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Kerala Plus One Political Science Chapter Wise Questions and Answers Chapter 8 Local Governments
Local Governments Questions and Answers
What is the necessity of local governments?
Apart from the Central Government and State Governments, it is the local self-governments that manage the developmental activities of district, urban centers, and rural areas. According to Gandhiji, the Father of our Nation, India’s soul lives in the villages. His dream was self-sufficient villages. The Makers of the Constitution included this idea in the Constitution. Later through the 73rd and 74th Amendments the Local Self-Government Institutions acquired their present shape and status.
The necessity for local governments:
- Local governments are close to people and they are able to solve the problems of the people quickly and cheaply.
- They can protect local interests.
- They are necessary to make use of local knowledge and the energy of the local community.
- They are the pillars of democracy. They ensure the participation of the people in the administration.
- It is through them decentralization and decentralized planning are done.
Examine the growth of local governments in India.
There have been references to local governments in India also in the past. The father of the Indian local governments is Lord Rippon. But in 1687, the first local government in India, the Madras Corporation, was founded. Apart from the Central Government and State Governments, it is the local self-governments that manage the developmental activities of district, urban centers, and rural areas. According to Gandhiji, the Father of our Nation, India’s soul lives in the villages. His dream was self-sufficient villages. The Makers of the Constitution included this idea in the Constitution. Later through the 73rd and 74th Amendments, the Local Self-Government Institutions acquired their present shape and status.
Who laid the foundation of India’s modern local governments?
Prepare a seminar paper on Panchayat Raj in India.
The +1 Political Science students in Kannur Government HSS organized a seminar on the topic “Panchayat Raj in India”. The students were divided into groups, and the leaders of the groups presented the views of their groups.
Panchayat Raj in India/Three-tier administrative decentralization:
- In 1957 the Indian Government appointed a Committee with Balwant Rai Mehta as its chairman to study the rural development schemes.
- Panchayat Raj came into existence as per this Committee’s report.
- The Committee recommended a 3-tier system for decentralization of powers.
- In the village, there was Village Panchayat, at the block level there was Panchayat Samiti and at the district level there was Zila Parishad.
a) Village Panchayat:
- Panchayat is at the bottom of the village administration. Panchayat is a committee the members of which are elected directly by the people of the Panchayat.
- There are reservations for women and also Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe members.
- The main responsibilities of the Panchayat are sanitation, drinking water distribution, street lamps, land use, keeping cattle register, relief work, maintenance of roads, culverts, bridges, sewers and ponds, supervision of primary education, welfare of the backward classes and revenue collection.
- The Panchayat also has to maintain the birth-death register and propagate family planning.
- Apart from all these, the Panchayat can work as the agents of the Samiti for implementing developmental plans.
- Village panchayats are recommended to be agents for revenue collection.
b) Panchayat Samiti:
- This is the mid-level or Block level administrative setup.
- The members are indirectly elected. The members of the Samiti are: The chiefs of the village Panchayats in the block’s jurisdiction, nominated women members, Representatives of Cooperative Societies, the local MLA and the M.P.
- All the development projects in the Block are its responsibility.
- Their responsibility includes agriculture, animal husbandry, Cooperation, small scale irrigation, rural industries, primary education, local communication, sanitation, health, and medical help. It is the duty of the State Government to delegate powers to the Samiti.
c) Zila Parishad:
- This is the topmost part of the local government set up. The members of the Zila Parishad are Representatives of the Panchayat Samiti, Representatives of the SC’s and ST’s, Women Representatives, MLAs of the District and MP’s.
- The Presidents of the Panchayat Samiti will be ex-officio members.
- District level officers from spheres like medical, health, agriculture, veterinary, engineering education, welfare of Back Ward Classes, Public Works, etc.
- It is the Zila Parishad that examines and passes the budgets of Panchayat Samitis.
- It gets funds from the Government and distributes it among the Panchayat Samitis.
- It collects the various schemes of the Blocks of the district and coordinates them.
- It collects the various applications from Panchayat Samitis and forwards them to the State Government.
- It has the duty of supervising the working of the Panchayat Samitis.
- The Chairman of the Zila Parishad is the Collector. Otherwise, he can function as the Secretary of the Parishad.
- The recommendations of Balwant Rai Mehta were approved by the Development Council in 1959.
Kochi is a Municipal Corporation in Kerala. Which are the other Municipal Corporations?
Kozhikode, Thrissur, Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram.
The 73rd Amendment Act is a milestone on constitutional amendments. What were the changes brought by this Amendment?
The 73rd Amendment Act made the Panchayat Raj a Constitutional system.
It brought a 3-tier system by having Village-Block- District level Panchayats in all the States.
The block-level can be avoided if the State has less than 20 lakh population.
The Grama Sabha Concept is also included in the Amendment,
The Chairmen of the Block Panchayat and Zila Parishad will be elected by the concerned Panchayat members.
The local MLAs and MPs will be ex-officio members of the Block Panchayat.
The Chairman of the Grama Sabha will be elected as per the law approved by the State Government. Based on the population of the place, in all the 3 levels there will be proportionate representation for SC’s and ST’s.
One-third of the seats are reserved for ladies. Proportionate to the population, some Chairmen should be SCs and STs. One-third of the chairmen will be ladies.
Reservations are by rotation.
The duration for all Panchayat Raj Institutions is 5 years. After dissolution, elections must be done within 6 months and new committees are to be formed. The Act makes provision for the appointment of an independent State Election Commission.
