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Department of Panchayats

Who we are

 

Panchayat Department is a line department functioning within the Collectorate of the Deputy Commissioner of Latehar. This department was created to give power to the people by nurturing local self-government within the district. At present, we have central and state governments which are serving as national and regional government and governance. Panchayat Department is concerned with the legalities of conducting election, constituting panchayats, delegating the power and authority to the elected body at the village, block and district levels and ensuring the elected bodies taking their own decisions and governance of various development schemes.

Background

 


India is a democratic country. We have regular elections once in five years to the Parliament and State Legislatures to constitute the Central and State Governments. India, being a big country with diverse population and plurality of social and cultural system, many policies and programmes made at the central and state government are not relevant to the local situations. Further, the elected representatives cover large population and therefore, it was difficult for them to take note of the real needs of different segment of population.
Given the need for decentralised democracy and governance, in line with the need and our tradition of local decision making, government revived the local governance system after the Independence to bring the government close to the citizens. Active involvement and engagement of the people are the heart of the democracy. Panchayat system is one of the effective ways of nurturing democracy and collective decision making and development of the people and their villages.
The aim of every village is to create a village republic with powers and authority to rule the village by the people themselves. Given this, government introduced three-tier Panchayati Raj system to enlist people’s participation in rural reconstruction.  Panchayati Raj Institutions – the grass-roots units of self-government – have been, therefore, proclaimed as the vehicles of socio-economic transformation in rural India. Effective and meaningful functioning of these bodies would depend on active involvement, contribution and participation of its citizens both male and female.
The government gave a constitutional backing to panchayats through the 73rd Amendment in 1992. Thus Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 mandates provisions for:

  • Establishment of a three-tier structure (Village Panchayat, Panchayat Samiti or intermediate level Panchayat and Zilla Parishad or district level Panchayat).
  • Establishment of Gram Sabhas at the village level.
  • Regular elections to Panchayats every five years.
  • Proportionate seat reservation for SCs/STs.
  • Reservation of not less than 1/3 seats for women.

To give further boost to the local government, the respective state governments enacted State Panchayat laws in accordance with the mandates of the state to codify the panchayat system and governance. In Jharkhand, the Jharkhand Panchayat Act, legitimised the panchayat system. However, due to legal dispute on the reservation of tribes, government was not able to conduct the elections for long time. After the adjudication of this matter, government of Jharkhand conducted elections in 2010 November and December months and the elected panchayats are constituted in Jharkhand.

Structure of Panchayat Raj Institutions(PRI)

 

In Latehar, the Panchayat Department is nodal agency responsible for constitution and implementation, supervision and monitoring of the major poverty alleviation programmes in the rural areas in the district. PRI has three tiers of governance which are given below.

  • District tier which is called Zilla Parishad
  • Intermediary tier between the district and village which is called Panchayat Samitis (PS) at the block level as second tier.
  • The third tier is the Gram Panchayat (GP)

 The distinct constitution, role and responsibilities of the three tiers of panchayats are outlined below.
Zilla Parished
Zilla Parishad is a local government body at the district level. Under the panchayat system, ZP is the apex body. It looks after the administration of the rural area of the district and its office is located at the district headquarters. The word Parishad means Council and Zilla Parishad translates to District Council. Members of the Zilla Parishad are elected from the district on the basis of adult franchise for a term of five years. In Latehar, ZP was constituted in January after the election held in November and December months of 2010. The Z.P. at the district level is responsible for the development works carried through its own funding.
Constitution
The ZP members were elected directly in Latehar. ZP has 12 elected members. Among them, one person is Chairperson and Vice Chairperson. The ZP can constitute committees to take up issues at the district level. The Deputy Commissioner (DC) is the Executive Officer of Zilla Parishad, who is assisted by the District Panchayat Officer and the team.
 Every Zila Parishad shall consist of:
1. The members directly elected from territorial constituencies in the district as determined under the Act
2. The Pramukhs of all Panchayat Samitis in the district, provided that the Pramukh of a Panchayat Samiti, who is a member under the Parishad, shall not be a member of the standing committee
3. Such members of the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assembly who represent any part or the whole of the district and whose constituency falls within the district
4. The members of the Rajya Sabha who are registered as electors within the district.
5. One distinguished person of the Zila Parishad area to be nominated by the State Government by means of notification
Key members of the ZP
As per the Jharkhand Panchayat Raj Act, 2001 the following positions are to be created at every Zilla Panchayat:
1 Adhyaksh
2 Upadhyaksh
3 Pramukhs of all Panchayat Samitis
4 MPs, MLAs, Rajya Sabha Members
5 Elected Members
6 Nominee of State Government
The posts at 15 are to be filled by elected members and at 6 is a government nominee.
Functions

