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Home > Know Your Rights > Rights of villagers under Panchayati Raj System
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Q1.  What is meant by Panchayati Raj System?

A1.  Panchayati Raj System is a system of local self government in India at the village level. It is a rule by the village committee. It is a three-tier system in the state with elected bodies at the Village, Taluk and District levels.


Q2.  What is the significance of Panchayati Raj System?

A2.  Panchayati Raj system gives the right to the villagers to govern themselves. It ensures greater participation of people in decision making at the village level. It is significant because it ensures  effective implementation of rural development programmes as the people who make the development plans are the ones who actually need it.


Q3.  What is the structure of the Panchayati Raj system?

A3.  Panchayati Raj system is a three-level system. There is a Gram Panchayat for a village or group of villages, a Taluk level Panchayat Samiti and the Zilla Panchayat at the district level.  Gram panchayats are the basic units of administration.


Q4.  What are the powers and responsibilities of panchayats?

A4.  Powers and responsibilities of panchayats at various level are:


·  Preparation of plan for economic development and social justice.


·  Implementation of schemes for economic development and social justice, like construction of public wells, schools and roads in villages.

  • To levy, collect and appropriate taxes, duties, toll and fees.
  • Implement schemes for the development of agriculture.
  • Establishment of primary health centres and primary schools.
  • Supply of drinking water, drainage, construction/repair of roads.
  • Development of cottage and small-scale industries and opening of cooperative societies.
  • Establishment of youth organisations.


Q5.  What are the rights of villages under the Panchayati Raj System?

A5.  Panchayati Raj system gives the villagers the right to govern themselves. It gives them the power to make plans and implement them with respect to their problems. It gives them the right to get improved agricultural techniques. It gives them access to schools and hospitals. The Gram Panchayat can pass resolution for the creation of a school in the village and the same can be constructed with the funds disbursed by the Central government. Panchayati Raj system also encourages entrepreneurs to start small-scale industries in villages and become self-employed. Most importantly, under this system villagers get the right to take control of their own living conditions and the power to create a better living environment for themselves.


Q6.  What is the role of women in Panchayati Raj System?

A6.  The government of India has given 50% reservation for women in Panchayati Raj Institutions. This means that 50% of the posts in gram panchayat, zila parishad and panchayat samiti will be filled by women. This brings women at par with men in decision making process. This step has greatly empowered the village women who are mostly uneducated and has made them aware of the power of education.


Q7.  How are members of the Panchayat elected?

A7.  Members in a Panchayat are elected and chosen directly through the elections from the territorial constituencies in the Panchayat area. Term of each Panchayat is 5 years unless it is dissolved earlier. The state election commissioner is responsible for the preparation of the electoral rolls and for the conduct of all elections for the panchayati raj institutions.

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