(GIST OF KURUKSHETRA) Human Development through Panchayati Raj Institutions
Human Development through Panchayati Raj Institutions
- Decentralization means to the transfer of authority and responsibility for public functions from the Central Government to sub-ordinate or quasi-independent organizations.
- There are three basic types of decentralization:
- Political decentralization
- Administrative decentralization
- Financial decentralization
- In India, the legal framework for decentralization was laid through the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts.
Role of Panchayat in Human Development:
- There are 29 subjects under the 11th Schedule of the Indian Constitution. Some of these subjects are Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Management, Animal husbandry, Rural Housing, Public Distribution Systems, Fuel and Fodder, Women and Child Development, etc.
- According to the United Nations Development Programme, Human development is defined as the “process of enlarging people’s choices”, allowing them to “lead a long and healthy life, to be educated, to enjoy a decent standard of living”, as well as “political freedom, other guaranteed human rights and various ingredients of self-respect”.
- At the rural level, the PRI system should function as a self-governing institution and play an important role in education, health and service delivery.
- Effective delivery of targeted public services has the potential to reduce economic inequality.
- Rural development programs such as MGNREGS and the National Rural Livelihood Mission have the potential to improve livelihoods and eradicate poverty.
- The PRI is not only involved in the implementation of the program but also ensures public participation in the development process.
- The Gram Sabha gathering can be used by some of the most disadvantaged groups in the village to express themselves.
- Panchayat helps better channel resources to those in need.
- The PRI creates an environment conducive to collective action and raises awareness of work in progress and planned work.
- Panchayats have also played a key role in education.
- For example, enrollment for children ages 6 to 14 has seen phenomenal growth.
- Despite major advances in community participation in school governance, a significant number of children are out of school.
Role of Panchayats in Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction
- Human activities have been the main driver of climate change. Additionally, rural people are highly dependent on natural resources and ecosystem services, thus making them highly vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters.
- The active commitment and leadership of Panchayati Raj Institutions are important for local disaster risk reduction.
- PRIs have a significant role as they are the immediate providers of public services and are situated amongst rural citizens.
- They can help in public awareness, community training, and disaster preparedness.
The introduction of PRIs has brought the scope to influence service delivery as per the need of the people. Rural development strategies are experiencing transformation across the country due to the digitalization of various services at PRIs.