IGNOU MPA 016 FREE Solved Assignment 2022-23 PDF : MPA 016 Solved Assignment 2022 , MPA 016 Solved Assignment 2022-23, MPA 016 Assignment 2022-23, MPA 016 Assignment, IGNOU Assignments 2022-23- Gandhi National Open University had recently uploaded the assignments of the present session for MEG Programme for the year 2022-23. Students are recommended to download their Assignments from this webpage itself.
1) Discuss the importance of decentralisation and suggest necessary measures for strengthening decentralised development in India.
Ans. 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments, by constitutionally establishing Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) in India, mandated the establishment of panchayats and municipalities as elected local governments.
They devolved a range of powers and responsibilities to the local governments and made them accountable to the people for their implementation, but very little actual progress has been made in this direction even after more than 25 years.
Democratic Decentralisation: Devolution of Power
Democratic decentralization is the process of devolving the functions and resources of the state from the centre to the elected representatives at the lower levels so as to facilitate greater direct participation of citizens in governance.
Devolution, envisioned by the Constitution, is not mere delegation. It implies that precisely defined governance functions are formally assigned by law to local governments, backed by adequate transfer of a basket of financial grants and tax handles, and they are given staff so that they have the necessary wherewithal to carry out their responsibilities.
Local government, including panchayats, is a state subject in the Constitution, and consequently, the devolution of power and authority to panchayats has been left to the discretion of states.
The Constitution mandates that panchayats and municipalities shall be elected every five years and enjoins States to devolve functions and responsibilities to them through law.
A study for the Fourteenth Finance Commission by the Centre for Policy Research, shows that all States have formally devolved powers with respect to five core functions of water supply, sanitation, roads and communication, streetlight provision and the management of community assets to the gram panchayats.
Issues with Local Governments in India
Insufficient Funding: The money given to the local governments is inadequate to meet their basic requirements.
Inflexibility in spending the allocated budget. The use of money is constrained through the imposition of several conditions.
There is little investment in enabling and strengthening local governments to raise their own taxes and user charges.
Lack of staff: Local governments do not have the staff to perform even basic tasks. Furthermore, as most staff are hired by higher level departments and placed with local governments on deputation, they do not feel responsible to the latter; they function as part of a vertically integrated departmental system.
Untimely and delayed elections: States often postpone the elections and violate the constitutional mandate of five yearly elections to local governments.
In Tamil Nadu, panchayat elections have not been held for over two years now, resulting in the State losing finance commission grants from the Union government.
Local governments are merely acting as an implementation machinery rather than policy-making body for local development. Technology-enabled schemes have further downgraded their role.
Corruption: Criminal elements and contractors are attracted to local government elections, tempted by the large sums of money now flowing to them. A market chain of corruption operates, involving a partnership between elected representatives and officials at all levels.
However, there is no evidence to show that corruption has increased due to decentralisation.
Decentralised corruption tends to get exposed faster than national or State-level corruption. People erroneously perceive higher corruption at the local level, simply because it is more visible.
However, we can keep track of corrupt local government representatives more easily than those at the higher levels.
2) Describe the administrative decentralisation in contemporary scenario.
Ans. Administrative decentralization seeks to redistribute authority, responsibility and financial resources for providing public services among different levels of government. It is the transfer of responsibility for the planning, financing and management of certain public functions from the central government and its agencies to field units of government agencies, subordinate units or levels of government, semi-autonomous public authorities or corporations, or area-wide, regional or functional authorities.
The three major forms of administrative decentralization — deconcentration, delegation, and devolution — each have different characteristics.
Deconcentration –which is often considered to be the weakest form of decentralization and is used most frequently in unitary states– redistributes decision making authority and financial and management responsibilities among different levels of the central government. It can merely shift responsibilities from central government officials in the capital city to those working in regions, provinces or districts, or it can create strong field administration or local administrative capacity under the supervision of central government ministries.
Delegation. Delegation is a more extensive form of decentralization. Through delegation central governments transfer responsibility for decision-making and administration of public functions to semi-autonomous organizations not wholly controlled by the central government, but ultimately accountable to it. Governments delegate responsibilities when they create public enterprises or corporations, housing authorities, transportation authorities, special service districts, semi-autonomous school districts, regional development corporations, or special project implementation units. Usually these organizations have a great deal of discretion in decision-making. They may be exempt from constraints on regular civil service personnel and may be able to charge users directly for services.
