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IGNOU BPAC 112 Solved Assignment 2022-23
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Important Note – IGNOU BPAC 112 Solved Assignment 2022-2023 Download Free You may be aware that you need to submit your assignments before you can appear for the Term End Exams. Please remember to keep a copy of your completed assignment, just in case the one you submitted is lost in transit.
Submission Date :
- 31st March 2033 (if enrolled in the July 2033 Session)
- 30th Sept, 2033 (if enrolled in the January 2033 session).
All questions are compulsory.
Answer the following descriptive category questions in about 500 words each. Each question carries 20 marks in Assignment A.
Answer the following short category questions in about 250 words each. Each question carries 10 marks in Assignment B.
Answer the following short category questions in about 100 words each. Each question carries 6 marks in Assignment C.
1. Discuss the need and significance of decentralised planning for
effective rural local governance.
Essay # 1. Introduction to Decentralised Planning in India:
Decentralised planning is a kind of percolation of planning activities or process from the Centre to the sub- state levels, i.e., district, sub-division, block and village level. Since the inception of First Plan, the importance of decentralised planning was emphasised in order to achieve active people’s participation in the planning process.
In 1957, the Government appointed Balwant Rai Mehta Committee which recommended constitution of elected statutory local bodies with its required resources, power and authority along with a decentralised administrative system operating under its control. Accordingly, the Panchayati Raj System was introduced in India.Since then the process of decentralisation in the planning and developmental activities was continued. In 1969, the Planning Commission issued some guidelines on the introduction of district planning. Again in 1977; M.L. Dantewala working group recommended specific guidelines for the introduction of block-level planning. After that Ashok Mehta Committee has also submitted its report on Panchayati Raj in 1978.Moreover, the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, finally presented its Report on Decentralisation of Development Planning and its implementation in the states in 1983. Finally, in 1984, the Group on District Planning submitted its report and this was considered as the basis of proposals on decentralised planning under the Seventh Plan.Accordingly, the Planning Commission of India introduced the decentralised planning in the country for the first time during the Seventh Plan. From the very beginning, India has adopted the system of centralised planning with little variation.
But with the passage of time there has been radical departure in the planning process in India from a centralised to a decentralised one where the decision making in the planning process has been reversed from top-to-bottom type to a system of bottom-to-top type.Thus the decentralised planning is a kind of planning at the grass-root level or planning from below. Planning process in a country is having various tiers, viz., centre, state, district, sub-division, block and village. Under decentralised planning emphasis has been given on the introduction of district planning, sub-divisional planning and block-level planning so as to reach finally the village level planning successfully.In India, Governmental activities are being performed right from the central to states and then to local, i.e., to the districts level (Zilla Parishads), taluk level (Panchayat Samities) and also to the village level (Gram Panchayats). But it now being observed that this type of centralised planning process is not at all conducive to optimum utilisation of plan resources.Thus in order to realise a better response, the Planning Commission of India introduced the decentralised planning since the Seventh Plan. Although in most of the states of India, the decentralised planning was extended to district level but in some states like Assam, West Bengal etc. the same plan was decentralised up to sub-division level.
Accordingly, in order to conduct the planning activities at the sub-divisional level, the Subdivision Planning and Development Council was formed in every sub-division of some states with public representatives from different levels.This council prepares various developmental plans for agriculture, irrigation, elementary education, road building, social afforestation, fishery, industrialisation, community development etc. of different sub-divisions of various states. These Councils are then entrusted to submit the required estimates of developmental works of different departments and then prepare and implement sub-divisional plan as per the approved outlay.Decentralised planning is very much important in a country like India, where majority of our population live in rural areas. These types of plans raise the involvement of the people in implementing the plan.Moreover, decentralised planning is being prepared in the light of local problems and on the basis of local resources potential. Thus under the present economic scenario, the decentralised planning is considered as most important strategy in respect of planning for economic development.
Essay # 2. Importance of Decentralised Planning in India:
Following are some of the important functional factors responsible for adoption of decentralised planning in the present context in India:
(i) Better Linkages between the Villages and Small Towns:
Considering the huge size and proportion of rural population in India, it is felt that proper linkages must be established between dispersed small villages and also between such villages and adjacent small towns by developing appropriate infrastructural facilities such as feeder roads, improved transport facilities, marketing and storage facilities, health and sanitation facilities and other welfare centres. Under decentralised planning better linkages between villages and small towns can be developed under local conditions, priorities and resources.
