भारतीय लोक प्रशासन संस्थान
Building Capacity for Good Governance

Role of Panchayat Bodies in Rural Development since 1959 (2011)

Dr. V. N. Alok

Indian Institute of Public Administration

Within the Indian federal architecture panchayat is the closest to the notion of direct democracy distinct from the representative democracy of the Union and States, due to its proximity to the community it serves. Panchayat has deep faith in democracy in which the common man in the rural area has huge capacity to have a good living for himself and the community under the healthy environment that the State creates. If a common man appears to be indifferent to the high economic growth, it is because he is devoid of the mainstream national development and has not been provided equal opportunity to participate in activities for his own betterment. The objectives of a panchayat include organizing common men in the process of developing themselves through their own efforts on a continuing basis, at the same time, enhancing their capacity and self-reliance.