• India commemorates the 12th National Panchayati Raj day on 24th April 2021.
  • The Prime Minister has launched the distribution of e-property cards under the SWAMITVA scheme on the Day.

Important points:

  • The first National Panchayati Raj Day was celebrated in 2010. Since then, the National Panchayati Raj Day is celebrated on 24th April every year in India.
  • The Ministry of Panchayati Raj has been awarding the best performing Panchayats/States/UTs across the country in recognition of their good work.

Awards are given under various categories namely,

  1.  Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar,
  2.  Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar,
  3.  Child-friendly Gram Panchayat Award,
  4.  Gram Panchayat Development Plan Award and
  5.  e-Panchayat Puraskar (given to States/UTs only).

For the first time, the Prime Minister will transfer the award money (as Grants-in-Aid) directly to the bank account of the Panchayats concerned in real time.

Panchayati Raj:

  • After the Constitution came into force, Article 40 made a mention of panchayats and Article 246 empowered the state legislature to legislate with respect to any subject relating to local self-government.
  • Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) was constitutionalized through the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 to build democracy at the grass roots level and was entrusted with the task of rural development in the country.
  • PRI is a system of rural local self-government in India.
  • Local Self Government is the management of local affairs by such local bodies who have been elected by the local people.
  • To strengthen e-Governance in Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) across the country, Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) has launched eGramSwaraj, a user friendly web-based portal.
  • It unifies the planning, accounting and monitoring functions of Gram Panchayats. It’s combination with the Area Profiler application, Local Government Directory (LGD) and the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) renders easier reporting and tracking of Gram Panchayat’s activities.

About SVAMITVA Scheme:

  • SVAMITVA (Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas) scheme is a collaborative effort of the Ministry of Panchayati Raj, State Panchayati Raj Departments, State Revenue Departments and Survey of India.
  • To provide an integrated property validation solution for rural India.
  • It is a scheme for mapping the land parcels in rural inhabited areas using drone technology and Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS).
  • The mapping will be done across the country in a phase-wise manner over a period of four years – from 2020 to 2024.

Salient Features of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment

  • The 73rd Constitutional Amendment added Part IX titled “The Panchayats” to the Constitution.
  • Basic unit of democratic system-Gram Sabhas (villages) comprising all the adult members registered as voters.
  • Three-tier system of panchayats at village, intermediate block/taluk/mandal and district levels except in States with population is below 20 lakhs (Article 243B).
  • Seats at all levels to be filled by direct elections (Article 243C (2)).
  • Seats reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) and the chairpersons of the Panchayats at all levels also shall be reserved for SCs and STs in proportion to their population.
  • One-third of the total number of seats to be reserved for women.
  • One-third offices of chairpersons at all levels reserved for women (Article 243D).
  • Uniform five year term and elections to constitute new bodies to be completed before the expiry of the term.
  • In the event of dissolution, elections compulsorily within six months (Article 243E).
  • Independent Election Commission in each State for superintendence, direction and control of the electoral rolls (Article 243K).
  • Power of Panchayats: Panchayats have been authorised to prepare plans for economic development and social justice in respect of subjects illustrated in Eleventh Schedule (Article 243G).
  • Source of Revenue (Article 243H): State legislature may authorise the Panchayats with Budgetary allocation from State Revenue.
  •  Share of revenue of certain taxes.
  • Collection and retention of the revenue it raises.
  • Establish a Finance Commission in each State to determine the principles on the basis of which adequate financial resources would be ensured for panchayats and municipalities (Article 243I).


  • The Act does not apply to the states of Nagaland, Meghalaya and Mizoram and certain other areas because of socio-cultural and administrative considerations.
  • These areas include:
  •  the Scheduled areas and the tribal areas (under Schedule VI of the Constitution) in the states.
  •  the hill areas of Manipur for which district councils exist,
  •  Darjeeling district of West Bengal for which Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council exists.
  •  However, the Parliament has extended the provisions of Part IX to Vth schedule areas through an Act called the Provisions of Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 19
  •  At present, 10 States namely Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Rajasthan and Telangana have Fifth Schedule Area.


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