In Orissa, like other states of Indian Union, the Grama Panchayat is the executive authority of Grama Sasan.
Each Panchayat has 11 to 25 members. Each Grama is divided into wards and form each ward one Panch is elected.
Each Panchayat has a Sarpanch and one Naib-Sarpanch. Further some seats of Grama Panchayat are reserved for persons belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in proportion to their strengths.
1/3rd of the such reserved seats are further reserved for women belonging to SCs or STs as the case may be. In case only two seats stand reserved then one seat is reserved for a woman. Further, as far as possible 27% seats of every Grama Panchayat are reserved for persons belonging to Backward Class of Citizens and out of these 1/3rd seats are reserved for women.
In-fact 1/3rd of the total seats of a Grama Panchayat are reserved for women. (This includes the seats reserved for women belonging to SCs, STs and OBCs). Moreover 1/3rd of the offices of Sarpanch that fall within a block are reserved for women.
The Orissa Grama Panchayat Act specifies that only persons above the age of 21 years, and are capable of reading and writing in Oriya can become Sarpanch or Naib Sarpanch of Grama Panchayat. The Sarpanch is elected by the electorate along with other members of the Grama Panchayat. Each Grama Panchayat in its very first meeting after a general election elects one person as Naib Sarpanch (Section 14 of the Orissa Grama Panchayat Act).
Each Grama Panchayat has a tenure of 5 years. It is a fixed term. When a Grama Panchayat is dissolved or superseded by the State government before the expiry of its full term, a new Grama Panchayat has to be elected for the remainder of the tenure of the dissolved or supersided Panchayat.
Further the members of the Panchayat, including the Sarpanch and Naib Sarpanch hold honorary offices. They do not get any salary. However they are entitled to travelling and daily allowance for attending the meetings of the Grama Panchayat. The rates of payment are fixed by the Orissa Government.