Devolution. A third type of administrative decentralization is devolution. When governments devolve functions, they transfer authority for decision-making, finance, and management to quasi-autonomous units of local government with corporate status. Devolution usually transfers responsibilities for services to municipalities that elect their own mayors and councils, raise their own revenues, and have independent authority to make investment decisions. In a devolved system, local governments have clear and legally recognized geographical boundaries over which they exercise authority and within which they perform public functions. It is this type of administrative decentralization that underlies most political decentralization.
Civil service reform is usually a supporting strategy for more general decentralization in government operations or service delivery. One does not decentralize the civil service as an end in itself — one does so in order to provide services better, manage resources more efficiently, or support other general outcome goals. The civil service as a whole can be seen as one of the main instruments with which the government fulfills its obligations. In the context of decentralization, this tool must often be reshaped in order to perform a new set of duties efficiently, equitably, and effectively. Reform of the civil service, therefore, is the process of modifying rules and incentives to obtain a more efficient, dedicated and performing government labor-force in newly decentralized environment.
This note will first discuss the various civil service issues that sectoral or general decentralization strategies raise. It will then focus on various reform priorities to cope with the changes decentralization can bring.
Disperses power, both geographically and institutionally: Decentralization inevitably changes the location of power and jobs. Movement geographically or across tiers of government is often impeded by issues related to statute, prestige and poor labor mobility. In the Eastern European transition economies, for example, de-legitimation of the central state and the emergence of representative government at local and intermediate levels of government has complicated human resource allocation. Incentive programs and mechanisms for inter-post mobility, which compound the costs of decentralization, may be required in order to introduce flexibility.
Creates new responsibilities for inexperienced actors: Decentralization creates more opportunities for local autonomy and responsiveness to more specialized constituencies, but it also gives subnational governments more room to fail if specific steps are not taken to build local technical and managerial capacity.
Can disperse scale economies/expertise groups: The need for specialized personnel is related in part to the size of the territory covered by the entity. Below a certain size, it might be counterproductive or cost inefficient to have specialists or technical personnel. There are methods which can be used to address this issue, one of which is to allow in the context of the decentralization schemes the possibility of empowering local self-governments units to form associations and pool their resources in order to cover activities requiring specialized personnel.
Introduces more levels into the state: Decentralization, especially political decentralization creates a class of government workers which, based on the specific information which they receive (feedback from their constituencies) may have different preferences than workers at the next higher level. This divergence in views and convictions can create conflict within the civil service that will require mechanisms to manage effectively.
Ans. The positive role of State in education and public finance of education are no longer matters of debate. There is near unanimity among economists as well as others that the State should take interest in developing education. Controversy continues to exist regarding whether State should own and operate educational institutions or whether it should encourage education indirectly through financial incentives, through subsidising education. It raises the questions of equity and efficiency. The two main grounds on which government intervention in education can be rationalised are ‘neighbourhood effects’ and ‘paternalism’(owing to myopic view of parents). When once, it is agreed that government intervention in education could be in the form of subsidies or subventions, the question that arises then is, whom should it subsidise? Institutions or students? This is largely an empirical question. When the government subsidises institutions, it subsidises the supply; when it subsidises students, it subsidises the demand. The government subsidises institutions mainly in the form of grants. The government gives explicit grants to institutions but the students who go to schools and colleges enjoy certain implicit grants. It is generally agreed that explicit grants help the poor. But it is argued that implicit grants tend towards greater inequality for they help the rich more than the poor. This subsidy element in the fee structure may be thought of as a form of implicit grant. Since 1960s, ‘investment in man’ has become as important as ‘investment in machine’. Indisputable evidence has been produced to show that those with more education and better health earn higher incomes. The more important types of human investment include health facilities and services, on-the-job training, formal education, adult study programmes (not organised by firms) and migration of individuals and families to better jobs. There was a general apprehension that investment in human beings was likely to be underrated and neglected in underdeveloped countries. And there was insight into the fact that in these under-developed countries, the underinvestment in human beings has limited investment in non-human capital. We may note here the importance of health and education in human capital formation. At this point, one has to keep in mind the caution sounded by Myrdal on the possible logical fallacies. Any attempt to analyse the impact of health or education measures without taking other policy measures into consideration involves the logical fallacy of illegitimate isolation. The role of education in the economic development of a nation was underlined by some economists long before the birth of economics of education as a distinct branch of economics. “The most dramatic expose of this contribution which education makes to national development is to be found in a letter that the Soviet economist Strumilin addressed to Lenin way back in 1919, when Lenin was planning to launch Russia’s great programme of heavy industries. Strurnilin warned Lenin that the vast hydroelectric power grids that he was planning, the steel mills, the machine tool factories and even mechanised farms that he was initiating would not produce what was needed unless an equivalent level of investment in education was also provided. Strumilin arrived at this conclusion through his studies in his country of its labour force, in which he had shown that workers with the primary education increased their output and wages by 79 per cent, those with secondary education by 235 per cent and those with university education by 320 per cent. However, “positive government policy in education, as Professor Beales says, did not begin until 1833”. In fact, some of the policies of the governments in England, before 1833, actually hindered, in effect, public education. Moreover, enormous taxes, known as ‘taxes on knowledge’ were imposed on educational materials such as paper, newspapers and pamphlets. In England, the taxes on paper and reading matter were not removed until the 1850s and 1860s. The paper tax was abolished only in 1861.
