(Online Cours) CAPF Assistant Commandant: Indian Polity - Local Government

Online Course for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) Exam (Assistant Commandant)

Indian Polity

Local Government

The first sign of a healthy democracy is that collective decisions are made by the people who are most affected by them. Decentralisation is a prime mechanism through which democracy becomes truly representative and responsive. Further, the effectiveness of development administration depends on two interrelated factors : (1) the capacity of the administrative system to

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bring about, sustain and strengthen goal-oriented change in the socio­economic institutions and (2) the level and quality of people’s participation in the formulation and implementation of developmental policies and programmes. The strength of participation, in turn, depends on the ability of the people to participate, their willingness to involve themselves in the change- process, and the opportunities provided to them to participate in the process of self-governance.


In India, the institution of panchayats has a hoary history, though its truly ‘democratic’ form is of recent origin. In fact, Rippon’s Resolutions of 1881 and 1882 can be taken to be the origin of modern local government in India. The quest for the revival of villages in free India was supported by several innovations aimed at institution-building.
The first such experiment was the Community Development Programme (CDP) inaugurated on 2 October 1952. The CDP created an infrastructure for local governance and set up an entirely new unit called them block, each of which was headed by a Block Development Officer.

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