Maharashtra is the first state in the country to launch state-wide reforms by empowering communities represented by Village Panchayat and VWSC to plan, design, execute and manage investment in drinking water and sanitation sector. This has entailed moving from top driven to bottom driven decision-making and involving beneficiaries at all level of service delivery with the aim that facilitated communities can sustainable manage their resources.

This paper seeks to contribute to the literature on village governance and local public goods provision. Using data from 144 village-level governments in India's Tamil Nadu state, the paper examines whether the gender and caste of village government leaders influence village public goods provision.

This comparative study of panchayat elections in West Bengal and Punjab focuses on the broad objective of studying the process of institutionalisation of panchayati raj institutions. What forms they take in different contexts? What factors facilitate or retard the process?

Afghanistan has signed a near-identical MoU with three institutions in India - Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) and Institute of Social Sciences (ISS) for collaboration to promote the cause of local government.

Decentralization is broadly defined as transfer of power to the lower level of government (PRIs). It mainly takes three forms, namely political, administrative and fiscal.

Akhil Bhartiya Vidarthi Parishad activists wave the national flag during a protest in Jammu. JAMMU: Protesters blocked traffic and fought pitched battles with police here as the BJP-Shiv Sena sponsored shutdown demanding removal of Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra over the Amarnath Shrine land row entered the second day on Tuesday. Three BJP activists were injured in skirmishes with police as demonstrators burnt tyres and torched effigies of the Governor, Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad and PDP patron Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, police said.

Despite substantial decentralisation of power through panchayati raj institutions in West Bengal, the presence of an entrenched centralised party in power in the state has meant the use of such institutions as instruments of patronage. Violent battles have invariably taken place during panchayat elections, as these are seen as necessary by all political parties to capture or retain hold over the institutions.

Decentralisation of power and the institution of the panchayati raj system in West Bengal have been expected to aid the disappearance of subalternity (or a state of powerlessness) by way of caste, class and gender. On the contrary, an ethnographic investigation in a village panchayat reveals that divisions between the elite and the subaltern continue to exist in a complex form despite grassroots democracy in the state.

The national goals of removal of all forms of social injustice, inclusive development and removal of income and non-income poverty will remain elusive unless we enrich the practice of local democracy.

This paper makes an effort to provide a framework for good governance in India by identifying its essential features and shortcomings in its working. No theory of governance could be intelligible unless it is seen in the context of its time.

Pages