(ii) Planning Becomes Realistic and Flexible:
Decentralised planning is considered as more realistic as it maintains a close coordination between locally available resources, local skills, local manpower and local requirements. It is considered as a flexible one as it is easily adjustable and adaptable under the changing local conditions and requirements.Moreover, it is considered as the practical one as it can fulfill the normal requirements of the rural population. Adaptation and flexibility of planning largely depends upon the environment prevailing in each region and sub-region. Thus decentralised planning can achieve the best result in implementing plan projects at the local level.
(iii) Development of Agriculture:
Decentralised planning is suitable for the development of agricultural and allied activities such as animal husbandry, horticulture, fisheries, forestry along with development of village and cottage industries.
(iv) Promote People’s Participation:
Decentralised planning can promote active participation of local people in implementing various local plans and programmes. Thus it can enhance the involvement of local communities in such development activities.
(v) Minimising Wastage of Resources:
Under decentralised planning, wastage of resources can be reduced to a minimum level as the people participating in these developmental activities keep a close watch over the utilisation of fund as well also on the implementation of plan projects.
(vi) Trickle Down Effects:
Decentralised planning can show more trickle down or percolation effects in respect of poverty alleviation programmes and employment generation in rural areas as in this type of planning, various projects are selected for generating huge productive employment opportunities in the rural areas.Moreover, this can help in building up of various types of community assets, viz., panchayat house, village roads, schools, tanks etc. which can supplement rural income and also can enhance the levels of living of the rural people.
(vii) Social Services:
Decentralised planning is helpful in raising the level of social services by launching various programmes of health, nutrition, drinking water, education etc. in a more effective, quicker and sustainable manner.
(viii) Use of Non-conventional Energy Sources:
Decentralised planning is more helpful in utilizing the various non-conventional energy sources such as solar power, wind, animal and plant wastes etc. in rural areas. Such utilisation of non-conventional energy sources requires various agencies which can work in close association with communities in villages and small towns and also can provide necessary technical and financial support from such agencies. Decentralised planning can pave the way for utilisation of such resources.
(ix) Simple Planning Process:
Decentralised planning process is more simple and transparent and thus it has a close link with democracy, co-operation and development. It has a vast scope for the active involvement of political and social forces at the appropriate level.
2. Examine the approach of the states for democratic decentralisation
through their statutory provisions.
Political decentralization aims to give citizens or their elected representatives more power in public decision-making. It is often associated with pluralistic politics and representative government, but it can also support democratization by giving citizens, or their representatives, more influence in the formulation and implementation of policies. Advocates of political decentralization assume that decisions made with greater participation will be better informed and more relevant to diverse interests in society than those made only by national political authorities. The concept implies that the selection of representatives from local electoral jurisdictions allows citizens to know better their political representatives and allows elected officials to know better the needs and desires of their constituents.
Political decentralization often requires constitutional or statutory reforms, the development of pluralistic political parties, the strengthening of legislatures, creation of local political units, and the encouragement of effective public interest groups.
Constitutional, Legal and Regulatory Framework
Constitution, laws and regulations codify the formal rules of the game by which a decentralized system is supposed to function. Structurally, the desirable architecture of these rules is quite straightforward:
the constitutions should be used to enshrine the broad principles on which decentralization is to operate, including the rights and responsibilities of all levels of government; the description and role of key institutions at central and local levels; and, the basis on which detailed rules may be established or changed.
one or more laws should define the specific parameters of the intergovernmental fiscal system and the institutional details of the local government structure, including, key structures, procedures (including elections), accountabilities and remedies; and,
a series of regulations associated with each law should interpret and describe in detail the practices and measures by which the related law will operate. Laws that deal with tasks that are shared between national and subnational governments should include sections on intergovernmental relations.
Substantially greater detail and specificity is provided in moving down this three platform architecture from the Constitution to Regulations. Conversely, greater difficulty and a higher degree of authority (e.g., Minister, Parliament and Constitutional Assembly) is required to change the provisions when moving up from Regulations to the Constitution.
