Panchayat Raj has existed in the past where the village was considered the basic unit of self government.
It is nothing but the three-tier structure of local self-government. It exists in three levels viz. a village level, block level and the district level.
Indian government and its Constitution believe in the democratic organization. Still, there are several villages in Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and other states of India where decisions are made on the basis of Panchayat.
Panchayat is a system where a group of persons taken together constitute a village sabha and the villagers are its members. The head of the village sabha is called sarpanch or gram pradhan.
The members of the panchyat are directly elected from the villagers. The panchyat works for all round development of the village like rural industries, sanitation, construction of village roads, etc. The panchyat also keeps the records of birth and death and registration of marriages.
The board of public representatives is completely accountable for the administration, management, and progress of a town. Indian government provides definite resources for the proper functioning of these Panchayats. The State Government possesses the authority to demarcate and change the Panchayat rules.
Panchayat Raj has often found trouble because most of the members do not have requisite qualification. The financial resources are very poor. Income is also poor. Lack of cohesiveness and dirty politics affects the working of the panchyat system.
In the recent past a number of bills were introduced in the Lok sabha to decentralize the authority. It gives more power to the people at the village level. As per the bill every state will have a three tier panchyatiraj system. There will be election every five years. Jawahar Rojgar Yojana a scheme meant for the panchyats has been introduced.
The actual purpose of Panchayat Raj is to develop a structure of self-governing devolution and decentralization of supremacy. It aims to develop a self-ruling government so as to make sure speedy socio-economic growth and low-priced justice.
Panchyatiraj means democracy at the grass root level. The success of any democratic system depends on the harmony and organization among the people. Panchayatiraj plays a vital role in rural construction and brings social change and tries to maintain harmony among the people. In this way, Panchayat Raj has got tremendous importance in India.