The Andhra Pradesh is one of the two states in the country to initiate democratic decentralisation process on the lines of Balawanta Rai Mehata Committee Report in 1959. The process of decentralisation in the state can be broadly divided into six phases. In every phase, the successive government, except during 1960s and 1970s where the PRIs positions were occupied by the rural upper class and upper castes, evaded the implementation of its own expert committees’ recommendations and undermined the PRIs and their leadership.

One of the key tests to real empowerment of panchayats lies in the ability of local self-governing institutions to finance their own expenditures through internal generation of resources. Based on an analysis of three villages in Tamil Nadu, this paper argues that many gram panchayats are today in a position to substantially finance themselves and build a culture of self-sufficiency, independence and accountability to their citizens, reducing their dependence on devolutions from state governments.

What has been the impact of reservations for women, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in panchayati raj institutions? In case the reserved seat is for a woman, it is usually the wife or daughter-in-law of the old sarpanch who is made to sign papers, while the husband or the father-in-law is de facto in control. In the case of reservations for the SC/STs, it is the bonded labourer of the sarpanch who becomes a proxy for his rule.

The Round Table Meeting (RTM) for Bhutan is the most important forum for policy dialogue and aid coordination between the Royal Government and its development partners. Held once every two and a half years, the last RTM for Bhutan, the 10th, was held successfully in Thimphu, Bhutan, from 17th -18th February 2008.

While the outcomes of the Lok Sabha and the state assembly elections have been well documented and analysed, little is known about the electoral geography in urban areas. In discussing the conflicting interests of local politics and urban development, this article places the definition and understanding of what is “urban” in the context of the 74th constitutional amendment, and also looks at the expectations from and the progress on the reforms agenda of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission.

The functions which the state governments devolved to the gram panchayats according to the 73rd constitutional amendment comprise important activities for the development of villages. One of the most important argument for decentralization-the government is more attentive and responsive to local peoples' needs-is of great importance for the development of villages, as it is the residents who are most affected by the local development measures taken.

The 73rd Amendment recognizes Gram Sabha as a constitutional body. This means that all the development plans of the panchayat have to be approved by the Gram Sabha.

An open letter about splitting of local self government department of Kerala.

While it is widely agreed that an important goal of Panchayati Raj is to ensure better implementation of government's rural development programmes by ensuring participation of people, it is also important to assert that the role of Panchayati Raj Institutions at various levels is certainly not restricted to blind acceptance of the policies and programmes of the central and state governments.

The wider democratic role of panchayats was very much in evidence on April 8, 2011 at a conference on 'Agriculture and Panchayats in Rajasthan in the Specific Context of Agreements with Multinational and other Big Agribusiness Companies'. In this conference panchayat leaders from 14 districts of Rajasthan unanimously called upon the Rajasthan government to cancel agreements on farm research with seven multinational and other big agribusiness companies during 2010.

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