Sarpanch

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A sarpanch (IAST: Sarpañc) or gram pradhan or mukya is a decision-maker, elected by the village-level constitutional body of local self-government called the Gram Sabha (village government) in India. [1] The sarpanch, together with other elected panchayat members (referred to as commissioners or a panch), constitute gram panchayats and zilla panchayats. The sarpanch is the focal point of contact between government officers and the village community and retains power for five years.

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Meaning of sarpanch

Sar, meaning head, and panch meaning five, gives the meaning head of the five decision makers of the gram panchyat of the village.

In the state of West Bengal, a Sarpanch is termed as Panchayat Pradhan (Pradhan means Head) and his deputy as Upa-Pradhan.

Panchayati raj

Although panchayats have been in existence in India since antiquity, in post-Independence India, most of the rural development and community development projects have been sought to be executed through panchayats. India's federal structure of governance means that different states have different laws governing the powers of the gram panchayats and sarpanches.

Panchayat elections

In many states, elections were not held for decades and instead of elected sarpanches, the gram panchayats were run by bureaucratically appointed administrators. With the passage of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments in 1992, a number of safeguards have been built in, including those pertaining to regular elections.

Reservation for women

Article 243D(3) of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment requires one-third of seats in panchayats and one-third of panchayat chairperson positions be reserved for women, across all three levels of the panchayati raj system. [2] [3] :24 This amendment followed various state-level legislative reforms in which reservations were set for panchayat positions to be held by women. [3] :32

See also

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Panchayat may refer to:

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Panchayati raj Indian political system

The Panchayat raj (panchayat "village council", raj "rule") is a political system, originating from the Indian subcontinent, found mainly in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. It is the oldest system of local government in the Indian subcontinent, and historical mentions date to the 250 CE period. The word raj means "rule" and panchayat means "assembly" (ayat) of five (panch). Traditionally, Panchayats consisted of wise and respected elders chosen and accepted by the local community. These assemblies settled disputes between both individuals and villages. However, there were varying forms of such assemblies.

Block Pramukh (president) are Panchayats at the Apex or District Level in Panchayat Raj Institutions.

Oral democracy is a talk-based form of government and political system in which citizens of a determined community have the opportunity to deliberate, through direct oral engagement and mass participation, in the civic and political matters of their community. Additionally, oral democracy represents a form of direct democracy, which has the purpose of empowering citizens by creating open spaces that promote an organized process of discussion, debate, and dialogue that aims to reach consensus and to impact policy decision-making. Political institutions based on this idea of direct democracy seek to decrease the possibilities of state capture from elites by holding them accountable, to encourage civic participation and collective action, and to improve the efficiency and adaptability of development interventions and public policy implementation.

References

  1. Misra, Suresh; Dhaka, Rajvir S. (2004). Grassroots Democracy in Action: A Study of Working of PRIs in Haryana. Concept Publishing Company. p. 116. ISBN   9788180691072 . Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  2. Constitution of India. Government of India.
  3. 1 2 Sharma, Kumud (1998). "Transformative Politics: Dimensions of Women's Participation in Panchayati Raj". Indian Journal of Gender Studies. 5 (1): 23–47. doi:10.1177/097152159800500103. PMID   12321579. S2CID   36735582.