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

Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI)Subscribe to Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRI)

JFM in India: Some Legal Concerns

The debate on joint forest management in India has so far paid little attention to the validity and legality of JFM. Streamlining forestry management would involve addressing critical legal issues in various new practices before the manifestation of conflicts. On the resolution of such issues will also depend the extent of contribution of the people who are expected to participate in the JFM programme.

Aggrandiser Government and Local Governance

'Aggrandiser government', in most states, continues to hold on to most powers, even as they have been formally devolved to local government through conformity legislations. Deficiencies in facilitating the potential of panchayati raj persist at three levels - state, panchayati raj institutions and societal levels. Big government at the state level with a patrimonial perception of self and aggrandiser instincts has pushed the 'self-governance participatory model' of the panchayats to the periphery, both at the level of discourse and praxis. This coupled with conceptual inadequacies, epistemic and operational constraints, poor finances, and political interference have posed a serious challenge to the realisation of the potential role envisaged for panchayats in the 73rd Amendment. If panchayati raj has to fulfil its foundational tenets of empowering the community there is need to recognise the primacy of societal good over individual or political goals. PRIs have to transform themselves into community institutions fulfilling a social contract with an all inclusive participatory planning and associationalism as essential methodologies.

Comparative Panchayat Systems

State Politics and Panchayats in India by Buddhadeb Ghosh and Girish Kumar; Manohar Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi, 2003; pp 243, Rs 475

Interfaces in Local Governance in Karnataka

Contrary to popular belief, there has not been a unilinear displacement of customary panchayats by the formal structures of local governance such as gram panchayats. Rather there is evidence to suggest that customary institutions both influence and adapt to the existence of formal structures. The interface between customary panchayats and gram sabhas and its implications for participatory governance. A study in Mysore and Dharwad districts of Karnataka.
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