  1. ZP is district elected body and therefore, it is responsible for all the policy making/key decision making on all matters related to the development of the district.
  2. To provide inputs and perspectives for evolving district plans and to get the approval of district plans.
  3. Monitoring of various schemes and to ensure the plans are being executed through the Block Samittees and gram panchayats.
  4. Provide essential services and facilities to the rural population and the planning and execution of the development programmes for the district.
  5. Supply improved seeds to farmers. Inform them of new techniques of training. Undertake construction of small-scale irrigation projects and percolation tanks. Maintain pastures and grazing lands.
  6. Set up and run schools in villages. Execute programmes for adult literacy. Run libraries.
  7. Start Primary Health Centers and hospitals in villages. Start mobile hospitals for hamlets, vaccination drives against epidemics and family welfare campaigns.
  8. Construct bridges and roads. Execute plans for the development of the scheduled castes and tribes. Run ashramshalas for adivasi children. Set up free hostels for scheduled caste students.
  9. Encourage entrepreneurs to start small-scale industries like cottage industries, handicraft, agriculture produce processing mills, dairy farms, etc. Implement rural employment schemes.
  10. They construct roads,schools,& public properties.And they take care of the public properties.
  11. They even supply work for the poor people.(tribes,scheduled caste,lower caste)

 

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FUNCTIONS/DUTIES OF Executive Officer (EO), ZILLA PARISHAD

 

i). To carry out policies and directions of the Parishad and speed up execution of all works and development schemes.
ii). To control supervise and allocate duties to Office Staff under the general supervision of Adhyakhsa.
iii). To keep custody of all office records.
iv). To attend all Zilla Parishad meetings.
v). To draw and disburse out of Zilla Parishad fund.
vi). To advise Zilla Parishad in matters of financial policy and shall be responsible for all matters relating to the accounts of Zilla Parishad including preparation of Budget.
vii) To appoint group C & D posts created for Zilla Parishad by the Administration.
viii) Chief Vigilance Officer of the Zilla Parishad.
Responsibility
The various Rural  Development Works carried at the Villages, Gram Panchayats, Block and District levels are planned, implemented, monitored and maintained by the Zilla Parishad. These works are monitored on the State Level by the Panchayats & Rural Development Department of the Government of Jharkhand. The Z.P. at the district level is responsible for the development and welfare works carried through the central, state share and its own funding. Zilla Parishad supervises the works of Panchayat Samities as well as Gram Panchayats within its Jurisdiction.
Panchayat Samiti
Latehar has 9 blocks. Each block, there is a panchayat Samittee. This is the middle tier of the panchgayat system. A panchayat Samittee constitutes a cluster of Gram panchayats. The head of the panchayat Samittee is the Pramud. He is being assisted by an Assistant Pramuk. The number of Panchayat Samittee members varies. Currently, nine Panchayat Samittees are functional.
Each Panchayat Samiti  is functioning with the Community Development at the Block level created by the government in the Panchayats & Rural Development Department. Each Panchayat Samiti consists of official and elected members. The official members are the Block Development Officer (BDO) and the Officers of various State Government Department ordinarily stationed at the Block level. The official bearers include the Panchayat Samiti members and the Pradhan of the Gram Panchayats. Pradan is the head of the body. And BDO of the respective block is the Executive Officer of the Panchayat Samity.

Constitution of panchayat Samitis

A Panchayat Samiti is constituted at the block level through electoral process. After the process of electing the members is over, the Panchayat Samiti meets for the purpose of electing the Pramukh and Up-Pramukh from among the elected members on a date fixed by the Deputy Commissioner. Pramukh is vested with the executive powers of Samiti.

Key members of the Panchayat Samiti
The members who are constituting the Panchayat Samiti are given below

1.Pramukh
2. Uppramukh
3. MPs, MLAs, Rajya Sabha Members
4. Mukias of territorial area
5. Elected Members
6. Nominee of State

Key functions of Panchayat Samitis

  • Taking key development related decisions under the juridication of the panchayat Samiti.
  • Evolve development plans for development of the blocks/panchayats
  • Promote integrated planning and convergence through inter-department co-operation and collaboration.
  • Monitoring of the execution of the development works.
  • Promotion of health, safety, education, comfort & convenience.
  • Promotion of social or economic well being of people of Samiti.
  • Construction of new bridges and culvert and taking care of the infrastructure needs of the people.
  • Maintenance and repair of roads, bridges, culverts or water sources. Laying of new roads.

