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Focus: GS-II Governance, Prelims

Why in news?

In an attempt to bring about major changes in the functioning of the rural local bodies in Karnataka, the government on 18th March 2020, tabled a new Bill to reduce the term of the offices of presidents and vice-presidents of gram panchayats, taluk panchayats, and zilla panchayats from five years to 30 months.


  • The Karnataka Gram Swaraj and Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2020, tabled in the Assembly by Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister is aimed at amending the 1993 Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act, 1993 Act.

Powers of State Legislature

  • The Constitution of India provides for a legislature in each State and entrusts it with the responsibility to make laws for the state.
  • However, the composition of a state Legislature can be different in different states. It can be either bicameral or unicameral.
  • Each State Legislature exercises law-making powers over the subjects of the State List and the Concurrent List.
  • In case a state has a unicameral legislature, i.e., in case it has only State Legislative Assembly, all the powers are exercised by it.
  • However, even in case it is a bicameral state legislature with state Legislative Council (Vidhan Parishad) as the upper house and state Legislative Assembly as the lower house, almost all the powers are exercised by the latter.
  • The Legislative Council plays only a secondary and minor role.

State list

The State List or List-II is a list of 61 items. Initially there were 66 items in the list in Schedule Seven to the Constitution of India.

Panchayati Raj in India

  • In India, the Panchayati Raj generally refers to the local self-government of villages in rural India as opposed to urban and suburban municipalities, this system was introduced by a constitutional amendment in 1992.
  • This Panchayati Raj system was formalized in 1992, following a study conducted by a number of Indian committees on various ways of implementing more decentralized administration.
  • In India, the Panchayati Raj now functions as a system of governance in which gram panchayats are the basic units of local administration.
  • The system has three levels: Gram Panchayat (village level), Mandal Parishad or Block Samiti or Panchayat Samiti (block level), and Zila Parishad (district level).
  • It was formalized in 1992 by the 73rd amendment to the Indian Constitution. Currently, the Panchayati Raj system exists in all states except Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Mizoram, and in all Union Territories except Delhi.

The Panchayats receive funds from three sources:

  1. Local body grants, as recommended by the Central Finance Commission
  2. Funds for implementation of centrally sponsored schemes
  3. Funds released by the state governments on the recommendations of the State Finance Commissions

February 2024