Local Governments Class 11 Notes Political Science Chapter 8 - CBSE

Chapter : 8

What Are Local Governments ?

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    What Is Local Government?

    • Local government is the government that works at the village and district levels, and it is the closest to the people.
    • The local government is involved in the day-to-day lives of ordinary individuals and their challenges.
    • Local knowledge and interest are thought to be necessary factors for democratic decision-making.
    • For efficient and people-friendly administration, local government is also required.

    The Growth Of Local Government In India

    • In India, self-governing village communities known as sabhas have existed since ancient times. These village bodies evolved into Panchayats (five-person assemblies) over time, and these Panchayats settled matters at the local level.
    • After 1882, elected local government entities were established in contemporary times. These local self-governing councils were established on the suggestion of Lord Rippon, the then Viceroy of India. At the time, they were known as the local boards.
    • Village panchayats were created in different regions under the Government of India Act of 1919. Even after the 1935 Government of India Act, this pattern remained. Panchayats were viewed as decentralisation and participatory democracy tools.
    • When the modern Constitution was drafted, the subject of local governance was entrusted to the states. It was also included as one of the policy mandates to all governments in the country in the Directive Principles. This Article of the Constitution was non-justiciable and essentially advisory in nature, as it formed part of the Directive Principles of State Policy.

    Balwant Rai Mehta Committee

    Recommendation of ‘Balwant Rai Mehta’ Committee for Panchayati Raj Institution

    On January 16, 1957, the Government of India constituted the Committee. Balwant Rai G Mehta was the chairman of the committee. At the district, block, and village levels, the committee advocated a three-tier Panchyati Raj system that includes Zila Parishad, Panchyat Samiti, and Gram Panchayat.

    The Local Governments In Independent India

    • The Community Development Programme of 1952 aimed to increase people's involvement in community
      development. The 73rd and 74th Constitution Amendment Acts flipped the idea of popular participation in
      municipal governance.
    • In light of this, rural states should adopt a three-tier Panchayati Raj local government system. Around 1960, some states began to use an elected local government system. Gujarat and Maharashtra, for example.

    Why Were Only A Few States The First To Embrace

    The Three-tier System?

    Only a few states adopted the local government system, which was only recommended. It could be related to the following factors.

    • Local governments lacked the necessary authority and functions to oversee local development.
    • They were completely reliant on financial aid from the state and federal governments.
    • Many states did not believe that it was necessary to have elected local governments.
    • Local governments were disbanded, and it was turned over to government officials.
    • Most municipal bodies in several states were elected indirectly.
    • Elections to local bodies were postponed on a regular basis in various states.

    Constitutional Recognition And Periodic Election

    The P.K. Thung on Committee recommended that local government bodies should be granted constitutional recognition in 1989. He proposed a constitutional amendment to provide for periodic elections to local government entities, as well as the delegation of suitable powers and funding to them.

    73RD And 74TH Amendment

    In 1992, the Constitution was amended by the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Acts. Part IX, titled "The Panchayats," and Part IXA, titled "The Municipalities," were added to the Constitution as new portions.

    On April 24, 1993, and June 1, 1993, respectively, these Acts went into effect.

    The Panchayati Raj Institution

    Why these Amendments?

    These reforms attempted to improve local governments and ensured that their structure and operation were consistent across the country. It bestowed constitutional status on local governments.

    • The 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments were approved by Parliament in 1992. They were enacted in 1993.
    • The 73rd Amendment concerns municipal governance in rural areas (Panchayati Raj Institutions or PRIs
    • The provisions relating to urban local governance were added by the 74th amendment (Nagarpalikas).

    Local government became a state topic as a result of these modifications. It essentially indicates that the state has the authority to enact its own laws on the subject.

    After the Constitution was revised, the states were required to update their local government legislation to bring them into compliance with the new Constitution.

    Important Provisions Of 73Rd Amendment

    The Panchayati Raj Institution

    The Three Tier Structure:

    • Gram Panchayat is the lowest level of government (Covers a village or group of villages).
    • Intermediary-Mandal (Block or Taluka) (Need not be constituted in smaller states).
    • Panchayat Apex-Zilla (Covering the entire rural area of the District).

    Mandatory Gram Sabha Formation- Election, Term Limits, And Dissolution

    • The Gram Sabha is made up of all adult members of the Panchayat who are registered voters, and its role and powers are determined by state law.
    • Elections: The people elect all three levels directly.
    • Duration: 5 years
    • Dissolution: If the panchayat is dissolved by the state before the end of its five-year tenure, new elections
      must be held within six months.


    • In all Panchayat Institutions, women are given 1/3 of the seats in all categories. (Gen/SC/ST/OBC)
    • In proportion to their numbers, reservations for SC and ST are made.
    • Reservations for backward castes can be made by the states if they deem it essential (OBCs). As a result,
      chairpersons at all three levels are subject to reservations.

    Transfer of Subjects

    • The power, jurisdiction, and duty of panchayats are addressed in Article 243 G of the Indian Constitution.
    • The Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution now includes twenty-nine subjects that were previously on the
      State list of subjects. The Panchayati Raj Institutions were supposed to take over these disciplines.
    • The majority of these topics were related to municipal development and welfare functions. The actual transfer is solely determined by state legislation.

    The Procedures For Holding Elections And Managing

    The Budget Of Local Governments

    State Election Commissioners

    • The State Government appoints this body to hold elections for Panchayati Raj Institutions.
    • The State Election Commissioner's office, like the ECI, is self-contained.
    • The State Election Commissioner is an independent individual who is not affiliated with the Election Commission of India and is not under its supervision.

    State Finance Commission

    • Once every five years, the state government appoints someone to this position.
    • Examines the financial situation of the state's local governments.
    • Examines how revenues are distributed between the state and local governments, as well as between rural and urban municipal governments.

    Important Provisions Of 74th Amendment

    • The Nagarpalikas, or urban local bodies, are the subject of the Amendment. There are 18 topics linked to municipalities in it. This amendment inserted the 'Twelfth Schedule' to the Constitution.
    • The 74th amendment is similar to the 73rd amendment in many aspects, except that it applies to metropolitan areas.
    • The 74th amendment, which applies to Nagarpalikas, incorporates all of the provisions of the 73rd amendment dealing with direct elections, reservations, transfer of subjects, the State Election Commission, and the State Finance Commission. A list of functions from the State government to the urban local governments was also prescribed by the Constitution.

    Impact Of 73RD And 74TH Amendment Of Political

    Governance In The Country

    • The 73rd and 74th Amendments have made the structure of Panchyati Raj and Nagar Palika institutions across the country more similar. The presence of these local institutions is a significant accomplishment in and of itself, as it will create an environment and platform for citizen participation in government.
    • Women's reservation in Panchayats and Nagarpalikas has ensured that a large proportion of women are represented in local bodies. Many women have gained a better grasp of how politics works as a result of their involvement in these institutions.
    • The presence of these local institutions is a significant accomplishment in and of itself, as it will create an environment and platform for citizen participation in government.