THE DUTIES/FUNCTIONS OF THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE PANCHAYAT SAMITI :

 

As stated earlier, BDO serves as the Executive Officer and Administrator to assist the Samiti in its day to day functioning. The duties and responsibilities of the Executive Officer are:

  • Lay down the duties and supervise and control offices and officials of, or holding office under the Panchayat Samiti in accordance with rules made by the Administrator.
  • Supervise and control the execution of all works of the Panchayat Samiti.
  • Take necessary measures for the speedy execution of all works and developmental schemes of the Samiti.
  • Have custody of all papers and documents connected with the proceeding of the meetings of the Panchayat Samitis and of its committees.
  • Prepare the budget, administrative reports in due time.
  • Responsible for maintaining the cash book and other books of accounts.
  • Draw and disburse out of Panchayat Samiti Fund.
  • Inspect works sites for assuring the works in progress and for giving directions if the works are not carried out according to sanction.
  • Attend to the complaints relating to the developmental works in progress and to submit reports there of to the authority calling for such reports.
  • Visit the sites where works are under taken by individuals who are granted loan by the panchayats and report to the competent authority if the loans are misused and to cause recovery of loan thereof.
  • Attend every meeting of the Panchayat Samiti as also the meting of the committee and take part in the discussion but shall have no rights to move any resolution or to vote.
  • Point out if any decision or proposal is violative of or inconsistent with the provisions of Regulation or any law or rules or order made towards the functioning of Panchayat or the substantive Act/Rules.
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CONVENING MEETING OF PANCHAYAT SAMITI

 

  • Department of Panchayats


    Structure of Panchayat Raj Institutions(PRI)

    I. The notice of the meeting shall contain the place, date, time and also the business of the meeting.
    II. The Pramukh of the Panchayat Samiti shall preside over the meeting. In the absence of Pramukh the Up-Pramukh will preside if both are absent, the members assembled shall elect one from among them to preside over the meeting, provided there is quorum for such meeting.
    III. A member of a Panchayat Samiti may, at any meeting, move any resolution and put question to the Pramukh or the Up-Pramukh on matters connected with the administration of Panchayat Samiti.
    Gram Panchayat (GP)
    Gram panchayats are local self-governments at the village or small town level. Latehar has 115 panchayats with 1083 ward members. Tn Jharkhand 50% of the panchayat members were reserved for women. They were formally elected and now GP were constituted. This is the third tier of the panchayat system.  In Panchayat Raj system of governance, Gram Panchayats are the basic units of decentralised administration at the village level. It is a system to take care of the affairs of the people by themselves. It aims at giving women, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes with sufficient representation in the decision making.
    Constitution of GP
    The GP has the following key functionaries

    1. Mukhiya
    2. Upmukhiya
    3. Elected Members
    The head of the Panchayat is called Mukkia or Sarpanch. The Mukia is assisted by Upmukkia who are elected through the ward members. The Mukia together with the elected ward members constitutes the GP. Apart from this, the gram panchayat has  standing committees. The Mukia is ex-officio member and chairman of committees .
    The Sarpanch presides over the meetings of the Gram Panchayat and supervises its working. He implements the development schemes of the village. The Deputy Sarpanch, who has the power to make his own decisions, assists the Sarpanch in his work.
    Functions of GP/Sarpanch
    The Sarpanch has the responsibilities of:

    • Looking after street lights, construction and repair work of the roads in the villages and also the village markets, fairs, festivals and celebrations.
    • Keeping a record of births, deaths and marriages in the village.
    • Looking after public health and hygiene by providing facilities for sanitation and drinking water.
    • Providing for education.
    • Implementing development schemes for agriculture and animal husbandry.

    Gram Sabha
    The Gram Sabha is the most powerful foundation of decentralized governance by ensuring elected representatives are directly and regularly accountable to the people. The aim of the government has been to strengthen the Gram Sabha by introducing favourable policy changes. However, the Gram Sabhas are yet to become operational entities and to do justice to their potential for making the Panchayat system truly self-governed and a bottom-up structure.
    Key features Gram Sabhas:


    The quorum for a Gram Sabha meeting remains one tenth & it is essent ial to have one-third of the quorum as women members.

    The Gram Sabha will work as a supervisory body, and audit and regulate the functioning of Gram Panchayats.

    Recommendations of the Gram Sabha will be binding on the Gram Panchayat.

    The Gram Sabha can approve as well as audit expenditure up to three lakhs.

    The Panchayat Karmi (Panchayat Secretary appointed by the Panchayats but drawing salary from the state government) can be removed from his/her post only if the Gram Sabha approves it.

    The Gram Sabha will have the right to recall the Pradhan after two and a half years of commencement of his/her tenure.

