Panchayati Raj Divas
Panchayati Raj Divas is the National Panchayati Raj Diwas on April 24th to commemorate the 73rd Amendment to the Constitution to recognize a major change in the Panchayat Raj system. The day recognizes the decentralization of power into the hands of the common man by the State Legislatures.
Origin, History, and Significance of Panchayati Raj Divas
A vast country, India, is known to be the largest democracy in the globe. With a large population spread across different states, the Chief Minister (highest held post in the States) does not get to know the problems, troubles and issues faced by people in rural areas. This led to developing policies, rules and regulations to decentralize power so that administration can be handled well at every level.
The Panchayat Raj is the oldest system of governance within the local government. The word is a confluence of two words- “Panch” which means “five” and “Ayat” that means assembly. “Raj” means the rule. Traditionally, the Panchayat was conducted by respected sensible elders (called mukhiyas, sarpanch or pradhan)), chosen and elected to settle disputes between individuals and other issues within villages.
To regulate this system, in 1992, the Panchayati Raj Act ( 73rd Amendment) was passed, and the Act came into existence from April 24th 1993. A committee was constituted to fulfil this requirement, and the concept of the Panchayati Raj came into being. The recommendation suggested a 3 tier system:
- Gram Panchayat functioning at the village level
- Panchayat Samiti functioning at Block Level
- Zilla Parishad functioning at District Level
The Panchayati Raj system was first implemented in Rajasthan. It was introduced by our first Prime Minister Pandit Jawarharlal Nehru in 1959 in Nagpur. It was then implemented in Andhra Pradesh too in the same year.
The primary reason for celebrating Panchayati Raj Divas is the 73rd Amendment made in the Constitution, which was passed in 1992. It came into force from April 24th 1993, and the National Panchayati Raj Diwas is celebrated on April 24th nationwide.
The most noteworthy part or feature of this day is the diversification and handing over of political power in the able hands of the common man. It signifies that every village, district, the block has a central power similar to that of a Chief Minister to administer a local territory.
A separate Ministry of Panchayati Raj was convened to supervise the Panchayati Raj system. Since April 24th 2010, the National Panchayati Raj Diwas has been observed in the country. Since its inception since April 24th, 1992 the Panchayati Raj system has spread its wings to all regions of the country.
There are 2.54 lakh Panchayats in India. Gram Panchayats form 2.47 lakhs while Block Panchayats comprise 6832 and District Panchayats form 592. India has a total of 29 lakh Panchayat representatives in the country. The Panchayati Raj Divas celebrates the power that Panchayats have to administer law, order and essential administrative duties within the local territory.
Traditionally, Panchayats have always been given sufficient power and authority to function as independent and separate bodies of self-governance and help with social justice. But with this Act and recognition, their authority received national approval and is seen as part of Constitutional rights.
When is Panchayati Raj Divas Celebrated
Observed on April 24th every year, the Panchayati Raj Divas celebrates the constitutional amendment to the Panchayat system made in 1992. It is celebrated as it paved the way for the three tiers Panchayat Raj system within the country. The enactment of this 73rd Amendment is particularly lauded as a defining moment in the political administration of the country. It permits every state the required steps to organize and conduct village Panchayats. It also assigns them with the necessary powers and authority to help function as a separate unit of government.
There is no national holiday declared on this day. It is celebrated by the Prime Minister interacting with various Panchayat heads and recognizing their body of work.
How is Panchayati Raj Divas Celebrated & Where to Go
Every year on this National Panchayati Raj Divas, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj at the Centre organizes National Conference and awards. These awards are given to the best performing Panchayats in the country. A few of the awards given are:
- Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar
- Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar
- Child-friendly Gram Panchayat Award
- Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) Award
If you wish to be part of the celebration then you need to head to the below places:
- New Delhi – It is the Union Ministry that felicitates the Panchayats which have performed well and award them with accolades. Conferences and new schemes are also announced for the betterment of administration.
If you wish to be a part of the celebrations and commemoration of the Panchayati Raj Divas, then you could travel to the destination where it is being held. redBus will help you with your journey with its services. Booking a bus ticket online through redBus is one of the easiest ways to take a journey to the destination of your choice. All you need to do is download the redBus app or log on to their website to book your tickets and participate in the function.