Overview of Panchayati Raj System in India What is the Panchayati Raj System?

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Overview of Panchayati Raj System in India

What is the Panchayati Raj System?

Panchayati Raj System generally refers to the rural local self-government system in India. The Panchayati Raj institutions (PRI) consists of a three-tier system at district, Zilla, and village level.

In 1992, vide 73rd constitutional amendment, part IX titled ‘The Panchayats” was introduced in the Constitution of India.

Panchayat System or rural local self-government means the ruling of a local area by a body of people of the same locality, which is mainly under the control of the State Government.

Three-tier system

The three tiers of Rural Local Government or Panchayati Raj System are:

1. District council or Zilla Parishad or Zilla Panchayat is the district level panchayats.

2. Panchayat Samiti or Taluka Panchayat is the link between Zila Parishad and Gram panchayats.

3. Village or Gram Panchayats are the base level panchayats. There are around 250,000-gram panchayats in India.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Panchayat system is now being constituted as a basic unit of self-government, as in the past.

The Panchayat may be a useful agency for the improvement of agriculture by collective fanning, management of Government lands by distributing them amongst the agriculturists according to necessity, and maintaining forests and reserves.

The Panchayat is also looking after general sanitation, and building roads, tanks, and schools for boys and girls. They are also given the responsibility of irrigation, regaining of fallow lands and planting of trees, saving cattle, and many other duties.


The main functions of the Panchayat are the:

  • supply of potable water,
  • construction of roads,
  • making ponds for public use,
  • improvement of public health,
  • prevention of wide-ranging diseases,
  • establishment of pasture-fields,
  • cemeteries, and burial-grounds,
  • engaging manual laborers for the improvement of villages and several other beneficial measures.

Besides these, the Panchayats may be entrusted with other responsibilities, like the foundation of various kinds of teaching institutions, charitable dispensaries, hygienic centers, maternity hospitals, etc.


The Panchayati Raj system can achieve its purpose only by the honesty and spirit of the social service of the people. When the Panchayat is able to do their full duties, the State will certainly become strong and rich.

  1. Panchayati Raj in India (Wikipedia)
  2. Local self-government in India (Wikipedia)

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