Rural Local Self-Government in India: Development, Constitutional Provisions, Underlying Issues and Possible Solutions

  • Udit Sharma
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  • Udit Sharma

    LL.M. Student at Himachal Pradesh National Law University, India

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The rural local self-government bodies, also known as Panchayati Raj Institutions modelled on the idea of decentralisation. The idea behind them was to make government and governance reach the doorsteps through the medium of elected representatives elected from local population. The history of this institution dates back to ancient era when they were the bodies to communicate the demands of the village community to the king. It continued, with certain changes till the advent of British era when heavy impetus was given to centralization of administration and thus these bodies were an afterthought. However, later they were re-established by granting them certain powers. They were formally recognized by the Constitution of India during its enactment when they were placed in the Directive Principles of State Policy. This was made chiefly to give substance to the vision of Mahatma Gandhi who saw the rural bodies as epitome of self-rule. Panchayats were formally recognized as a Constitutional body after the enactment of the Constitution (Seventy-Third) Amendment Act, 1992. The idea was to usher an era of economic development and social justice. However, after more than three decades of the Amendment, there are certain functional and institutional flaws in the Panchayati Raj mechanism. These range from financial issues, to issues pertaining to participation of women. However, despite these issues, the rural local self-government institutions can prove to be a prodigious asset, provided certain changes in their working are imbibed such as digitising the mode of execution of their functions.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 2, Page 1057 - 1066


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