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This book fills up the gap that continues to exist in the studies on the Decentralized Governance despite the publication of a huge quantum of literature. As many as 44 well-researched paper presented by distinguished scholars from University and Research Institutions, leading activists working in the NGOs and senior bureaucrats associated with the working of the rural local self-government at a National Seminar on "Strategies for Strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions" organized by the Haryana Institute of Rural Development, Nilokheri have been included in it.

This multi disciplinary and interdisciplinary exercise covers almost all the states of India. It is a serious attempt to explode the myth of decentralized rural governance and to present the ground realities. The authors have not only diagnosed the disease from which it suffers but have also recommended prescriptions for curing it. It is hoped that this comprehensive volume will be of great utility for those policy-makers, administrators, Panchayati Raj leaders, researchers, teachers, trainers and activists who are interested in understanding and strengthening the Panchayati Raj Institutions which constitute the base of Indian Political System.



This book addresses the felt need of inter-generation equity criterion in terms of the reduction of inter-regional, inter-gender, inter-social groups and inter-personal disparities of the various economic political and social dimensions of development

Strategies for Sustainable Rural Development is an ed. Volume containing wide spectrum of quality research papers presented during the National Seminar organized by HIRD, Nilokheri, during 14-15 March 2002. a total of thirty-three research papers have been carefully edited and presented in this volume. For convenience of the readers, this book has been divided into three parts, and research contributions, thus, have been categorized under the given contemporary relevance of themes and sub-themes, eg., Dimensions of Sustainability; Rural Development and its Parameters; Rural Development Development ; Population, Agriculture, Technology, Water Management; Employment and Tourism; Rural Development : Case Study. It is a book that will be read with keen interest to ponder upon the issues raised by distinguished writers.




The focus of this study is to identify factors that promote development at the micro level, so that lessons could be drawn for policy formulation. An attempt has also been made to trace the changing political system in rural India which can be observed in various types of changes such as, social, political and economic.

A village in Haryana has been studied empirically to examine in depth the various facets of the problem, role performance, development and change. The examination enables the author to have a rounder grasp of the nature of rural development and the leadership role.





This study discusses the concept of common land, how it was started and what was the main purpose of having panchayat lands in the villages. Encroachment on common land has made the Panchayats to depends on the govt. grants. Causes of unauthorized occupation of panchayat lands exiting legal provision and their implementation has also been examined. The present book has also suggested measures for removing the illegal possession and tapping additional sources of revenue. Issues of enhancing the finances of Panchayati Raj Institutions have also been addressed.





The basic aims of development of rural areas cannot be achieved unless the Rural Development Administration extends wholehearted support in the creation of various infrastructure facilities and provision of extension services. The loop-holes in the Rural Development Administration that have come to surface during the last one decade need to be plugged in the 21st Century.

The functioning of Panchayati Raj Institutions has not improved to the desired extent even after getting a constitutional status. The bureaucracy continues to dominate them. These institutions could not play an effective role in delivery of goods and services to the villages due to lack of clear demarcation of functions/responsibilities and powers, and sufficient funds. An essential requirement for successful economic reforms is that resources must move from old inefficient activities to new promising activities.

This raises some pertinent questions:

I. Are the existing concepts, assumptions and values of the theory and practice of development administration, which emerged in the post-colonial phase, still relevant in the 21st century?

II. Should we not take into consideration various indigenously developed alternatives that are more suited for ensuring human dignity?

      III. Could not these be geared to the needs of human centred sustainable rural development?

This book gives suitable answers to these questions through fruitful discussions on various facets of rural development        administration. 





Perspectives, Perceptions, Prescriptions


There has always been an on-going debate on the necessity or otherwise of the State Sector as an entrepreneur and as a welfare­provisioning agency responsible for ensuring adequate availability and equitable distribution of basic social-public goods, services and utilities, of housing and shelter, of general and technical education, or primary and specialized healthcare, of sanitation and hygiene, of roads and transport, of safe drinking water, of irrigation, of power, and the like, all of which go as crucial inputs into defining, variously, the general living conditions, physical quality of life, human development, and similar other indicators and indexes of development as perceived under the new paradigm.

The winning view in this debate has been the one favouring the need for curtailing the State Public Sector's role and replacing it by the liberalized Market-Governed regime as a necessary pre­condition for development as now perceived, especially in the Third World countries. This alternative is being prescribed and peddled, and accepted too, as a panacea for all their socio-economic maladies.

This book brings together contributions of eminent thinkers, scholars and practitioners from all over the country, who have, through their analytical deliberations, amply and ably elaborated upon the various sub-scenarios and facets of India's experience in the pre and post-reform period and generated an evaluative profile and perspective which, expectedly, would be helpful and  useful for academics, administrators and activists alike in their respective domains of concern pertaining to reforms, rural development, social and human development.




Local Democracy


Good Governance

Five Decades of Panchayati Raj


(Ranbir Singh and Surat Singh)

          The term local democracy used in this study for the Panchayati Raj Institutions which have assumed enhanced salience after the enactment of the 73rd Constitutional Amendment (1992).  The processes of Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization initiated, as a result of adoption of the New Economic Policy in 1991 in India have added to their importance. This study is a modest attempt to evaluate the working of Panchayati Raj Institutions, since their inception in 1959, during the five decades.

           The Contents of this book include: The Theme Papers:  “Democratic Decentralization and Good Governance, Retrospect and Prospect�; “Democratic Decentralization and Good Governance: The Theoretical Perspective�; “The Dialectics of Democratic Decentralization and Good Governance"; "The Conceptual and Substantive Issues of Democratic Decentralization" and "Democratic Decentralization and Good Governance: The Challenge before the Social Scientists�. The Special Papers: “Democratic Decentralization: The Deficit of Politics�; “Good Governance or Self-Governance? Prospects of Economic Revitalization of Panchayats in Post-1991 LPG India�; “Grassroots Governance in a Tribal Area of Chhattisgarh�; “Empowerment of Panchayati Raj Institutions�; “Local Governance and Equity in Public Service Delivery: A Study of the Gram Panchayats in Haryana�; “Democratic Decentralization and Good Governance: The need for Realistic Empowerment of Panchayats"; "Democratic Decentralization and Good Governance in India: Promises and Perils�; “Impact of Globalization on Good Governance and the Need for Democratic Decentralization�; “Democratic Decentralization, Good Governance and Human Governance: A Conceptual Analysis� and “The RTI and Good Governance at Local Level�. The Conceptual and Operational Dimensions: “The Concept of Democratic Decentralization�; “The Evolution of Concept of Panchayati Raj: From Democratic Decentralization to Good Governance�; “S.K. Dey’s Paradigm of Democratic Decentralization�; “The Paradox of Political Decentralization and Economic Centralization�; “Decentralization and Good Governance: Some Issues and Challenges at the Third Tier of Governance� and “Some Steps for Good Governance through Democratic Decentralization�. Experiences of Democratic Decentralization in States: “Structure and Working of Panchayati Raj in Kerala�; “Working of Panchayat Raj Institutions at Grassroots Level: Experiences from the State of Madhya Pradesh�; “Punjab’s Economy and Panchayati Raj Institutions: An Analysis�; “Major Trends in the Panchayati Raj System of Himachal Pradesh� and “Structural and Functional Dimensions of Panchayati Raj in Haryana�. Democratic Decentralization and Women Empowerment: “Genesis and Development of Women Empowerment in India�; “Women Empowerment, the National Perspective�; “Women Empowerment in the Panchayati Raj Institution of Uttarakhand after the 73rd Constructional Amendment Act� and “Empowerment of Women in the PRIs of Haryana�.