The Powers And Functions Of The Gram Panchayat System In India

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Introduction: The Constitution (Seventy-Third Amendment) Act, 1992 was enacted to reform the Panchayat System in India. The Legislature of Indian States were given powers to determine the powers and composition of Gram Sabha and Gram Panchayats. Hence, the powers, functions and composition of Gram Panchayats are determined by the State Governments in accordance with the local needs.

Gram Sabha
Gram Sabha has been envisaged as the foundation of the Panchayati Raj system. A village having population not less than 1500 forms Gram Sabha and every adult of the village is member of Gram Sabha.
However, in some states, a Gram Sabha may be formed even if the population is less than 1500. If the population of several villages are less than
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Functions: The Gram Sabha performs such functions as the States prescribes from time to time.
• They play a vital role by electing the right candidates as members (Panch) of Gram Panchayats,
• The keep a check on the activities of Gram Panchayat and influence their decisions for the welfare of the village.
• They conduct general meetings. Beyond the prescribed minimum number of meetings, they can conduct such meeting as per the needs.
Gram Panchayat
Gram Panchayat is the organization of elected panchas by the members of Gram Sabha of the village. It is a self-government organization. The number of members in a Gram Panchayat depends upon the population of the village.
Generally, the number of elected panchas in a Gram Panchayat varies between seven and seventeen members. However, it may vary from state to state. There is provision for reservation of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Women candidates. The head of the Panchayat is known as “Sarpanch”.
Functions: The functions of Gram Panchayat includes:
• implementation of welfare plans,
• social justice and development,
• upliftment of women,
• economic development,
• development of infrastructure such as roads, waterways,
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