Types of Local Self Government

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Types of Local Self Government

There are mainly two types of local self-government in India.

  1. The Village local self-government and
  2. The Municipal self-government.

Village local self-government

The village’s local self-government is the village or gram-Panchayats. The Zilla Parishad also belongs to this category. Gram Panchayat is an excellent example of the Democratic set-up of India.

The elected representative of Gram Panchayat is known as Sarpanch. There is also a reservation of women in Gram Panchayats.

The main source of revenue of Gram Panchayat includes property and other taxes, and grants from the State government and Zilla Parishad.

The functions of Gram Panchayat includes:

  • supply of water,
  • construction, repair, and maintenance of roads,
  • the lighting of roads,
  • public health, hygiene, and sanitation,
  • development of agricultural activities, etc.

Municipal local self-government

Municipal local self-governments are the governing bodies of urban areas. An example includes Kolkata Municipal Corporation, the municipalities of the small size cities, the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, various town or city Improvement Trusts, the Port Trust, the Cantonment Board of the army, etc.

The functions of Municipal corporation and municipalities include town-planning, water-supply, road, preventive healthcare and hygiene, street-lighting, etc.

In India, the local self-government institutions are of both the Indian and the Western types. The Village Panchayats (or Gram Panchayat) system is purely an Indian concept and the Zilla Parishads are also mainly of Indian origin. But the concepts of other aforesaid local self-government institutions are mainly borrowed from the West.

Limitations of the local self-government

The local self-government system has some obvious limitations. It has been alleged that the services rendered by the local self-government often becomes discriminatory.

The local self-government often makes residential arrangements for the elderly people or hostel accommodation for handicapped students which may be considered as discriminatory services.

If the administration is run by the local self-governmental institutions, it may encourage not only regionalism but also narrow-mindedness and such a tendency will always go against the democratic system practiced at the national level.

However, refuting these allegations the exponents of the local self-government institutions hold the view that such local self-governments are the basis of democracy and the best way to develop political consciousness among the people. Through the local self-government, the regional and local interests convert into national interest.

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