These aspects of degree of difficulty and locus of authority to effect changes are important factors in determining where in the architecture particular aspects of the decentralization system are defined and the relative specificity of those definitions. The rigidities and flexibility established in this structure have important implications for the management of a decentralized system.
The placement of an item may be the result of a consensus, but often is the outcome of sometimes difficult negotiations between competing interests. Those concerned with macro stability, for example, may wish to have intergovernmental fiscal rules be a matter for regulation under the Minister of Finance, so as to give that ministry maximum flexibility in public expenditure management. Local government advocates, in contrast, may argue (as they did, successfully, in Brazil) for these fiscal distributional rules to be enshrined in the Constitution. In Uganda, the purposes and mechanisms for transfers are specified in the Constitution along with a formula for determining the minimum size of the pool from which block grants are to be distributed; the details of the distributional formulae are the subject of regulations.
As decentralization is a complex social experiment a good case may be made for there to be more flexibility in the ability to change the specificity of implementation instruments, while enshrining the political and philosophical principles in the Constitution and the operating structures in the laws.
In addition to “substantive” law mentioned above, a country’s “procedural” laws can have profound impacts on the success of decentralization efforts. For example, when local expenditures must be “pre-audited” by a central authority, rigidities are introduced which make the benefits of decentralization more difficult to achieve. When reviewing the legal framework for decentralization, it is not sufficient to examine decentralization specific laws — other laws which mandate aspects of service delivery, civil service, budgeting and so one must also be considered to ensure a consistent approach.
Treatment of key issues in the legal and regulatory framework will be shaped by whether the governmental system is unitary or federal. Under some federal systems, for example, India and Canada, local governments are completely under the authority of the State/Provincial level governments. The Federal government is thereby limited in the relationships it may establish with the local level and must seek to affect local behavior and outcomes through the states/provinces. A decentralization policy such as India is trying to establish is significantly complicated by this factor.
Some unitary systems may exercise extremely centralized control over local governments. In Indonesia, the Ministry of Home Affairs has had the authority to appoint (and remove) mayors and even village heads. The structural impediments in designing a decentralized system in this context are few, but that does not mean that the process of instituting such a system is without critical hurdles. Indonesia has had decentralization legislation on its books since 1974; the process there remains far from completion.
As with other key aspects of decentralization, the legal and regulatory framework will be tailored to country circumstances. Nevertheless, there are a set of issues this framework may be expected to address. Those of particular interest to the work of the Bank include potentially, the classification of local governments within the tiers established under the Constitution; the broad organizational structures and their roles and responsibilities; terms of office, operating powers, procedures and limitations of the political leadership, distinct from the civil service; the degree of autonomy of personnel policies and administration of local governments; the taxing and fiscal administration authority of local governments; the borrowing authority and capacities of local authorities; the budgeting, expenditure management, accounting, auditing and reporting requirements; service provision and delivery authority; and, the mechanisms for citizen participation and voice.
The legal and regulatory framework should also be designed to recognize differences in management capacity. Assignment of functional responsibilities – for example provincial capital, designated growth center, etc. often implicitly recognizes varying capabilities of municipalities, but a more dynamic framework which recognized “capacity” based on performance over time would be more desirable in the long run. Matching degree of autonomy and privileges to a set of performance indicators – which might include total expenditure, degree of self-sufficiency (i.e., proportion of own revenues to total), budget management performance (i.e., absence of deficits), and service delivery performance (i.e., client surveys) – would allow the legal and regulatory framework to adjust for changes in local capacity. The appropriate time period for reassessments and indicators would need to be linked to country circumstances as well as the specific details of the decentralization framework.
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3. Analyse the role of State Election Commission in conducting elections at the grassroots level.
4. Discuss the constitutional provisions of resource mobilsation and management.
5. What are the major issues and challenges before the PRIs in service delivery?
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6. Discuss the Forest Rights Act, 2006.
7. Examine the role of District Planning Committee.
8. Discuss the evolution of local government in pre-independence period.
9. Enumerate the initiatives of e-Governance in rural India.
10. Write a note on Jal Jeevan mission.
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