April 24 is celebrated as Panchayati Raj Day, it is an annual celebration organised in order to commemorate the historic day on which the Constitution Act (73rd Amendment) passed in 1992, but it came into existence a year later on April 24, 1993. Hence, each year to celebrate the inception of decentralised power National Panchayati Raj Day is celebrated. India’s former Prime Minister started commemorating the Panchayati Raj Day since the year 2010, which was the first National Panchayati Raj Day.
In the year 1957, a Committee was formulated which focused on the evolution of Panchayati Raj in India. Balwantrai Mehta was appointed as the chairman of the Committee. As per the Committee’s report, it recommended a decentralised three tier Panchayati Raj hierarchy. It includes-
|Gram Panchayat |
|at the Village level |
at the Block level
at the District level
- In 1959, Rajasthan became the first state, wherein the Panchayati Raj system was executed. Inauguration of the Panchayati Raj was done in the month of October 1959 in Nagpur by our first PM Jawaharlal Nehru.
- Every year the Prime Minister directly talks to the Gram Panchayat representative, and also take a look into their progress report. Furthermore, a discussion on various issues affecting the functioning of the Panchayati Raj system is done. The Central government also felicitates 170 Panchayati Raj institutions on the National Panchayati Raj Day each year. As they get rewarded for their contribution under the Panchayat Empowerment Accountability Incentive Scheme.
- Today Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has addressed various Gram Panchayats across the country and launched a unified e-GramSwaraj Portal and Mobile App on the occasion. The Unified Portal is a new initiative of Ministry of Panchayati Raj which will provide the Gram Panchayats with a single interface to prepare and implement their Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP).
- Prime Minister has launched the Swamitva Scheme on the occasion. The scheme provides for an integrated property validation solution for rural India; the demarcation of inhabited land in rural areas would be done by the use of latest surveying methods – Drone’s technology with the collaborated efforts of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, State Panchayati Raj Department, State Revenue Department and Survey of India.
- Every year, on this occasion, Ministry of Panchayati Raj has been awarding the best performing Panchayats/States/UTs across the country under the Incentivization of Panchayats in recognition of their good work for improving delivery of services and public goods. Awards are given under various categories namely, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar (DDUPSP), Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar (NDRGGSP), Child-friendly Gram Panchayat Award (CFGPA), Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) Award and e-Panchayat Puraskar (given to States/UTs only).
- This year, due to lockdown, awards under only three categories viz. Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar (NDRGGSP), Child-friendly Gram Panchayat Award (CFGPA) and Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) Award have been finalized and will be shared with the concerned States/ UT. Award in the other two categories will be finalized and communicated to States separately after completion of due process which got delayed due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are the highlights of PM Modi’s address to panchayats:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has addressed village panchayats across the country to mark the National Panchayati Raj Day. To mark the occasion, PM Modi has launched a unified e-Gram Swaraj portal and a mobile app. It is a technology that binds us and makes such a meeting possible today.
My best wishes to all those who have won Panchayati raj awards, Coronavirus has sent so many challenges our way, but we must always learn from the situation we are in life. Coronavirus has also given us a lot to think about and taught us a lot about the way we act. It has given us direction to the way we move forward and the way we love. It has made it absolutely clear that we have to depend only on ourselves for our survival It has been the work that has been done in the last 5-6 years to rapidly make available broadband connections in villages, making fast connections available throughout the country and nsuring that mobile phones have reached every corner of the nation The two apps and the e-gram swaraj website is something that you all must connect with. It will be a blessing for you all and keep you informed about every decision in this regard. It will also help you do your record-keeping, from property to income to mapping of land, etc. It will also help you all get loans from banks when you need it for your work – just like property in cities helps people in urban India get loans. Villages have dealt better with self-dependency. There is much to learn from you all. “Do gaj doori” is the motto adopted by village residents, better than the big words of social distancingPM Narendra Modi