promotion of innovation is repressed in a bureaucracy.

However, this repressed individuality and promotion of innovation in bureaucracy needs to be revamped for the growth of the Panchayat Samitis. The growth will highlight the need for a new connection between the rural administration and non-official institutional leadership at the Block level. The latter's relationship with the developmental administrative machinery has an impact not only on the block's programmatic success, but also on the efficiency and morale of rural public officials.

Current Predicament

The most important thing about Panchayat Samiti is that the block it takes over becomes an "instrument of the welfare state in action" and the basic area unit of the Integrated Community Development programme, with a team of experts led by the Block Development Officer (BDO). Second, the block emerges as a general administrative unit underneath the sub-division. A bottom-up approach stresses how important it is for the local community to be involved in development projects so that they can choose their own goals and methods of attaining them. By the working and organisational structure it can be construed that Panchayat Samiti is organised according to the โ€œescalator model/ bottom-up approach.โ€

Article 243G stipulates that Panchayats must be "legally empowered" to serve as an "institution of self-government." However, in the majority of states, devolution and decentralisation are accomplished by executive orders issued according to the legislation rather than "by law". Article 243G defines the two primary tasks of panchayats at each level as "(a) the creation of plans for economic development and social justice; (b) the execution of schemes for economic growth and social justice." Unless panchayats engage in planning and execution, they will not serve their intended function. Article 243G stipulates that such planning and execution will be "subject to such restrictions" as may be specified by law. The primary job of panchayats, however, is planning and execution. Yet, in the majority of states, panchayats do not engage in planning, and execution has been limited to a nexus between the contractor, the chairman of the panchayat, and line department officials.

Problems resulting from bureaucratic apathy