NCERT Solutions for Class 11 Political Science Chapter 8 - Local Governments

86. Constitution of India visualised village panchayats as emits of self-government. Think over the situation described in the following statements and explain how these situations strengthen or weaken the panchayats in becoming units of self-government.

(a) Government of a State has allowed a big company to establish a huge steel plant. Many villages would be adversely affected by the steel plant. The Gram Sabha of one of the affected villages passed a resolution that before establishing any big industries in the region, village people must be consulted and their grievances should be redressed.

(b) The government has decided that 20% of all its expenditure would be done through the panchayats.

(c) A village panchayat kept on demanding funds for a building for village school, the government officials turned down their proposal saying that funds are allocated for certain other schemes and cannot be spent otherwise.

(d) The government divided a village Dungarpur into two and made a part of the villages Jamuna and Sohana. Now the village Dungarpur has ceased to exist in the government's books.

(e) A village panchayat observed that water sources of their region are depleting fast. They decided to mobilise village youth to do some voluntary work and revive the old village ponds and wells.

Ans. (a) This relates to the state government's failure to consult the Gram Panchayat prior to the development of a steel mill. The institution of panchayats may be weakened as a result of this action. The gram Sabha passed the resolution that village people must be consulted and their grievance must be redressed. If will strength in the panchayat as it can move to court for the direction against the unitateral move the state government.

(b) The state government's choice to assist panchayats financially on the ground does not interfere with the panchayats' decisions and priorities, and panchayats require independent sources of revenue to operate effectively at the local level.

(c) This will weaken the Panchayati Raj since these institutions prioritise their own development agendas, and denial of the same will weaken their ability to function as self-government.

(d) If this division is based on Panchayati Raj Institutions' suggestions, it strengthens their authority; but, if it is done on the state's own initiative, it weakens these institutions.

(e) The mobilisation of village youth to do some voluntary work and revive the old village pond will provide the feeling of their institution. The village people will develop more respect for the gram panchayat.

87. Suppose you are entrusted to evolve a local government plan of a State, what powers would you endow to the village panchayats to function as units of self-government? Mention any five powers and the justification in two lines for each of them for giving those powers.

Ans. (a) Irrigation facilities, drinking water, road construction, and other village development projects are examples.

(b) The programms and policies related to the modern agricultural practices should be supervisied by the panchayats if I am entrusted to evolve a local government plan of a state, the following power I would endow to the village panchayats to function as units of self-government.

(c) Social welfare activities include keeping birth and death records in the community, as well as family welfare and family planning.

(d) To maintain primary education, the Gram Panchayat should be granted the authority to open and operate schools and libraries in the village.

(e) Gram Panchayats should have the authority to improve inhabitants' health and quality of life by providing basic civil amenities.

88. What are the provisions for the reservations for the socially disadvantaged groups as per the 73rd amendment? Explain how these provisions have changed the profile of the leadership at the village level.

Ans. Two constitutional amendment Acts were passed in 1993 to recognise grassroots local selfgovernment. The clauses of the 73rd amendment are as follows:

(a) The seats for SCs, STs, OBCs, and women have been reserved.

(b) Women's reservation in panchayats has enabled their involvement in local authorities.

(c) Because of this provision, a lot of women have held positions such as Sarpanch and Adhyaksha.

(d) As a result, more than 80,000 women have been elected as Sarpanches.

89. What were the main differences between the local governments before the 73rd amendment and after that amendment?

Ans. Before 73rd Amendment:

(a) Prior to the 73rd Amendment, local government was solely a state responsibility.

(b) In local government, states were free to set  their own laws.

After 73rd Amendment:

(a) Local governments have been recognised as a distinct local legal body under the constitution.

(b) Elections have been mandated every five years on a regular basis.

(c) Reservation in local body has being provide to SCs, STs, OBCs, and women.

(d) The State Election Commission has been established and charged with conducting free and fair elections in the state.

(e) A state financial panel has been established to assess the finances of panchayats every five years and offer recommendations for funding to panchayats.

(f) The panchayats have been given the authority to collect and levy the taxes, fees, and tools that the state government has designated to them.

90. Read the following conversation. Write in two hundred words your opinion about the issues raised in this conversation.

Alok: Our Constitution guarantees equality between men and women. Reservations in local bodies for women ensure their equal share in power.

Neha: But it is not enough that women should be in positions of power. It is necessary that the budgets of local bodies should have separate provisions for women.

Jayesh: I don’t like this reservations business. A local body must take care of all people in the village and that would automatically take care of women and their interests.

Ans. This discussion centres on the question of women's empowerment on an equal footing:

(a) India's constitution guarantees men and women's equality.

(b) Article 15 prohibits discrimination on the basis of colour, race, language, religion, caste, sex, and other factors.

(c) Both men and women are guaranteed an adequate subsistence and equal compensation for equal effort under Article 39(1) and (d).

