Local Government - Polity and Constitution, UPSC, IAS. Notes | Study Polity and Constitution (Prelims) by IAS Masters - UPSC

UPSC: Local Government - Polity and Constitution, UPSC, IAS. Notes | Study Polity and Constitution (Prelims) by IAS Masters - UPSC

The document Local Government - Polity and Constitution, UPSC, IAS. Notes | Study Polity and Constitution (Prelims) by IAS Masters - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Polity and Constitution (Prelims) by IAS Masters.
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC

Local Government

Chapter- 16

THE NEW SYSTEM OF PANCHAYATS AND MUNICIPALITIES
Article 40 says that the state shall take steps to organize village panchayats and endow them with such power and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self government.
On this basis, by 73rd and 74th Amendment Act 1992, part IX and part IX A were inserted in the Constitution.
Part IX relates to Panchayats, containing Article 243 to Article 243 O and part IX A relates to Municipalities, containing Article 243 P to 243 G.

SALIENT FEATURES OF NEW SYSTEM

  1. Direct election by the people.
  2. Reservation of seats for women.
  3. An election commission to conduct election.
  4. A Finance commission.

Local government institutions in both rural and urban areas are an exclusive state subject under schedule VII so that union cannot enact any law to create rights and liabilities relating to these subjects. So the union has outlined the scheme which would be implemented by several states by making laws or amending their own existing laws to bring them in conformity with the provisions of the 73rd and 74th Amendment Acts .These Amendments do not apply to J&K, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and NCT of Delhi.

                                                    PANCHAYATS

Part IX of the constitution envisages a 3 tier system of panchayats:-

  1. GRAM PANCHAYAT
  2. PANCHAYAT SAMITI AND
  3. ZILA PARISHAD.

COMPOSITION

All the seats in Panchayat shall be filled by persons chosen by direct election from territorial constituencies in Panchayats area. The electorate has been named Gram Sabha consisting of persons registered in the electoral rolls relating to a village comprised with in the area of a Panchayat.

                                The chairperson of each Panchayat shall be elected according to the law passed by the state and such law shall also provides for the representation of chairperson of village and intermediate Panchayats in the district Panchayat as well as  the representation of the union and state legislature in the Panchayats above the village level.

RESERVATION OF SEATS

Article 243 D provides for the reservation of seats for SCs and STs in proportion to their population.

Out of the seats so reserved not less than 1/3rd of the seats shall be reserved for women belonging to SCs and STs.

Not less than 1/3 of the total number of seats to be filled by direct election in every Panchayat shall be reserved for women.

A state may by law make provisions for similar reservation of the offices of chairperson in the Panchayats at the village and other levels.

Reservation may also be made for the office of chairman in favour of BCs.

DURATION OF PANCHAYATS (243 E)

Panchayat will continue for 5 years from the date of its 1st meeting but it can be dissolved earlier as per state law.

Election must take place before the expiry of 5 years. In case of dissolution, whether 6 months have left; the next Panchayats shall continue for the remainder period. But if the remainder period is less than 6 months it shall not be necessary to hold the election.

QUALIFICATION [243F]

All persons who are qualified to be chosen to state legislature shall be qualified for membership of the Panchayat but for it minimum age should be 21 years.

Any question to disqualification shall be referred to such as authority as state legislature may prescribe by law.

POWERS, AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF PANCHAYATS [Art 243G]

  1. Preparing plans for economic development and social justice.
  2. Implementation of schemes for social justice.
  3. In regard to matters listed in schedule XI. The list contain 29 items,e.g. land improvement, minor irrigation, animal husbanding ,fisheries, education etc.

The XI schedule thus, distributes the power between the state and Panchayat.

ARTICLE [243 H] 

 A state may by law authorize a Panchayat to levy, collect and appropriate taxes, duties, tolls etc.

Grant in aid may also be given to Panchayats from Consolidated Fund of state.

PANCHAYAT FINANCE COMMISSION [Art 243 I]

The state government shall appoint a Finance commission afterwards every 5

years from the date( 25-4-1993) on which the 73rd Amendment Act came into force, to review the financial position of Panchayats and to make recommendation as to-

  1. Distribution of taxes, duties, tolls and fees etc between the state and the Panchayats.
  2. Grant in aid to Panchayats.
  3. The report will be laid before the state legislature.

STATE ELECTION COMMISSION

Article 243 K Provides for the constitution of a State Election Commission to be appointed by the Governor, to superintend, direct and control of election of Panchayat including preparation of electoral rolls.

                 To ensure the independence of commission it is laid down that the state election commissioner can be removed only in the manner of a judge of a High court.

[ARTICLE 243 -O] BAR TO INTERFERE BY COURTS IN THE ELECTORAL MATTERS

Under article 329, courts will have no jurisdiction to examine the validity of a law, relating to determination of constituencies or the allotment of seats, made under Article 243 K.

MUNICIPALITIES AND PLANNING COMMITTEES

Some of the provision like reservation of seats, finance commission and election commission are similar to part IX.