4) “Owing to the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992, the PRIs are functioning as effective institutions of local self-governance at the grassroots level”. Examine.
Ans. Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) is a system of rural local self-government in India.
- Local Self Government is the management of local affairs by such local bodies who have been elected by the local people.
- PRI was constitutionalized through the 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act, 1992 to build democracy at the grass roots level and was entrusted with the task of rural development in the country.
- In its present form and structure PRI has completed 26 years of existence. However, a lot remains to be done in order to further decentralization and strengthen democracy at the grass root level.
- The history of Panchayat Raj in India can be divided into the following periods from the analytical point of view:
- Vedic Era: In the old Sanskrit scriptures, word ‘Panchayatan’ has been mentioned which means a group of five persons, including a spiritual man.
- Gradually the concept of the inclusion of a spiritual man in such groups vanished.
- In the Rigveda, there is a mention of Sabha, Samiti and Vidatha as local self-units.
- These were the democratic bodies at the local level. The king used to get the approval of these bodies regarding certain functions and decisions.
- Epic Era indicates the two great epic periods of India, that is, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
- The study of Ramayana indicates that the administration was divided into two parts – Pur and Janpad or city and village.
- In the whole of the state, there was also a Caste Panchayat and one person elected by the Caste Panchayat was a member of the king’s Council of Ministers.
- Self-government of a village finds ample expression in the ‘Shanti Parva’ of the Mahabharata; in the Manu Smriti as well as in Kautilya’s Arthashastra.
- As per the Mahabharata, over and above the village, there were units of 10, 20, 100, and 1,000 village groups.
- ‘Gramik’ was the chief official of the village, ‘Dashap’ was the chief of ten villages, Vinshya Adhipati, Shat Gram Adhyaksha and Shat Gram Pati were the chiefs of 20, 100, and 1,000 villages, respectively.
- They collected the local taxes and were responsible for the defense of their villages.
- Ancient Period: There is a mention of village panchayats in Kautilya’s Arthashastra.
- The town was referred to as Pur and its chief was the Nagarik.
- Local bodies were free from any royal interference.
- During the Mauryan and Post-Mauryan periods too, the headman, assisted by a council of elders, continued to play a prominent role in the village life.
- The system continued through the Gupta period, though there were certain changes in the nomenclature, as the district official was known as the vishya pati and the village headman was referred to as the grampati.
- Thus, in ancient India, there existed a well established system of local government which was run on a set pattern of traditions and customs.
- However, it is significant to note that there is no reference of women heading the panchayat or even participating as a member in the panchayat.
- Medieval Period: During the Sultanate period, the Sultans of Delhi divided their kingdom into provinces called ‘Vilayat’.
- For the governance of a village, there were three important officials – Mukkaddam for administration, Patwari for collection of revenues, and Choudhrie for settling disputes with the help of the Panch.
- The villages had sufficient powers as regards self governance in their territory.
- Casteism and feudalistic system of governance under the Mughal rule in the medieval period slowly eroded the self-government in villages.
- It is again noteworthy to note that even in the medieval period there is no mention of women participation in the local village administration.
- British Period: Under the British regime, village panchayats lost their autonomy and became weak.
- It is only from the year 1870 that India saw the dawn of representative local institutions.
- The famous Mayo’s resolution of 1870 gave impetus to the development of local institutions by enlarging their powers and responsibilities.
- The year 1870, introduced the concept of elected representatives, in urban municipalities.
- The revolt of 1857 had put the imperial finances under considerable strain and it was found necessary to finance local service out of local taxation. Therefore it was out of fiscal compulsion that Lord Mayo’s resolution on decentralization came to be adopted.
- Following the footsteps of Mayo, Lord Rippon in 1882 provided the much needed democratic framework to these institutions.
- All boards (then existing) were mandated to have a two-thirds majority of non-officials who had to be elected and the chairman of these bodies had to be from among the elected non-officials.
- This is considered to be the Magna Carta of local democracy in India.
