CBSE 6 Social Science Chapter 4 Panchayati Raj Notes

Panchayati Raj: It is a system of local self-government in India. It empowers local communities to manage their own affairs and make decisions related to development.

Need of Panchayati Raj: To ensure good governance and better functioning in rural India.

Gram Sabha

  • The Gram Sabha is a meeting of all adults who live in the area covered by a Panchayat. Anyone 18 years old or older and with the right to vote is a member of the Gram Sabha.
  • In Hardash village, the Gram Sabha is holding its first meeting after the election of the new Gram Panchayat. So everyone wants to attend this meeting.
  • The Panchayat President is also known as the Sarpanch and the members of the Panchayat are also known as the Panchs.
  • The Gram Sabha meeting begins with the Panchayat President and the members of the Panchayat discussing the plan to repair the road that connects to the main highway. 
  • After that discussion, the meeting takes on the subject of the water and water shortages that are being faced by the village. 
  • Every village Panchayat is divided into wards, which are smaller areas.
  • Each ward elects a representative who is known as the Ward Member or Panch.
  • All the members of the Gram Sabha also elect a Sarpanch who is the Panchayat President.
  • The Gram Panchayat is elected for five years.
  • The Gram Panchayat also contains a secretary of the organization. 
  • This secretary also acts as the secretary of the Gram Sabha. 
  • The secretary person is not an elected person but is appointed by the government.
  • The primary job of the secretary is to call the meeting of the Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayat and keep a record of the proceedings.
  • The Gram Sabha is a key factor in making the Gram Panchayat play its role and be responsible.
  • The Gram Sabha is the place where all plans for the work of the Gram Panchayat are placed before the people.
  • The Gram Sabha prevents the Panchayat from doing wrong things. like misusing money or favouring certain people.
  • The Gram Sabha plays an important role in keeping an eye on the elected representatives and in making them responsible to the persons who elected them.

The Gram Panchayat

  • The Gram Panchayat meets regularly and one of its main tasks is to implement development programmes for all villages that come under it.
  • The work of the Gram Panchayat has to be approved by the
  • Gram Sabha.
  • In some states, Gram Sabhas form committees like construction
  • and development committees. These committees include some members of the Gram Sabha and some from the Gram Panchayat.

The work of Gram Panchayat

  • Gram Panchayat works to construct and maintain water sources, roads, drainage, school buildings, and common property resources.
  • It is also responsible for levying and collecting local taxes from the villagers.
  • Other responsibilities of the Gram Panchayat also include executing government schemes related to generating employment among the people of the village. 

Sources of funds for the Panchayat:

  • Collection of taxes on houses, marketplaces etc. Government scheme funds are received through various government departments – through the Janpad and Zila Panchayats.
  • Donations for community works etc.

Meeting in Hardas Gram Panchayat

  • In the case of the Hardas Gram Panchayat, the meeting was held primarily for the water crisis.
  • Gram Panchayat members first discussed the suggestion to deepen two handpumps and clean one well, so that the village would not go without water.
  • In response to these suggestions, the Sarpanch of Hardas village suggested that since the Panchayat had received some money for the maintenance of handpumps, that could be utilized to resolve the problem regarding water. The members agreed and the Secretary recorded their decision.
  • The members then went on to discuss the options for a long-term solution.
  • The Gram Sabha members were expected to ask them questions at the next meeting. 
  • A lot of discussion followed. In the end, it was decided that the Gram Panchayat would approach the Block Development Officer and get more information on the scheme.

Three Levels of Panchayats

Top levelZila ParishadDistrict Level
Middle levelPanchayat SamitiBlock Level
Lower levelGram PanchayatVillage Level
  • The Panchayati Raj System is a process through which people participate in their government.

Gram Panchayat

  • In rural areas, the Gram Panchayat is the first tier or level of democratic government.
  • The Panchs and the Gram Panchayat are answerable to the Gram Sabha because it is the members of the Gram Sabha who elected them.
  • This idea of people’s participation in the Panchayati Raj system extends to two other levels.

Panchayat Samiti

  • One of these two other levels is- the Block level. This is called the Janpad Panchayat or the Panchayat Samiti. 
  • This type of level contains numerous Gram Panchayats under it. 

Zila Parishad

  • District Panchayat or the Zila Parishad above the Panchayat Samiti. The Zila Parishad actually makes developmental plans at the district level.
  • The Zila Parishad can regulate the money distribution among all the Gram panchayats in the district with the help of the Panchayat Samitis. 
  • Within the guidelines given in the Constitution each state in the country has its own laws with regard to Panchayats.
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