Panchayati Raj is seen as good governance at the village level that can help in developing any village.                                             – Mahatma Gandhi 

The above quote signifies the importance of panchayati raj institutions in a diversified and democratic country like India. The term ‘panchayati raj’ in India signifies the system of rural Local self government. Decentralisation of power is essential for the successful running of a democratic country.

Historical background of panchayati raj institutions :-  In India the system of panchayats has a long history. It’s structure however varied from time to time. We also find references of Gram panchayat in ancient and medieval literatures. In British regime the Panchayats lost their autonomy and became weak. After post independence many commitments were appointed by the government of india for the development of panchayati raj institutions. Some important committees are :                                              1) Balwant Rai Mehta Committee.           2)Ashok Mehta Committee.                         3) G V K Rao Committee.                             4) L M Singhvi Committee

24th April 1993 is considered as a red letter day in the history of india. On this day the 73rd constitutional Ammendment Act 1992, came into force under the prime ministership of P V Narsimha Rao. This act provided constitutional status to the Panchayat raj institutions. This act added a new part i.e.part 9 to the constitution of india, its entitled as ‘The Panchayats’. The act has also added new schedule i. e. Schedule 11 to the constitution. This schedule contains 29 functional items like Agriculture, Animal husbandry, small – industry e.t.c.  These items are placed under the purview of panchayats. India adopted three tier system of panchayat raj institutions they are :-                                   1)Gram panchayat at village level.           2) Panchayat samiti at block level.          3) Zilla parishad at district level.

National panchayat Raj Day 2020 :- The Ministry of Panchayat raj institutions organises the national Panchayati Raj Day. India started celebrating this day from April 2010. Every year on this occasion the ministry of panchayat raj organises national conference and awards best performing Gram panchayats with the ‘The Panchayat Shashaktikaran puraskar /Rashtriya gaurav Gram sabha puraskar’ along with this the union government presents the following awards to the best performing panchayats in the country they are :-

1) Deen Dayal Upadhyay panchayat Shashaktikaran puraskar (DDUPSP) in general and thematic categories for all three levels of panchayat raj institutions.

2) Gram panchayat development plan (GPDP) award to three best performing Gram panchayats across the country.

3) e-panchayat puraskar to states for the outstanding performance for e-enablement of panchayats.

5) Child – friendly Gram panchayat award.

On this day our honourable prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi has launched two new schemes they are :-                                         1) e-Gram swaraj :- This scheme is for monitoring rural infrastructure works and e-governance.                                         2) Swamitva programme :- It involves mapping of rural housing and land holdings via technology including Drones. This programme would help rural India leverage property for institutional credit and other benefits.

Coclusion :-  Local self government plays a vital role in the devolution of power. As far as panchayat raj institutions are concerned they play significant role in the development of Education, health e. t. c.  at local level. Panchayat raj institutions are backbone of rural development.