Question: The local self government system in India has not proved to be effective instrument of governance”. Critically examine the statement and give your views to improve the situation.
Answer: Decentralisation is one of the major goals in India’s democratic system. This has allowed creation of Panchayats and Municipalities for local self government. But it has not been fully successful in implementation.
Drawbacks of local self government system in India
- Limited powers
The local government institutions have been created with a limited set of powers to govern themselves. This has failed to fulfil the aim that led to the creation of these institutions. Their powers are also at the mercy of state legislature.
- Financial dependency
The financial structure of local government is designed with limited taxation powers. This means that majority of its economic resources are obtained by funding from state legislature. They have to function with limited finances.
Advantages of local self government system
- Wider representation
Local government system in India is wider in representation that includes backward section of society such as women belonging to lower strata. This has allowed them to participate in governance and administration of the country.
- Ground level implementation
The schemes of the government needs proper implementation on ground for being successful. The local government system has greater idea of ground level situation for implementing as compared to higher section of the government.
Measures to improve
At present autonomy for governance is provided for 5th and 6th schedule states. By extending this provision to other states, more accountability for administration’s actions can be provided.
- Check dummy candidacy
In most of local bodies dummy candidates are elected so that their family members can dominate the local politics. This will violate the idea behind introducing reservation in local administration and needs steps to counter.
Local self governance has been one of the major steps for greater administrative penetration in India. Even though it has not fulfilled all its ideas, still it cannot be termed a failure due to its importance in rural areas.