(d) Our constitution, according to Alok, provides equality between men and women, and reservations in municipal authorities ensure an equal share of authority.

(e) To enhance women's conditions, Neha believes that distinct budget provisions for women should be made.

(f) Jayesh believes that if all individuals in the village are provided with equal resources, women will immediately prosper.

(g) As we know that in village generally have male dominated society. So it is necessary to provide reservation for women. If a local body must take care to all the people in the village that would automatically take care of women and their interest. But it would not be enough to improve the condition of women. Without reservation they would not succeed to get the power and they would not succeed to make policies for the interest of women.

91. Read the provisions of the 73rd Amendment. Which of the following concerns does this amendment address?

(a) Fear of replacement makes representatives accountable to the people.

(b) The dominant castes and feudal landlords dominate the local bodies.

(c) Rural illiteracy is very high. Illiterate people cannot take decisions about the development of the village.

(d) To be effective the village panchayats need resources and powers to make plans for the village development.

Ans. The state government has given the panchayats the authority to charge and collect taxes, duties, and fees.

Provisions have also been provided for the establishment of a state financial commission to assess the finances of panchayats and make recommendations.

92. The following are different justifications given in favour of local government. Give them ranking and explain why you attach greater significance to a particular rationale than the others. According to you, on which of these rationales the decision of the Gram panchayat of Vengaivasal village was based? How?

(a) Government can complete the projects with lesser cost with the involvement of the local community.

(b) The development plans made by the local people will have greater acceptability than those made by the government officers.

(c) People know their area, needs problems and priorities. By collective participation they should discuss and make decisions about their life.

(d) It is difficult for the common people to contact their representatives of the State or the national legislature.

Ans. These can be ranked as follows:

(a) Government can complete the projects with lesser cost with the involvement of the local community.

(b) The development plans made by the local people will have greater acceptability than those made by the government officers.

(c) People know their area, needs problems and priorities. By collective participation they should discuss and make decisions about their life.

The decision of the Gram Panchayat of Vengaivasal village was based on the rational (c)— people know their needs, areas, problems and priorities to make decisions about life.

93. Which of the following according to you involve decentralisation? Why are other options not sufficient for decentralisation?

(a) To hold elections of the Gram Panchayat.

(b) Decision by the villagers themselves about what policies and programmes are useful for the village.

(c) Power to call a meeting of the Gram Sabha.

(d) A Gram Panchayat receiving the report from the Block Development Officer about the progress of a project started by the State government.

Ans. (b) Decision by the villagers themselves about what policies and programmes are useful for the village.

Rest of the three options do not involve decentralisation because elections can be held, meeting can be called and projects can be monitored even in a centralised form of government. These features are not related to the decision-making process, which is the most important aspect of decentralisation.

94. A student of Delhi University, Raghavendra Parpanna, wanted to study the role of decentralisation in decision making about primary education. He asked some questions to the villagers. These questions are given below.

If you were among those villagers, what answer would you give to each of these questions?

A meeting of the Gram Sabha is to be called to discuss what steps should be taken to ensure that every child of the village goes to the school.

(а) How would you decide the suitable day for the meeting? Think who would be able to attend/not attend the meeting because of your choice.

    • A day specified by the BDO or the collector
    •  Day of the village haat
    •  Sunday
    •  Naag panchami/sankranti

(b) What is a suitable venue for the meeting? Why?

    •  Venue suggested by the circular of the district collector.
    •  Religious place in the village.
    •  Dalit Mohalla.
    •  Upper caste Tola
    •  Village school

(c) In the Gram Sabha meeting firstly a circular sent by the district collector was read. It suggested what steps should be taken to organise an education rally and what should be its route. The meeting did not discuss about the children who never come to school or about girls’ education, or the condition of the school building and the timing of the school. No female teacher attended the meeting as it was held on Sunday. What do you think about these proceedings as an instance of people’s participation?

(d) Imagine your class as the Gram Sabha.  Discuss the agenda of the meeting and suggest some steps to realise the goal.

Ans. (a) (iii) Sunday. It would allow all the adults of the village to attend the meeting.

(b) (v) Village school would be the suitable place for the meeting because the meeting is regarding education irrespective of the caste, gender and religion of the children.

(c) As women teachers did not attend the meeting, girl’s education was not discussed and children who had never been to school were not considered. The condition of the building and timing of the school were also ignored. Thus, most issues that were vital to the participation of people were ignored as issues related to all groups were not considered.

(d) The meeting's agenda would be as follows:

    • Students' attendance at school; if not, how can it be improved
    • To concentrate on anti-poverty programmes.
    • To concentrate on the plight of farmers who are landless.
    • The village's construction work necessitated
    • Programmes of a socio-cultural nature.
    • To get funding for the programmes that have been decided.
    • Gram-Pradhan’s thank-you speech.

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