Ashok Mehta Committee on Panchayati Raj System (Local Bodies) UPSC

 Ashok Mehta Committee(1977) on Panchayati Raj                            

Asoka Mehta

Why was the Ashok Mehta committee constituted?
  • In 1977, the Indian government appointed a committee on Panchayati Raj Institutions, which was chaired by Ashok Mehta.
  • The Ashok Mehta committee presented its report in August 1978, which featured 132 recommendations for revitalizing and improving the country’s ailing Panchayati Raj system. As a result of this investigation, the Indian states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and West Bengal all passed new legislation.


  • On the other hand, the flow of politics at the state level precluded institutions from creating their own political dynamics. The recommendations of the Ashok Mehta Committee were a watershed moment in India’s Panchayati Raj implementation.
  • The failure of Panchayati Raj using development programs, as well as the lack of significant features allotted to the Panchayats and tiers that are numerous, is linked to the channeling of such programs through the Panchayats.
  • The use of parallel frameworks of development and physiology in conjunction with Panchayat approaches, particularly when the number of activities and development features is extremely minimal, but the features are typically identical at multiple layers (a division of Rural Development 1978).
  • The study of Ashok Mehta Committee makes no mention of anything other than the necessity for economic decentralization, which may or may not be sufficient money. This will be particularly interesting today, as financial reasons are one of the most pressing issues in the postponement of elections in many states and the improvement of municipal Panchayat areas.
  • The Ashok Mehta Committee Report was one of the first significant federal government reports to address the requirement for representation of weaker aspects of tradition, your own justice aspect, and to recognize the role of governmental functions and gathering contestation into the quantity this is the area.
  • It was a substantial turn in terms of the rules of various committees, where functions that were either suggested or absent were continued and contestation was avoided.
  • The committee’s theory was that government contestation and engagement at all levels would generate useful competitors.
Ashok Mehta Committee Report

Ashok Mehta, News Photo, Ashok Mehta, Chairman of Ashok...

  • The report’s first morphological recommendation is that area entities be considered a starting point for effective decentralization in many of the states now in situ, and Zilla Parishads be constituted at this level.
  • It is reasoned that the truly technical abilities required to satisfy the objectives of contemporary development programs can be attained most successfully at this level.
  • Based on the committee’s suggestions, the level below should be large enough to meet the technical, administrative, and economic demands of current development initiatives, but small enough to maintain a connection to patients and to ensure practical representation and responsibility.
  • As a result, the Ashok Mehta Committee Report advocated merging villages that are small but have a population of 15,000 to 20,000 people. Mandal Panchayats are a possible name for this.
  • This counsel matched enacted law, such as the Assam Panchayati Raj Act of 1972 and the Bengal that is western Panchayati Act of 1973, which established a grouping of villages for education.
  • The committee determined that this is an opinion with sufficient monetary viability and direction, and that it is unquestionably democratic.
  • More personalization is crucial, and the proposal to eliminate block level companies is absolutely morphological.
  • The Panchayat Samitis, heralded as a significant development in Panchayati Raj in the aftermath of the B.R. Mehta Committee Report and implemented in most states across India, have been the key integration of development, particularly in relation to the CDP.
  • The fact that development projects and Panchayats were progressively disassociated between 1964 and 1977 was almost certainly an issue that was significant in favor of their abolition.
  • Another factor was the previously indicated village grouping and the desired transfer of powers from Panchayat Samits to Mandal Panchayats.
  • Because there were fewer institutional arrangements, there were less costs, hence the abolishment had an economic impact.
  • However, the Ashok Mehta Committee Report highlighted the need to retain enterprises that are block-level transitional services and goods in place before the committee’s recommendations are fully implemented.
  • Although the committee informed the organization of constitutional Panchayati Raj provisions, it noted that its recommendations are instructions, with a few exclusions and specific morphology linked with institutional designs that must be established solely by state legislation.
  • The essential requirements include clear State functions as part of direct elections to Panchayats in the lower tiers, as well as a section of representation for Scheduled Castes and Tribes based on their percentage in relevant communities.
  • The committee also recommended that the chairmen of the Zilla Parisahds be chosen, however the Mandal Panchayats’ manner of election should be determined by their own state legislation.
  • Furthermore, the term of office shall always be four years, and elections to all or any levels, as well as in all constituencies, should be held at the same time.
  • The recommendations were made by the committee in accordance with the Zilla Parishads’ constitution.
  • On the other hand, the report provided recommendations that were significantly different from previous findings and laws. The morphological alterations have substantial ramifications, such as calls to return to a three-tiered structure from a two-tiered system.
  • The long-term goal of removing block entities and establishing the tier that is vital to town quantity will be a significant improvement in morphological development, especially when compared to the focus on block amount in the Balwantrai Mehta Committee Report.
What were the findings of Ashok Mehta Committee?

