Could anyone please help in finding the committe on whose suggestion 50% reservation in PRI is given.

Ques: Could anyone please help in finding the committe on whose suggestion 50% reservation in PRI is given.

Ans: -
Hi Shipra,
There is no particular committee's report based on which the union government has increased the quota to 50% for women in Panchayat Raj. This is based on the rural promise given by UPA before elections. The same can be known from the speech of President Pathiba Patil, on June 4th. The UPA has taken this scheme that is alraeady been implemented by some of the states in India.

- Bihar is the 1st state to implement the 50%^ quota in [anchayat raj in 2006.
- Till today 5 states have already implemented (Bihar, HP, Uttarakhand, MP and chattisgarh).
-Uttaranchal is the state that provides highiest reservation for women in panchayat raj (55%)

If anyone has any update info on this or if i am wrong in any of the above info, please update us.

Thanks and Regards

About Balwantrai Mehta Committee (1957): This Committee was formed in the mid-50's to look into the various causes that led to the failure of the Community Development Programme. The team observed that the main reason for the failure was an absence of people's participation

The team suggested that a ‘set of institutional arrangements' was required not only to secure people's participation but also to make it significant and effective. The team brought up the idea of ‘Democratic Decentralization' and village reconstruction through the introduction of a three-tier system. The strategy for decentralization included democratic decentralization, structural decentralization, decentralization of planning at the grassroots level, decision-making, and delegation of power through local institutions, which is not to be used as a mechanical device but to be based on humanitarian aspects. The committee observed that “…the democratic government operating over large areas through its executive machinery can't adequately appreciate local needs…It is, therefore, necessary for devolution of power and a decentralization machinery, and such powers to be exercised, to be controlled and directed by popular representation of the local areas” (Chaudhary, Sahdev B, 1991, p616).

The Report was equally concerned about the training requirements of Panchayat people and quite lamentfully observed, “…no efforts so far have been made either by the Governments or by public or political organizations to impart any training in administrative matters to persons elected to local bodies. Such training is essential if we are to make our local bodies effective and useful.” (Kaushik, Sushila, 1993, p. 64). The result of these recommendations was the announcement of a three-tier Panchayati Raj system to undertake rural development activities.

Ashok Mehta Committee (1977): The Ashok Mehta Committee, which was formed in 1977, brought some new and significant thoughts in the concepts and practice of Panchayati Raj. It re-emphasized the need for involving the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in local development and planning, and viewed their roles in terms of strengthening the planning process at the micro-level. The Committee recommended a plan, which saw ‘democratic development…in all spheres of rural life' co-terminus and possible along with ‘rapid changes, continuous growth and sustained innovations.'

The Committee gave importance to the growth of human resource and suggested that there should be three types of training: (i) For officials, (ii) For elected representatives and (iii) combined courses for both officials and elected representatives together. The Report further read:

“The training programmes, covering officials as well as non-officials, would be of staggering dimension. This would require not only the activation of the existing institutions but also considerable augmentation of their numbers and resources. Suitable remedial measures should also be taken to resuscitate and revitalize the State-level training institutions .”(Ibid.p65)

Besides this, three other significant suggestions were:

• That the three-tier Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI) should consist of Zilla Parishad, Taluk Samiti and Mandal Panchayat;

• That the PRIs should be an inherent part of the COI rather than just a vestigial appendage in the DPSP (this committee was the first to initiate this idea); and

• That there should be participation of political parties in the Panchayat elections.

G.V.K. Rao Committee (1985): This Committee was formed in 1985 to look into the ways and means to revitalize the PRIs. It recommended that the Panchayat Samiti and the Gram /Mandal Panchayat should have a sub-committee, consisting mainly of women members, for considering and implementing programmes and schemes for welfare of women and children, including adult education. The two important suggestions that this committee provided were:

a). That the 'district' should be the basic unit of planning; and

b). That there should be a system of regular elections for the Panchayats.

L.M. Singhvi Committee (1986): This Committee, formed for Revitalization of Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) for Democracy and Development, argued for devolving of more economic powers and resources to the PRIs in order to render them financially autonomous and self-reliant. The Committee perceived the PRIs as one that needs playing a pivotal role in the democratic success of the nation. It viewed the PRIs as the basic unit of self-government and the base for the democratic and republican operations of the nation. The Committee was strongly of the view that considerable training, research and public education inputs should be provided to strengthen the PRIs and the performance capabilities of those who are called upon to function as voters, elected representatives, administrative officials, and voluntary workers in relation to PRIs. It recommended further that national and state level local self-government institutes, and centres for training at the district level should be formed and empowered to train and evaluate particularly in relation to PRIs and Urban Local Bodies.

The Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pension, Government of India, held half a dozen conferences, of district magistrates and collectors, between December 1987 and July 1988 at several locations, on the broad theme of “Responsive Administration”. The various suggestions of the first five conferences were put together as a report which argued for people's participation, status of elected bodies at the local level, the latter's powers, responsibilities and financial resources. The Report also delved into the issue of the PRIs raising their own resources for at least a part of their expenditure, so as to have a sense of participation and responsibility.

It is, nevertheless, interesting to note that none of the conferences or the Report of these personnel had recognized women as a special component either for purposes of reservation or financial allocation. No specific issue of development was viewed as one that could involve women in their majority or as being covered under women's issues. Obviously the sensitivity to women as constituting equal proportion of the population or as a majority among the poor and weaker sections of the rural areas is totally absent at the administrative level.