Case of empowering local bodies

It has been more than two decades since the passing of the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments had been passed, according constitutional status to the local bodies across the country. With bureaucratic hassles and delays, the important of local bodies cannot be discounted as they play an important role in the delivery of public services such as pension, public distribution system and mitigating disasters.

The presence of a robust machinery at the local level is measure of the democracy’s health and the involvement of the people. However its absence is said to have an immense effect with the criticism going to the government for its laxity in dealing with local institutions.

Case of Local elections

The local body elections are important to strengthen a political parties’ structure and enable them to stay connected with the voters.
There are numerous opportunities in which provide for political parties to give chance to people from varied backgrounds to take part in the government’s functioning. It can give a party chance to interact with the people, on the other hand, local bodies provide leaders with the opportunity to emerge outside of political parties as well. The presence of local bodies will bring in a social sync via broad based representation.

Reforms required

There is a need for clear demarcation of functions of each tier of the government. The government should adopt the concept of mapping with each responsibility and function of the institution being carved out. There is a need for bottom up planning with inputs being received from the Gram Sabha. The central government also needs to incentivise the states to empower the local bodies and take remedial action in the interest of the democracy.

Question for UPSC Mains:
There is a need to take stock of the benefits arising out of functioning of the local bodies while fixing the accountability in the system. Elaborate.

Published: December 26, 2019 | Modified:October 15, 2020

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