    Functions of Gram Shaba
    The key roles entrusted to the Gram Sabha are microplanning, social audit of Panchayat functioning, ratification of Panchayat accounts, balance sheets, identification and approval of beneficiaries, and supervisory and regulatory functions. Gram sabhas should be conducted two times in a year
    Conducting meetings
    The Mukia can  conduct meetings of the gram panchayat with a minimum 50% quorum. According to the Jharkhand Panchayati Raj Act, , one-third of the quorum of a gram sabha should be women.
    Core features of panchayat

    • Democratic decentralisation
    • Delineation of functions
    • Devolution of functions in real terms
    • Convergence
    • Citizen centricity

    Key programmes/schemes of Panchayat Raj Department

    In order to strengthen Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) as per the Jharkhand Panchayat Raj Act, 2001, the department of Panchayati Raj has undertaken several schemes, both central and state schemes which are described below.

    Central Government Schemes

     

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Backward Region Grant Fund (BRGF)

 
•Objectives
• To redress regional imbalances in development
• Bridge critical gaps in local infrastructure and other development requirements.
• Strengthen Panchayat/Municipality level governance to facilitate participatory planning, decision making, implementation and monitoring to reflect local need.
• Provide professional support to local bodies.
• Improve the performance and delivery of functions assigned to Panchayat/Municipalities.
Panchayat Mahila Evam Yuva Shakti Abhiyan (PMEYSA)
In order to address the empowerment of Elected Women Representatives
(EWRs) and elected Yuva Representatives (EVRs) in a systematic, programmatic manner, Ministry of Panchayati Raj, Government of India introduced a new scheme Panchayat Mahila Evam Yuva Shakti Abhiyan (PMEYSA)
Objectives (PMSA)

  • To enable women Panchayat leaders to come together to articulatetheir problems as women Panchayat leaders.
  • Discuss issues regarding the institutional mechanisms for their empowerment.
  • Come up with a charter of issues to be mainstreamed into policy and advocacy support so that their concerns are addressed by the  process of development adopted by the State and the three-tier PRI System.

Key activities
• Identification of Programmebeneficiaries.
• Panchayat Khel Kood Abhiyan.
•  Self Help Groups especially for young women.
• Participation of Youth in the Gram Sabhas and Ward Sabhas to act as a pressure group for approval of programmes and timely submission of utilization Certificates by the PRIs.
• Engagement of youth for social audit by the Gram Sabha for greater transparency and prevention of corruption.
• Sensitization of young Panchayat members on issues of local administration such as literacy, village library, HIV/AIDS, sex determination and health related issues.

STATE PLAN SCHEMES
Construction/Repair/Alteration/Furnishing etc. of Panchayat Bhawan

 In this scheme, it is proposed to construct model Panchayat Bhawan (Buildings) in all the Panchayats of the Jharkhand State. This building would function as Secretariat of Panchayat.
 
Grants to the Zila Parishad for the Construction of the Bus Stand/Dak bunglows/Offices and Staff quarters

Under this scheme Bus Stand/Dak bunglows/Offices and Staff quarters of Zilla Parishad are being constructed by giving hundred percent grants. Inter-State Bus
terminal at Bahragora (E. Singhbhum) is likely to be completed.

Capacity Building

Under this programme provision of training to elected representatives of PRIs is provided to equip them with knowledge and skills.

Special Grants & Prizes for PRIs

Under this scheme it is proposed to provide prizes & special grants to the best
selected Gram Sabha/ Panchayats/ Panchayat Samiti/ Zila Parishad selected by
State Government on their annual performance in planning, implementation &
monitoring of development works.

e-Panchayat-governance through Pragya Kendra

The ePRI Mission Mode Project is undertaken by Government of India is an effort to bring e-governance to Panchayati Raj Institutions. Under the project, it is proposed to provide ICT infrastructure with broadband facilities and trained manpower to all Panchayati Raj Institutions across the country. In this regard, the following preparatory activities are being undertaken,

Objectives
The prime objectives of the ePRI MMP project is enabling Panchayats to better deliver the services to the Citizens through ICT.

  • Enabling PRIs to use IT as a tool for transparency.
  • Disclosure of services to Citizens and social audit
  • Improving internal management processes and decision making in Panchayats.
  • Enabling PRIs to use IT for electronic tagging and tracking of funds transferred to Panchayats from higher levels of government, including rapid bank transfer of funds, tracking fund transfers to and expenditures of the Panchayats.

Key services through Pragiya Kendra
 
First (CSC) level would be the local Village Level Entrepreneur (VLE) to provide service the rural consumer in a cluster of 5-6 villages . Through the CSC, following key services are to be provided.

  • Serve as secretariat for the panchayat
  • Various certification services-caste, income, nativity, birth and death certificated.
  • Access to land documents
  • E-Education through the Prgiya Kendra-E-tutoring and enrolment in distance education.
  • E-Health services through tele-counselling and tele-medicine
  • E-commerce services including banking services
  • Payment services including delivery of various social security payments and pension payments
  • Various application of the government
  • Various reservation and other services
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