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The three tiers of Panchayati Raj


The three tiers of Panchayati Raj 

               Panchayati Raj was introduced in 1959 as a three - tier structure of self - government at the village, block and district levels.

At District level   →    Zilla    parished

                                    ↓         ↑

At Block level     →   Block    Panchayat samities

                                    ↓         ↑

At Village level   →   Gram Panchayat

Fig.2. Structure of Panchayat

Gram Panchayat-

                 A Gram or village Panchayat is a statutory body covering one or more villages with on average population varying between 1,000 to 3,000 people, and an average area of about six square miles. It is a body of elected representatives. The number of member varies from 5 to 31, but is 15 on the average the village Panchayat area is generally divided into words, each word returning its representative to the Panchayat.

Panchayat Samiti-

              The next tier in Panchayat Samiti. It is called Anchalik Panchayat is Assam. Panchayat union council in Tamil Nadu, Taluka Development Board in Karnataka, Kshetra Samiti in Uttar Pradesh and Anchalik Parishad in west Bengal in Karnataka, It comprises the taluka; in Maharashtra, some samitis cover two or three blocks.

             Panchayat samitis in most cases are indirectly elected bodies, the sarpanchs of the constituent Panchayat being its member. There is a provision for co - option of or reservation for, woman, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and for special interests, such as co - operative societies and banks. The MLAs and MPs representing samitis form part, One ex - offices members, generally without samiti is concurrent with that of Panchayat its president and vice - president are elected from among the elected members.

Zilla Parishad -

                                 The highest tier is the Zilla Parishad, the jurisdiction of which     generally extends over a district as in case of Panchayat Samiti the members of the Zilla Parishad are generally in directly elected, with the president of Panchayat provision is made for the co - option of woman, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes and special interests, such a co- operative banks and societies and persons interested in rural development.

    Functions of Panchayat -

                    Though there are variations from state to state, the functions entrusted to Panchayat include;

1.   Village roads

2.   Community wells

3.   Maintenance of public parks

4.  Construction and maintenance of tanks and small irrigation works, public hygiene, drainage and other civic amenities

What Panchayats should be.............

        "Independence must begin at the bottom. This every village will be a republic or Panchayat having full powers. It follows. Therefore, that every village have to be self - Sustained and capable of managing its affairs.  This does not exclude dependence on, and willing help from neighbours or from the world. It will be free and voluntary play of mutual forces... In this structure composed of innumerable villages, their will be over widening, never ascending circles life will not be a pyramid with the apex sustained by the bottom. But it will be an oceanic circle  whose centre will be the individual always ready to perish for the village, the latter ready to perish for the circle of villages, till at last the whose becomes aggressive in their majesty of the economic circle of which they are integral units  therefore, the outer most circumference will not yield power the inner circle but will be give  strength to all with in and derive its own strength from it.

-          Mahatma Gandhi 




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Please note that this is the opinion of the author and is Not Certified by ICAR or any of its authorised agents.