Panchayati raj challenges

  • They must include six different types of users, including the Presidents of Panchayat Samitis where they exist, nominated representatives of municipalities and cooperatives at the district level within the areas, two women, one university that is co-opted, and one co-opted person with special interests in outlying development; the Chairman of this Zilla Parishad is chosen by and from one of the chosen.
  • The procedures of ex-officio co-option and membership severely restricted the democratic element at the district level. When you analyze the constitution, the expansion component was undoubtedly influential. Zilla Parishads are highly encouraged. The absence of MPs and MLAs from the ex-officio documents has been intriguing.
  • The Zilla Parishad should represent committees with backgrounds in agriculture, small-scale agriculture, general public works, finance, and understanding, as they are currently found in many State responsibilities. Furthermore, their activity should be overseen by a standing committee of chairmen from the profile committee. The committee on individual justice was a brand-new addition, indicating the trend of Panchayati Raj advancement throughout many years.
  • The Zilla Parishads focus on work that can be coordinated, and as a result, they established committees that included MPs, MLAs, and persons from the Upper Households.
  • In the end, the committee proposed that a committee on understanding staff postings be formed, with the addition of a District Education Officer and a consistent local government agent who is, of course, federal.
  • The committee notified the location that it is employing development portfolios under the Zilla Parishads’ course to prevent synchronous frameworks.
  • Secretaries of the relevant Committees of the Zilla Parishad. District officers who just earn money and have administrative responsibilities are nonetheless governed by the state federal government.
  • Where Panchayat Samitis existed and took action, they should be reconstituted on an ex-officio basis by the Presidents of the Mandal Panchayats, the elected Zilla Parishad individuals with constituencies.
  • When examining the relevant, obstructs nominated associates of municipalities and block-level societies that can be cooperative someone who is co-opted special interests in rural development. The President is chosen by and from among the elected and ex-officio members of Zilla Parishads, as is the case in the actual world of Zilla Parishads.
  • According to committee recommendations, the Mandal Panchayat is made up of 15 duly elected members, a number of unnamed Farmers’ Supplier’s Societies, and at least two women. The President of this Mandal Panchayat should be chosen solely by the members who were directly elected.
  • The committee also advised that the Panchayat establish a women’s one-all group, consisting entirely of women. The establishment of an all-women committee highlighted, once again, how personal justice is becoming increasingly important in Panchayati Raj growth.
  • In this paragraph, it was also suggested that seating for Scheduled Castes and Tribes be reserved. Officers and personnel of development businesses and divisions active in the Mandal quantity must surely be brought under the Mandal Panchayat leadership to accomplish their specific functions.
  • When it comes to Gram, the committee advised the establishment of Village Committees as a kind of replacement for earlier Panchayats. These combined to form a Mandal constituency that is closely linked to the Panchayat and the Zilla Parishad.

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  • These committees were made up of Mandal Panchayat members as well as Zilla Parishad members from various seats. When you consider the town and representatives of small and marginal farmers, this is really appropriate.
  • The President was an ex-officio Mandal Panchayat user from the proper constituency. In addition, the Ashok Mehta Committee recommended that Village Committees hold Gram Sabha conferences twice a year in the villages that make up a Mandal Panchayat. The Gram Sabha was suggested, but no one this company had any clear functions other than to create an online forum for guidelines and grievances.
  • The proposal of holding elections based on a schedule, as well as acknowledgement of this, has undoubtedly increased the importance of governmental activities in local elections. With your sentences, the Ashok Mehta Committee advised an apparent shift in attitude toward Panchayati Raj.
  • The study of the impact that good functions can have on Panchayat elections was a crucial step toward Panchayats being recognized as distinct and equal governing units. As a result, there was a shift in perspective from Panchayats as devolved representatives of development programs to a paternalistic worldview on these devices’ inability to regulate celebratory contestation.

