Panchayati Raj System in Ancient India and in Modern India: A Comparative Study

  • Shubhi Sharma and Priya Sharma
  • Show Author Details
  • Shubhi Sharma

    Student at The ICFAI University, Dehradun, India

  • Priya Sharma

    Student at The ICFAI University, Dehradun, India

  • img Download Full Paper


The Panchayat Raj system of India, established through the 73rd Amendment Act of 1992, decentralised a form of governance that aims to empower local communities by providing them with the authority and resources to govern their own affairs. This Article provides a comprehensive overview of the Panchayat Raj system, including its historical evolution, constitutional framework, functions and responsibilities, structure and composition, challenges, and impact on rural governance. The Panchayat Raj system in India has its roots in ancient times, with the concept of self-governance at the village level. However, only after independence were efforts made institutionalised local self-governance through constitutional amendments. The 73rd Amendment Act, also known as the Constitutional Amendment for Panchayats, was a landmark legislation that brought about a significant shift in the governance structure of rural India. The constitutional framework of the Panchayat Raj system is outlined in the 73rd Amendment Act, which provides for a three-tiered structure of local government at the village, intermediate, and district levels. The Gram Panchayat (village council), Panchayat Samiti (intermediate-level council), and Zilla Parishad (district-level council) form the three tiers of the Panchayat Raj system. These elected bodies are responsible for a variety of functions, including rural development, social justice, infrastructure development, and local administration. The structure and composition of the Panchayat Raj system involve direct elections at the village, intermediate, and district levels, with reserved seats for marginalised communities such as Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs), and women. The system aims to ensure inclusive representation and participation of marginalised communities in local governance, thereby promoting social inclusion and empowerment. Despite its potential, the Panchayat Raj system faces several challenges, including inadequate financial resources, lack of capacity-building and training, political interference, and low awareness and participation of local communities. Additionally, there are issues related to overlapping jurisdiction, accountability, and coordination with other levels of government.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 2, Page 3069 - 3080


Creative Commons

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution -NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits remixing, adapting, and building upon the work for non-commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited.


Copyright © IJLMH 2021