Strengthening Rural Decentralisation: A Study on the Role of International Organisations

Main Article Content

Sujit Kumar Paul

Abstract

The term ‘decentralisation’ has generally been used to refer to a variety of institutional reforms. It has sometimes been considered as a change in the organisational framework in which political, social and economic decisions are made and implemented. It is also understood as a mechanism to transfer responsibility and authority. In recent years, decentralisation has received singular attention all over the world. It has been considered as one of the most important elements in development strategy. It is a global and regional phenomenon, and most countries have attempted to implement it as a tool for development, as a political philosophy, and as a mechanism for sharing responsibility at different levels.

Since 1980s, developing countries have increasingly adopted decentralised form of governance. Decentralisation means the transfer of authority and responsibility from central to intermediate and local governments. Although the democratic decentralisation in terms of Panchayati Raj Institutions (village councils) was a post-Independence phenomenon, there has been a legacy and tradition of village panchayats since time immemorial in India. The 73rd and 74th Amendment Act, 1993 of the Constitution of India has made the Panchayat an institution of self-government. As per the constitution, Panchayats shall prepare plan for economic development and social justice at their level. The District Planning Committee shall integrate the plan so prepared with the plans prepared by the local bodies at district level. The success and failure of the Panchayats would depend on planning and implementation. It also depends on maximum people’s participation at every stage of planning process, from proposal to implementation. People’s participation in local-level development has been exercised through the formulation of the Panchayat-level development plan, project coordination at intermediate and district levels of the Panchayats.

The Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in West Bengal are very strong bodies, which function as real institutions of self-governance. In West Bengal, the planning process of grass-root level has some stages from proposal to implementation. After introduction of 3-tier Panchayat system in 1978, the Government of West Bengal brought about need-based reforms in the system from time to time from the very beginning. Encouraged by the State Government’s strong commitment to rural decentralisation, Department for International Development (DFID), Government of UK came forward to support the ongoing rural decentralisation initiatives and upscale the bottom-up planning process. In the present study, an attempt has been made to understand the role of DFID for strengthening decentralisation in rural Bengal.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Paul, S. K. (2014). Strengthening Rural Decentralisation: A Study on the Role of International Organisations. Space and Culture, India, 2(2), 49-56. https://doi.org/10.20896/saci.v2i2.88
Section
Perspective
Author Biography

Sujit Kumar Paul, Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Visva-Bharati (A Central University), Sriniketan – 731236, Birbhum, West Bengal

Associate Professor, Department of Lifelong Learning

Vice President, Association for World Education (AWE) - An International NGO with consultative status of the United Nations.

References

Jana Anil Kumar (2004): Administering District Planning in India, Concept Publishing Company Published, New Delhi-59

Jain, S.P. (1980): Decentralization in India: An Appraisal, in Public Governance and Decentralization, Ed. by Mishra S.N., Dutta Mishra Anil and Mishra Sweta, Mittal Publication, New Delhi.

Joshi, R.P.; Narwani, G.S. (2002): Panchayat Raj in India - Emerging Trends across the States, Rawat Publications, Jaipur and New Delhi.

Maheshwari, Shriram (1985): Rural Development in India – A Public Policy Approach, SAGE Publications, New Delhi.

Majumder, Sankar (2002): Methodological Issues in Village-Based Decentralized District Planning; Indian Institute of Advanced study Publication, Shimla.

Pal, Mahi (2004): From “Raj” Governance to “Swaraj” Governance-Progress, Performance and Perspective, Kurukshetra - A Journal on Rural Development, Vol-52, No-10, August 2004.

Pal, Mahi (2004): Panchayati Raj and Development, Yojana - A Development Monthly, Vol-48, August 2004.
Report on the Programme for SRD, SRD Cell, Department of Panchayat and Rural Development, Government of West Bengal.

Roy, Dipen (2005): Finance and Accounting of Panchayat Raj Institution in West Bengal, Abhijit Publication, New Delhi-94.

Singh, S.P. (2004): Capacity Building of Gram Sabha for Efficient Local Governance, Kurukshetra - A Journal on Rural Development, Vol-52, No-10, and August 2004.

Singha Sisodia, Yatindra (2006): People’s Participation on Gram Sabha - A Case Study of Rural Madhya Pradesh, Kurukshetra - A Journal on Rural Development, Vol-54, No-7, May 2006.

Verma, R.M. (2004): Panchayat Raj - Rhetoric & Reality, Kurukshetra - A Journal on Rural Development, Vol-52, No-10, August 2004.
11th Five Year Plan and Annual Plan for Birbhum, 2007-2011. published by Birbhum District Planning Committee, Birbhum, West Bengal.