The Ashok Mehta Committee’s Recommendations

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  • In terms of physiology, the Ashok Mehta Committee Report’s recommendations were broad but unspecific. According to the paper, each and every ongoing state may have situations that vary, therefore characteristics should be designated as needed locally.
  • The committee suggested that all development methods and tasks be placed within an area under their jurisdiction, which is absolutely unique, but that larger and supra-district jobs be left to the state governments for Zilla Parisahds.
  • It was also suggested that the expert who would assist in the creation of programs be placed under the jurisdiction of the Zilla Parishad. Although cooperative community members were to be present in the Panchayats and Parishads, the Zilla Parishads were not intended to facilitate communication among them. The Panchayat systems are a cooperative structure that can be found all over the world.
  • The report’s popular characteristics of Mandal Panchayats had been much more widely developed. These individuals were supposed to be the company that is using programs for the Zilla Parishads, in addition to the roles they currently had under the various State functions.
  • Furthermore, it was suggested that Mandal Panchayats be given the opportunity to purchase extra municipal and welfare features. Some of the report’s broad principles for what may be and how Mandal Panchayats should be centered for development and participation were included. The Ashok Mehta Committee Report presented a straightforward vision for Mandal Panchayats, with a focus on the agreed destination of beneficial ideas.
  • A crucial committee was the way in which endeavors were made to provide personal welfare and development to Scheduled Castes and Tribes, amongst others. It’s yet another entry in which earlier attempts were either unsuccessful or insufficiently focused at these teams.
  • The recognition of Scheduled Castes and Tribes as the most vulnerable members of society, as well as the acknowledgement that Panchayat systems had been inadequate to deal with the challenges faced by the teams, was a huge step forward for Panchayati Raj. The establishment of female committees was unquestionably a recognized level of personal justice towards underrepresented groups.
  • As a result, the Ashok Mehta Committee recommended that Panchayats take steps that are typically different, such as providing jobs for certain sections.
  • A tough topic to consider when looking at the application of previous legislation, and also a problem that has persisted for a long time, has been the possible lack of expertise and knowledge of selected colleagues and, to varied degrees, authorities.
  • Panchayats were robbed of their characteristics due to a lack of training and education, which was simply the result of a lack of understanding of easy recommendations for performing these responsibilities in an efficient manner.
  • The committee addressed this issue through the recommendation of improved training programs for selected representatives and officials under the supervision of the National Institute of Rural Development.
  • Furthermore, personal training programs must be focused on developing awareness with civic obligations and legal rights among the rural community as a whole in order to increase interest and engagement at the neighborhood level.
  • Furthermore, marginalized groups, such as women and scheduled tribes, must be encouraged to participate in the government and public arena through special programs.
  • In terms of monetary sources, the Ashok Mehta Committee Report differed little from prior findings and regulations. The key recommendation is that Panchayats should have compulsory taxation, as opposed to the powers assigned by the local government, which include residential taxes, career fees, activity fees, and land and building charges. In addition, it was suggested that Mandal Panchayats receive a larger part of land earnings.
  • Routine expenses, such as administrative costs and staff wages, are funded through state grants that are given to your tiers, which are frequently appropriate. Several other recommendations were likewise in line with current legislation, such as the recommendation to raise fees for the provision of community-based specialized solutions.
  • The majority of the directions resulting from the Ashok Mehta Committee Report are two-sided: On the one hand, many ideas were left too open, and the States were given far too much latitude in terms of Panchayati Raj legislation.
  • The constitutionally recommended supply is a start in the right direction, but it does not go far enough in terms of defining types and procedures in a comprehensive manner. Furthermore, several of the recommendations simply repeated terminology already in place in current legislation, at best changing their specific condition from assigned and discretionary to mandatory.
  • Other key repercussions in the Ashok Mehta Committee Report were a shift in focus from Panchayats as development program executors in a modernization paradigm to Panchayats as government units, where activities may be the creative cause.
  • Furthermore, the recognition of Panchayati Raj in empowering weaker chapters for the community through a variety of initiatives ranging from increased representation to target-programs in knowledge and employment demonstrated a significant shift in the portion of the committee’s vision for Panchayats.


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  • The final report reflects Panchayati Raj’s changing environmental situations in India. The modernization paradigm, in which development was primarily limited to food production, growth, and the industrialization of life duration, had fallen out of favor. It turned out to be reliant on competent management, as well as his knowledge of federal government structures and procedures when it came to INC at the period of the Congress system.
  • The problems that accompanied the drought years of 1965-1967, as well as India’s financial tragedies in 1974 as a result of the oil crisis, exposed the weakness of this development paradigm and Panchayats’ over-reliance on development initiatives. Broadening the income base by increasing the size of Panchayats and eliminating expenses have both been proven to be effective solutions to these problems.
  • The growth of local functions, as well as the success of the Janta Party in the general elections of 1977, demonstrated to varied degrees the importance of competition, as well as the degree to which it is genuinely local. The advent of private Scheduled Castes strategies, such as the Dalit Panthers, during the 1960s and the late 1970s brought a distinct scenario that is specific of chapters of the community to the schedule.
  • Both aspects were shown when looking at the Ashok Mehta Committee Report, as well as expression associated with the environmental changes of that time period, the consideration that this will be simple that is most certainly severe to adjust Panchayati Raj to those new difficulties, made some ideas associated with the report appealing the suggestions linked to the Ashok Mehta Committee Report in some aspects.
  • Strengthening the village level by providing mandatory profit sources, consolidating and limiting the scope of Gram Panchayat options, and including social ladies and Scheduled Castes and Tribes care.
  • The limitation of features in relation to the consolidation of earnings sources was particularly crucial. With fewer obligations, Gram Panchayats may be able to make better use of their time and workers more efficiently. Earning resources to execute limited working duties will be guaranteed, at least in theory, with the introduction of mandatory taxes.
  • Furthermore, the restrictions on cleanliness and disease prevention, public works, and administration and management are obviously small, implying that these functions might be carried out in a suitable manner at the village level. Due to a lack of experience, enough monetary resources, and other resources at the Gram Panchayat level, the responsibility of carrying out development functions, as defined in the prior work, was dropped.



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