The Chairman of this committee was Balwantrai G Mehta. The committee submitted its report in November 24th and recommended the establishment of the. Short Note on Balwant Rai Mehta Committee Report. In , the Balawant Rai Meheta Committee recommended for the introduction of three-tier Panchayati. Project Abstract The Balwant Rai Mehta Committee was the benchmark in the . Under section 2, the report further recommended that at the block level.

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What were recommendations of Balwant Rai Mehta Committee?

Log In Sign Up. Through this paper the author will try to find out how and why this process of democratic decentralization was came into being and committfe it has further increased the accountability among the government spheres. The author would also try to analyze the recommendations in order to find some loopholes in the very idea of effective implementation of the Panchayati Raj system in Indian context.

The larger a democracy grows, the less becomes the rule of the people and the smaller is the say of individuals and localized groups in dealing with their own destinies.

Democratic Decentralization and Balwant Rai Mehta Committee | Aman Kumar –

Even the Indus valley civilization also had a very well managed local self-governance system. The basic idea behind the democratic decentralization is to distribute the power to each and every level of the governance starting from the very basic pillar of democracy i. From the unearthed Indus valley civilization to the Aryan and Vedic period, we can find the traces of the town planning and the local governance, where the common people took part in the decision making process.

In the Arthashashtra, written by Kautilya, also mentions about the division of the power structure in the state, where local bodies were established to control the administration of the smallest unit of the governance. The Mauryan and the Gupta periods are the examples of the prestige of these local self-governance badies, where the matters were decided through the processes of adjudication and mediation.

Besides these adjudicatory powers, the village bodies were given precise regulatory powers in this period. The Indian ancient history is rich in such instances of democratic decentralization, but in the modern era, precisely after the advent of the British colonial powers in India, the structure somehow got altercated on the several occasions.

The Britons at first completely disregarded the local autonomy of these bodies at the lower level, but late on they realized that it would be very tricky to rule such a vast population if the local institutions were not recognized properly. The first such step towards recognized was taken by Lord Ripon inwhen the first comprehensive census in India was organised, recognizing people at the lowest level. Later on, the diarchy system was introduced through the very famous Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms ofwhere the basic purpose was to discuss the introduction of limited self-government to India, and the protection rights of minority communities.


With some further addition, inthe provincial autonomy was provided by the British government. Gandhiji propagated the basic idea of decentralized governance, citing the villages as the soul of the democratic structure.

In order to officially recognize the efforts of the government regarding the democratic decentralization, a committee was appointed in the year at the starting of the second five-year plan.

Popular participation in the policy process and in local politics increases.

This strengthens political and civic pluralism, because more people indulge in the basic governance. It enhances the transparency of government, and the flow of information between government and citizens.

It enhances the accountability in the governance process at all levels. Two kinds of accountability are involved here — the accountability of bureaucrats to elected representatives, and the accountability of bbalwant elected representatives to citizens.

What were recommendations of Balwant Rai Mehta Committee?

When democratic decentralization works well, it makes government more responsive. It was named as Halwant Development Programme, Its main objective was to increase the participation of the people. All the districts were converted into the district blocks and a block development officer was appointed for each such block. Village level workers were appointed to work from the ground level.

The community development organization was the deciding authority and the community development research repodt was the other body for the research purposes.

This program failed drastically, causing so much burden on the exchequer. This program was also criticized a lot because of its inefficiency to work according to the goals of the first five year plan.

It submitted its report in November The panchayat samiti should be constituted by indirect elections from the village panchayats. Next to the district, Panchayat will have to be the hub of developmental activities. State Government may convert predominantly rural municipalities into panchayats.

Readings in Indian Government and Politics 2. Towards Greater Participatory Governance? It should also act as an agent of the State Government in executing special schemes of development entrusted to it.

No village panchayat should, however, be superseded except by the State Government who will do so only on the recommendation of the zila parishad. As development secretary of the village panchayat, the Gram Sewak should submit his progress reports to the village panchayat at the time of each monthly meeting and the latter should forward its comments to the Block Development Officer.

The departmental candidates should be taken purely balant the basis of merit and the age limit relaxed upto 40 years. The dilemma facing the rural people seems to be that, while they want justice at their doorsteps, their experience does not encourage them to place faith in Nyaya Panchayats as cmomittee today.


The report only talks about the training facilities to Gram Sewaks and other elected members, but basic qualification for contesting in the election has not been defined anywhere. The members of the Zila Parishad would be indirectly elected, which provides ample scope to the corruption in the election process.

If any of these three essentials is totally absent, the comkittee will fail. But in countries like India, poverty arises more often from inequality within regions or localities. It is more difficult for democratic decentralisation to reduce that kind of poverty, because it entails the creation of political arenas at lower levels within which existing patterns committew social relations including inequalities manifest themselves.

This sometimes results in elite capture of new decentralised bodies. This position is not correct in my opinion. How and in what ratio, the revenues should be handed over to PRIs? What should be the criteria of sanction of grants to them by State Government? The launch of the Panchayati Raj institutions was a thumping success and soon the states started adopting the institutions.

This continued for years and after that the institutions started crippling due to lack of resources, political will, and bureaucratic apathy and change the government priorities. The rural elites dominated the system and the benefit of the development schemes was not able to reach to the last corner of the country. The legitimacy of the Panchayati Raj institutions came under questions. The equal importance should have been given to all three levels, instead of focusing on the District level authorities.

The village panchayats could have been given much regulatory powers with this regard. The noble concepts like nyaya panchayat and lok adalats could also have been given more importance. It may be mentioned in this regard that the basic idea of Mahatma Gandhi was to establish the Panchayati Raj as an independent balwabt system or as independent republic.

However, in course of time, the Panchayati Raj system lost much of its popularity and popular participation in it also became insignificant.

The state governments should also more focus on the reporr raj institutions in order to reach out to the last person in the row. Reprot me on this computer. Enter the email address you signed up with and we’ll email you a reset link. Click here to sign up.

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