It is the Governor who appoints the State Election Commission. The Act also makes provision for the appointment of a Financial Commission once in 5 years to look into the financial status of the Panchayats and give the Government suggestions.
Complete the Chart.
What are the main differences between the local governments before the 73rd Amendment and after it?
Local Governments before the 73rd Amendment:
Before the 73rd Amendment, local government was in the State list. The State Governments had full authority to makes laws in this.
Before the 73rd Amendment, there was no condition that elections should be done immediately after the local government have been dissolved by the State Government.
Before the 73rd Amendment, there was no reservation for women and SC’s and ST’s.
Before the 73rd Amendment, it was the responsibility of the State Government to conduct elections for the local committees.
Before the 73rd Amendment, in the local committees, dominant castes and feudal lords had the upper hand.
Local Governments after the 73rd Amendment:
After the 73rd Amendment, the power of the State governments to enact laws on local government was restricted. The States were now forced to make laws in conformity with the Amendment.
After the 73rd Amendment, direct election came into effect.
After the 73rd Amendment, the condition came that if the local governments are dissolved, within 6 months fresh elections must be conducted.
After the 73rd Amendment, there was reservation for women and SC’s and ST’s.
After the 73rd Amendment, the duty of conducting elections to the local governments was vested in a State Election Commission.
After the 73rd Amendment, in the local committees, dominance of the dominant castes and feudal lords came to an end to a certain limit.
What were the changes brought about by the 73rd and 74th Amendments in the local administration?
The 73rd Amendment Act made the Panchayat Raj a Constitutional system.
- It brought a 3-tier system by having Village-Block- District level Panchayats in all the States.
- The block-level can be avoided if the State has less than 20 lakh population.
- The Grama Sabha Concept is also included in the Amendment.
- The Chairmen of the Block Panchayat and Zila Parishad will be elected by the concerned Panchayat members.
- The local MLAs and MPs will be ex-officio members of the Block Panchayat.
- The Chairman of the Grama Sabha will be elected as per the law approved by the State Government.
- Based on the population of the place, in all the 3 levels there will be proportionate representation for SCs and STs.
- One-third of the seats are reserved for ladies.
- Proportionate to the population, some Chairmen should be SCs and STs. One-third of the chairpersons will be ladies.
- Reservations are by rotation.
- The duration for all Panchayat Raj Institutions is 5 years. After dissolution, elections must be done within 6 months and new committees are to be formed.
- The Act makes provision for the appointment of an independent State Election Commission.
- It is the Governor who appoints the State Election Commission.
- The Act also makes provision for the appointment of Financial Commission once in 5 years to look into the financial status of the Panchayats and give the Government suggestions.
Urban Local Government and the 74rd Amendment Act:
The formation of the urban local government and determining its powers have been made according to the Constitution.
The 74th Amendment Act of 1992 came into effect in April 1993. It defines the rules, structure, and powers of the Municipal Administration.
According to the Act, the urban local governments have Municipal Corporations, Municipalities Urban Panchayats.
- For all the seats, there should be direct election.
- Councilors are elected from the Wards (Constituencies in the Town).
- There are reservations for SCs and STs.
- The duration of the Municipality is 5 years.
- The Government has the authority to dissolve the Municipality before the completion of its time.
- The Council established after the dissolution will continue in power for the remaining duration.
- To contest in Municipal election, one should be at least 25 years of age.
- Each State appoints a State Election Commission.
- The State Election Commission will prepare the voters’ list and make arrangements for the elections and it has full control over them.
- The State Governor appoints the Commissioner of the State Election Commission.
- Each State has to form State Finance Commission, District Planning Committee and Urban Development Committee. The Act which specifies the responsibilities of the Urban local self-government is included in the XII schedule of the Constitution. It has 18 matters.
How many Grama Panchayats are there in Kerala?
Imagine your class as the Grama Sabha. Discuss the agenda of the meeting and suggest some steps to realize the goal.
Grama Sabha is at the bottom of the 3-tier Panchayat Raj System. It is an integral part of the Grama Panchayat. In the Grama Sabha, all the voters of the village are members. It presents development plans, discusses them and takes decisions. The Ward Member will lead the meeting of the Grama Sabha. Under the Chairmen of various Standing Committees, the discussions are codified and decisions made.
“There are certain limitations in the functioning of the Local Governments.” Do you agree? Explain
There are many obstacles on the way of the smooth functioning of the local governments.
Problems of Panchayat Rai:
The main problem is that the people’s civic responsibility is not good enough, maybe because of poverty and illiteracy. They don’t show much alertness or imagination.
Another problem is the indifference that the officials show in Panchayat Raj activities. Another problem is lack of money. Many workers in the local governments are not competent enough to do things properly. They are paid less. Many local governments are plagued with corruption and nepotism. There are also factionalism and political interferences.
The problems faced by the local governments can be solved only through making the people aware of them. They should know the essence of decentralization of power. They should know that decentralization is the means and people’s participation is the goal.
Match the following:
|Panchayat Raj||74th Amendment|
|Balwant Rai Mehta Committee||73rd Amendment|
|Panchayat Raj||73rd Amendment|
|Balwant Rai Mehta Committee||1957|
|Nagarpalika. Law||74th Amendment|
The administrative reforms made by ………… in 1882, were the starting point of the local self-governments of modem India.
The Constitutional Amendments Acts ……… helped in the growth of the local self-government.
…….. is the basic level of the Panchayat Raj System.
The 74th Constitutional Amendment regarding the local governments in the urban centres is known by the name ………..
Nagar Palika System