A sarpanch, gram pradhan, mukhiya, or president is a decision-maker, elected by the village-level constitutional body of local self-government called the gram sabha (village government) in India.[1] The sarpanch, together with other elected panchayat members (referred to as ward panch), constitute gram panchayats and zilla panchayats. The sarpanch is the focal point of contact between government officers and the village community and retains power for five years. the term used to refer to the sarpanch can vary across different states of India. Here are some of the commonly used terms for sarpanch in various states: panchayat president, gram pramukh, gram pradhan, gram adhyaksha, gaon panchayat president, gram panchayat president, etc.[2][3]

Meaning of sarpanch edit

Sar, meaning head, and panch, meaning five, gives the meaning head of the five decision-makers of the gram panchayat of the village. In the state of West Bengal, a sarpanch is called a panchayat pradhan ("chief"), and the deputy is panchyat upa-pradhan.[4]

Nomenclature edit

a sarpanch is a term used to refer to the elected head of a village-level statutory institution called the Gram Panchayat/Village Panchayat/Gram Parishad.

However, the term used to refer to the sarpanch can vary across different states of India.[5] Here are some of the commonly used terms for sarpanch in various states:

Gram Pradhan -
Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and some parts of Haryana, Punjab.
Sarpanch -
Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha.
Panchayat President -
Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and West Bengal.
Mandal Praja Parishad President -
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Mukhiya- Bihar, Jharkhand.
Gaon Panchayat President -

Roles and responsibilities edit

A sarpanch performs a number of administrative duties.[6][7]

Eligibility edit

A sarpanch must be a citizen of at least 18 years of age, and have no legal convictions, among other requirements.[8][9]

Tenure edit

The tenure of sarpanch in India is five years.[10][6]

Panchayati raj edit

India's federal structure of governance means that different states have different laws governing the powers of the gram panchayats and sarpanches.[11][12]

Panchayat elections edit

In many states, elections were not held for decades and instead of elected sarpanches, the gram panchayats were run by bureaucratically appointed administrators. With the passage of 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments in 1992, a number of safeguards have been built in, including those pertaining to regular elections.

Reservation for women edit

Article 243D(3) of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment requires one-third of seats in panchayats and one-third of panchayat chairperson positions be reserved for women, across all three levels of the panchayati raj system.[13][14]: 24  This amendment followed various state-level legislative reforms in which reservations were set for panchayat positions to be held by women.[14]: 32 

References edit

  1. ^ Misra, Suresh; Dhaka, Rajvir S. (2004). Grassroots Democracy in Action: A Study of Working of PRIs in Haryana. Concept Publishing Company. p. 116. ISBN 9788180691072. Retrieved 29 December 2010.
  2. ^ "East Eleri: Congress loses panchayat president post again as official faction mutates into rebels now". OnManorama. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  3. ^ "Presidents of Gaon Panchayat | Dhubri District | Government Of Assam, India". dhubri.assam.gov.in. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  4. ^ "What is a Panchayat?". Retrieved 24 July 2022. Panchayati Raj is the oldest system of local government in the Indian subcontinent. Panchayati Raj Institutions as units of local government have been in existence in India for a long time, in different permutations and combinations. However, it was only in 1992 that it was officially established by the Indian Constitution as the third level of India's federal democracy through the 73rd Amendment Act. The Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) consists of three levels: Gram Panchayat at the village level, Block Panchayat or Panchayat Samiti at the intermediate level, Zilla Panchayat at the district level. The word Panchayat means assembly (ayat) of five (panch) and raj means: rule.
  5. ^ "Elected Representative Report". egramswaraj.gov.in. Retrieved 4 May 2023.
  6. ^ a b Jaggi, Harleen Kaur (24 April 2021). "Panchayati Raj: Powers, Functions, Duties Role and Responsibilities of Sarpanch or Panchayati Raj Head". jagrantv.com. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  7. ^ "sarpanches to get district collectors powers to fight against covid 19 in odisha-". livemint.com. 19 April 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  8. ^ "Uttar Pradesh Gram Panchayat Election 2021: Minimum Qualifications For Holding Office Of Pradhan". www.india.com. 7 March 2021. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  9. ^ "Minimum qualification set as Haryana passes Panchayati Raj Bill". thehindu.com. 16 November 2021. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  10. ^ Bhandare, Namita (10 February 2016). "What has education got to do with panchayat politics?". livemint.com. Retrieved 23 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Sangam Age". uttarakhand.pscnotes. 16 September 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  12. ^ "Study Material For B.a History Panchayat Raj In India Semester – V, Academic Year 2020–21" (PDF). Retrieved 24 July 2022.
  13. ^ Constitution of India. Government of India.
  14. ^ a b Sharma, Kumud (1998). "Transformative Politics: Dimensions of Women's Participation in Panchayati Raj". Indian Journal of Gender Studies. 5 (1): 23–47. doi:10.1177/097152159800500103. PMID 12321579. S2CID 36735582.