ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Impact of Reservation in Panchayati Raj

A necessary condition for the efficacy of the reservation policy in panchayati institutions is that elected representatives have independent power and autonomy over and above not only the direct control of the villagers, but also above the control of the bureaucracy, party hierarchies and the local elite. Two important questions that must be asked to establish whether or not reservations make a difference for political outcomes and governance are (a) do panchayat leaders matter at all and (b) do they make decisions that better reflect the interest of their own groups? This paper summarises findings from a research project on local decentralisation conducted in two districts of West Bengal and Rajasthan. The findings establish that reservation introduced as a tool to ensure adequate representation also assists in adequate delivery of local public goods to disadvantaged groups.

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