- Local self-government institutions received a boost with the appointment of the Royal Commission on centralisation in 1907 under the Chairmanship of C.E.H. Hobhouse.
- The commission recognized the importance of panchayats at the village level.
- It is in this backdrop that the Montagu Chelmsford reforms of 1919 transferred the subject of local government to the domain of the provinces.
- The reform also recommended that as far as possible there should be a complete control in local bodies and complete possible independence for them from external control.
- These panchayats covered only a limited number of villages with limited functions and due to organisational and fiscal constraints they did not become democratic and vibrant institutions of local self government at the village level.
5) Explain the organisational structure of Urban Local Government.
Ans. The smaller cities tend to have the provision of municipalities. The Municipalities are often called upon by other names such as the municipal council, municipal committee, municipal board, etc. It is also divided into three diverse authorities: the council, the standing committees, and the chief executive officer.
Notified Area Committee
The urban administration also consists of a notified area committee for the fast-developing towns and the towns lacking the basic amenities. The powers it shares are similar to the ones belonging to a municipality. Besides this, all the members of the notified area committee are nominated by the state government.
Town Area Committee
The town area committee is found in the small towns. Being a small town, it has minimal authority such as street lighting, drainage roads, and conservancy.
The next department in urban local bodies is the cantonment board. It is usually set up for a civilian population living in the cantonment area. Unlike others, it is created and run by the central government. There are the following members on the cantonment board.
A military officer
An executive engineer
A health officer
Eight elected members
Chief executive officer
Township is another form of urban government to provide basic facilities to the staff and workers living in the colonies established near the plant. It consists of technical, non-technical staff and some engineers. Consequently, it has no elected members and is merely an extension of the bureaucratic structure.
As the name itself indicates, port trusts are established in the port areas such as Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, etc. These have two purposes.
It manages and takes care of the port.
In addition to this, it also provides basic civic amenities to the people.
Special Purpose Agency
Besides the seven above-mentioned urban administration bodies, the states have set up some agencies also for the same. These agencies undertake the designated activities or specific functions belonging to the municipal corporations or municipalities. The people also refer to these as single-purpose, uni purpose, or special agencies.
Urban Administration in India
The Urban Administration is also known as municipal governance. It takes care of all the duties which seek the comfortability of people living in urban areas. It takes care of the responsibility like a sweeper sweeping the streets early in the morning to switch on the street lights during the night. The first urban administration started in Madras in 1687. Later in 1726, the Calcutta municipal corporation and the Bombay municipal corporation had formed. As of now, The BMC is the largest municipal corporation in India.
If we observe the difference between rural and Urban Administration in India, the rural areas are further divisions of districts. As the geographical area and density of population are less, the rural administration can create a local body with the name of the gram panchayat.
The Urban Administration in India look after the following –
It maintains effective, responsive, democratic, accountable local governance.
It encourages local citizens to participate in various development programs and take up key roles in the local bodies.
It always strives to maintain transparency among the people and authorities of municipal corporations.
Even though the population is more than 5000 in every Urban area, the Urban Administration stood strong and worked for the economical, financial, legal, and more functionalities.
By this, we can understand why urban administration is important.
Structure of Urban Administration in India
The structure of urban administration or multiple governance may consist of various departments and people. They are as follows-
It is the largest and topmost local body in urban administration. If the city contains more than three lakhs people, then the state government will create a municipal corporation for that city and give authority to look after the city. The people of that particular area may reach out to this municipal corporation for any kind of queries related to that area.
Difference Between the Municipal Council and the Municipal Corporation
Both the municipal council and municipal corporation work on the same principle. But the only difference between a municipal corporation and a municipal council is the size of that particular urban area. If the area contains more than three lakh people, as we discussed above, the multiple governances can be looked after by municipal corporations. If the size of the urban area is less than 3 lakh people, then the local body created by the state government is the municipal council.
Personnel in Urban Administration
The municipal commissioner is the highest Authority of urban Administration. The state government elects an Indian administrative service officer for this designation and provides the required power to develop municipal corporations. Next, the mayor and the deputy mayor are elected by the members of the municipality commission. Their tenure is one year, and they are treated as honour heads to discuss various issues and attend multiple meetings.
In both municipal corporations and municipal councils, the town can be divided into multiple wards. The responsibility of each ward will be taken by a ward member or a ward councilor. The ward people can elect the ward councilor, and issues like electricity, drainage, spreading of diseases, awareness programs, etc., were brought to their notice.
If the issue is a generalized one for multiple watts, the word councilors May create a word committee, and all the councilors can have a debate on resolving the issue.
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