This part gave birth to two types of bodies:-

  1. Institution of self government [ Article 243] and
  2. Institution for planning [article 243 ZX and 243ZE].

   Municipalities are of 3 types:-

  1.  Nagar Panchayats for a transitional area, i.e. an area which is being
  2. transformed from rural to urban area.
  3. Municipal council for small urban area.
  4. Municipal Corporation for a larger urban area but if there is an urban area or part of it where municipal services are provided by an industrial establishment, for such an area it is not mandatory to constitute a municipality.

COMPOSITION OF MUNICIPALITIES

Generally elected by direct election but state may by law provide for representation in a municipality of

1.  Persons having special knowledge or experience,

2.  Members of Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, legislative assembly and legislative council,

3. The chairperson of committees constituted under article 243S (5).

The chairperson will be elected in the manner provided by the legislature.

Ward committee:- it would be obligatory to constitute Ward committee for one or more wards within municipalities having population of 3 lakh or more. The state legislature will make provision with regard to its composition, territorial area and the manner in which the seats in award committee shall be filled.

RESERVATION OF SEATS FOR SCs AND STs, WOMEN CHAIRPERSON

  • In every municipality seats will be reserved for SCs and STs according to their proportion.
  • Out of the total seats to be filled, at least 1/3 would be reserved for women including women of SCs and STs.
  • It has been left to state legislature to make law for reservation of office to Chairperson in municipalities and also in favour of BCs.

DURATION OF MUNICIPALITIES

Municipality shall continue for 5 years from the date of its first meeting. But it may be dissolved earlier. But Article 243 Q further prescribes that before dissolution a reasonable opportunity of being heard must be given to it.

Most election must be completed before the expiry of 5 years term and in case of dissolution,(when more than 6 months are the remaining period). But if the remainder period is less than 6 months then it will not be necessary to hold the election.

QUALIFICATION FOR MEMBERSHIP

Article 243 V says all persons who are qualified to be chosen to state legislature will be qualified for being a member of municipality. But in this case also the minimum age is 21 years.

POWER, AUTHORITY AND RESPONSIBILITY

This is according to the law made by state legislature. Article 243 W says that they may be given the responsibility of

  1. Preparation of plans for economic development and social justice.
  2. Implementation of scheme as may be entrusted to them.
  3. Regard to matters listed in XII Schedule which contain 18 items e.g. Urban Planning, Regulation of land Use, Urban forestry, slums etc.

- may be authorized to levy, collect taxes, duties, tolls etc.

- Grant in aid may be given to municipalities from Consolidated Fund of State.

FINANCE COMMISSION

The Finance Commission under Article 243I [for Panchayats] shall also review the position of municipalities and make recommendations as to-

  1. Distribution of financial resources between state and municipalities.
  2. The taxes, duties and tolls that may be assigned to the municipalities.
  3. Grant in aid to municipalities.
  4. Measures needed to impose the financial position of the municipalities.
  5. Any other duty referred to it by the Governor.

ELECTION TO MUNICIPALITIES

State Election Commission under Article 243 K (of Panchayats) shall conduct, control, and supervise the election to municipalities.

BAR TO INTERFERE BY COURT

The court shall have no jurisdiction to examine the validity of a law relating to determination of constituencies or allotment of seats made under Article 243 ZA.

COMMITTEES FOR DISTRICT PLANNING

By 74th Amendment Act it is provided that apart from Municipalities, two committees shall be constituted.

  1. District Planning Committee at district level [Article 243 ZD].
  2. Metropolitan Planning Committee for metropolitan areas [Article 243 ZB].

The composition and manner of fulfilling seats are to be provided by state law. But it has been laid down that:-

  1. In case of DPC at least 4/5 members will be elected by the elected members of the district level Panchayats and of the municipalities in the district from amongst themselves. Their proportion would be according to the ratio of urban and rural population of the district.
  2. In case MPC at least 2/3rd of the members shall by the members of the municipalities and chairpersons of the Panchayats in the metropolitan area from amongst themselves. The proportion of seats to be shared would be based on the ratio of the population of the municipalities and of Panchayats in that area.

The state legislature, by law, provide for the functioning of DPC and the manner in which a chairperson of DPC may be chosen.

The DPC shall prepare and forward the development plans to the state government.

In regard to MPC the state by law, may make provision for

  1. Representation for central and state government and of such organization and institution as it may deem necessary.
  2. Function relating to planning and coordination for such area.
  3. The manner in which chairperson of MPC must be chosen.

This part IX A adds one more function to the duties of finance commission under Article 280 (appointed by President). On the basis of recommendation made by State Finance Commission, it would make recommendation in regard to the measures needed to augment the Consolidated Fund of States to supplement the resources of municipalities.

The document Local Government - Polity and Constitution, UPSC, IAS. Notes | Study Polity and Constitution (Prelims) by IAS Masters - UPSC is a part of the UPSC Course Polity and Constitution (Prelims) by IAS Masters.
All you need of UPSC at this link: UPSC

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