ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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How Inclusive Are Panchayati Raj Institutions?

Inclusion and Exclusion in Local Governance: Field Studies from Rural India edited by B S Baviskar and George Mathew (New Delhi: Sage), 2009; pp xiv + 453, Rs 750.

Rethinking the Rotation Term of Reservation in Panchayats

Panchayati raj has attracted women to politics in large numbers and the desire to contest elections seems most keen among those belonging to the scheduled castes and tribes. That 88% of SC/ST members of panchayats were elected from reserved seats confirms that policy has been crucial to the representation of disadvantaged groups. An analysis shows that a majority of women representatives could not get re-elected because their seats were de-reserved in the next election. Reservation motivated 43% of women representatives to contest their first election and its withdrawal dissuaded 39% from seeking re-election. This points to the need to rethink the system of rotating seats reserved for women so that they are given 10 to 15 years of continued opportunity.
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