Panchayat system in village.

The institutions of self-government, known as Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs), were given a constitutional status through the 73rd Constitutional Amendment and the thought process behind this was to make democracy functional at the local level, and driven by citizens’ needs and with their participation. Panchayats have been mandated for economic development, strengthening social justice and implementation of Central and State Government Schemes including those 29 subjects listed in the Eleventh Schedule. As PRIs are the cornerstone of local self governments and peoples’ participation, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj has been providing programmatic support for building up PRIs and continuously striving to strength PRIs through advocacy and financial support to attain decentralized, participatory local selfgovernment and to ensure inclusive development with social justice, and efficient delivery of services. The continuous support of the Ministry has brought substantial improvements in the Panchayati raj system and local level governance across the country. However, the level of improvements in local level governance varies state wise, as Panchayat is state subject and being regulated mainly by the State Panchayati Raj Acts. Hence, it is essential to understand whether the policies and programmes of the Ministry are meeting the intended objectives and identify targets. Therefore, with the aim to give an insight of the status and improvements in Panchayati raj system and local level governance at the national and state level Dr. Mohd. Tauqueer Khan, Consultant, Ministry of Panchayati Raj has compiled the basic statistics of PRIs under the supervision of Smt. Sujata Sharma, Economic Adviser, Ministry of Panchayati Raj. Dr. Khan has been guided by Shri Vijay Kumar, Deputy Secretary and Shri Subhash Sangwan, Under Secretary during the compilation. The entire work has been reviewed by Shri Sanjay Singh, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Panchayati Raj. This publication will be placed at the Ministry’s website and will be available in public domain. I am sure it will be a useful document in guiding policy makers and different stakeholder to work towards improvement in Panchayati Raj system.