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Question

Q. With reference to “Panchayati Raj Institutions” in India, consider the following statements:
  1. Holding the elections to the Panchayats at regular intervals.
  2. Devolution of the financial powers to the Panchayats.
  3. Reservation of the seats for the Scheduled Castes at all the levels of the system.
In which of the above circumstances, the state government cannot act according to its will?

  1. 1 and 2 only

  2. 1, 2 and 3

  3. 2 and 3 only

  4. 1 and 3 only


Solution

The correct option is D
1 and 3 only
Explanation:

The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 gives constitutional status to the panchayati raj institutions. It has brought them under the purview of the justiciable part of the Constitution.

Statements 1 and 3 are correct: According to the act, it is mandatory for the state government to
  • Organize the Gram Sabha in villages.
  • Establish and conduct direct elections for all the seats of Panchayats at the 3 levels (village, intermediate and district levels)
  • Conduct indirect elections to the post of chairperson of panchayats at the intermediate and district levels.
  • Follow minimum age criteria has 21 years for the contesting candidates at any level
  • Reservation of seats (both members and chairpersons) for SCs and STs in panchayats at all the 3 levels and one-third seats (both members and chairpersons) for women in panchayats at all the three levels.
  • Fixing tenure of five years for panchayats at all levels and holding fresh elections within six months in the event of supersession of any panchayat.
  • Establishment of a State Election Commission for conducting elections to the panchayats. And a State Finance Commission after every five years to review the financial position of the panchayats
Statement 2 is incorrect: Further, it is voluntary on state government to-
  • Give representation to the members of central and state legislatures falling within their constituencies.
  • Provide reservation of seats (both members and chairpersons) for backward classes in panchayats at any level.
  • Make the Panchayats as autonomous bodies.
  • Devolve powers and responsibilities upon panchayats to prepare plans for economic development and social justice and to perform some or all of the 29 functions listed in the Eleventh Schedule of the Constitution
  • Grant financial powers to the panchayats so that they can levy, collect and appropriate taxes, duties, tolls and fees.

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