Types of Local Self Government Urban and Rural Local Bodies

Local self-government refers to the administration of local areas by their own residents through elected representatives. There are two main types of local self-government: urban local bodies and rural local bodies.

Urban Local Bodies
Urban local bodies are responsible for the administration of urban areas, such as cities and towns. There are several types of urban local bodies in India, including:

Municipal Corporations: These are the largest urban local bodies, responsible for the administration of large cities. Municipal corporations are headed by a mayor and have a council of elected representatives.

Municipal Councils: These are smaller urban local bodies that are responsible for the administration of towns and smaller cities.

Nagar Panchayats: These are local bodies that are responsible for the administration of areas that are in transition from rural to urban.

Rural Local Bodies:
Rural local bodies are responsible for the administration of rural areas. There are two main types of rural local bodies in India:

Panchayats: These are elected bodies that are responsible for the administration of villages and small towns. There are three levels of panchayats: gram panchayats, block panchayats, and district panchayats.

Zila Parishads: These are district-level bodies that are responsible for the administration of rural areas.

As for easy or hard languages, the information above should be relatively easy to understand for English speakers. However, if you're looking for information in a different language, you can try searching for "types of local self-government" or "urban and rural local bodies" in your preferred language.

Types of Local Self Government

Two major forms of local self-government exist in India:
  • In urban areas, that is, in cities and towns, local self-governance is carried out by municipalities and corporations.
  • In the rural areas, that is, in villages, Zila Parishad, block samitis, and panchayats carry out the functions of local self-governance.

Urban Local Bodies

In our towns and cities, we have local government institutions that are called Municipalities and Municipal Corporations. An urban area is usually a compact and densely populated area. Municipal administration is necessary to provide basic civic facilities like water supply, drainage, garbage disposal, public health, primary education, construction, and maintenance of roads, and sanitation. As a local-level democratic government, the municipal institution's Structure of Government is elected by the local people, raises taxes, and collects fees and fines from the public. They regulate city life by laying down regulations regarding buildings, road networks, and garbage disposal. There are many developmental activities undertaken by them like women and child development, slums improvement, etc. The municipal government has made possible participative urban development and local management of civic facilities.

The function of Urban Local Bodies

It is a common practice to divide the organization of a corporation or a municipality into two parts:
(a) the deliberative, and
(b) the executive part.

The corporation, council, or municipal board or council consisting of the elected representatives of the people constitutes the deliberative part. It acts like a legislature. It discusses and debates general municipal policies and performance, passes the budget of the urban local body, and frames broad policies relating to taxation, raising of resources, pricing of services, and other aspects of municipal administration. It keeps an eye on municipal administration and holds the executive accountable for what is done or not done. For instance, if the water supply is not being properly managed, or there is an outbreak of an epidemic, the deliberative wing criticizes the role of the administration and suggests measures for improvement. The executive part of municipal administration is looked after by the municipal officers and other permanent employees.

In corporations, the Municipal Commissioner is the executive head and all other departmental officers like engineers, finance officers, health officers, etc. function under the Structure of Government under his/her control and supervision. In a large corporation such as Delhi or Mumbai Municipal Corporation, the Commissioner is usually a senior IAS officer. In the municipalities, the executive officer holds a similar position and looks after the overall administration of a municipality. Municipal functions are generally classified into obligatory and discretionary types. The obligatory (compulsory) functions are those that the municipal body must perform.

In this category fall such functions as water supply; construction and maintenance of roads, streets, bridges, subways, and other public works, street lighting; drainage and sewerage; garbage collection and disposal; prevention and control of epidemics. Some other obligatory functions are public vaccination and inoculation; maintenance of hospitals and dispensaries including maternity and child welfare centers; checking food adulteration; removal of slums; supply of electricity; maintenance of cremation and burial grounds; and town planning. In some States, some of these functions may be taken over by State Government. The discretionary functions are those that a municipal body may take up if funds permit. These are given less priority.

Some of the discretionary functions are the construction and maintenance of rescue homes and orphanages, housing for low-income groups, organizing public receptions, provision of treatment facilities, etc. Municipal Corporations take up more functions than municipalities. There are corporations like Delhi, Mumbai, Vadodara, Pune, and Ahmedabad which are known for their various city development activities in such areas as public transport, public parks, open spaces including a municipal zoo, and even milk and electricity supply.

Local self-government is a form of democratic governance where the participation of even the grass root level of society is encouraged and included. The village's local self-government is the village or gram-Panchayats. The Zilla Parishad also belongs to this category. Gram Panchayat is an excellent example of the Democratic set-up of India.

The elected representative of Gram Panchayat is known as Sarpanch. There is also a reservation of women in Gram Panchayats. The main source of revenue of Gram Panchayat includes property and other taxes, and grants from the State government and Zilla Parishad. The functions of Gram Panchayat include the supply of water, construction, repair and maintenance of roads, lighting of roads, public health, hygiene and sanitation, development of agricultural activities, etc.

Municipal local self-government

Municipal local self-governments are the governing bodies of urban areas. An example includes the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, the municipalities of small size cities, the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority, various town or city Improvement Trusts, the Port Trust, the Cantonment Board of the army, etc.

The functions of Municipal corporations and municipalities include town planning, water supply, road, preventive healthcare and hygiene, street lighting, etc.

There are several types of Urban Local bodies in India such as Municipal Corporations, Municipality, Notified Area Committee, Town Area Committee, Special Purpose Agency, Township, Port Trust, Cantonment Boards etc.

In India, the local self-government institutions are of both the Indian and the Western types. The Village Panchayats (or Gram Panchayat) system is purely an Indian concept and the Zilla Parishads are also mainly of Indian origin. But the concepts of other aforesaid local self-government institutions are mainly borrowed from the West.

Limitations of the local self-government

The local self-government system has some obvious limitations. It has been alleged that the services rendered by the local self-government often become discriminatory.

The local self-government often makes residential arrangements for elderly people or hostel accommodations for handicapped students which may be considered discriminatory services.

If the administration is run by the local self-governmental institutions, it may encourage not only regionalism but also narrow-mindedness and such a tendency will always go against the democratic system practiced at the national level.

However, refuting these allegations the exponents of the local self-government institutions hold the view that such local self-governments are the basis of democracy and the best way to develop political consciousness among the people. Through local self-government, regional and local interests convert into national interests.

1. Give the definition of Political Science as given by Garner.
2. Mention the word from which the term ‘Politics’ has been derived. Write its meaning.
3. Mention any one distinction between Political Science and Politics.
4. State any two civil rights of the citizen.
5. What is liberty?
6. Give the meaning of nation or nationality.
7. Define the term Sovereignty.
8. Mention the cardinal idea of the French Revolution.
9. What do the Marxists mean by the words ‘Dictatorship of the Proletrait’.
10. State the meaning of ‘Satyagraha.’
11. Give any two definitions of politics as the study of power.
12. Mention two distinctions between state and government.
13. Why do we need the state? Give any two reasons.
14. Explain the liberal view of the state.
15. Write the meaning of a classless and stateless society.
16. Why did Gandhi regard ‘ends and means as the two sides of the same coin?
17. Briefly describe the scope of Political Science. 
18. Explain the term ‘justice’ and mention its various dimensions
Previous Post Next Post