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Useful notes on the Panchayat Samiti

The Panchayat Samiti is the intermediate tier in the Panchayati Raj system. In different States, the Panchayat Samiti have been given different names.

Madhya Pradesh calls them the Janapada Panchayats, Assam the Anchalik Panchayats, Tamil Nadu the Panchayat Union Council and U.P. the Kshetra Samitis.

The Taluka level body is known in Gujarat as the Taluka Panchayat and in Karnataka as the Taluka Development Board. The most popular name, however, happens to be Panchayat Samiti.

1. Area of Jurisdiction:

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In a majority of States, the jurisdiction of a Panchayat Samiti is co-extensive with the block, which is generally a smaller unit compared with the Taluka. In some States the jurisdiction of this intermediate tier is co-extensive with that of the Taluka.

2. Membership and Constitution of Panchayat Samiti:

This intermediate tier of the Panchayati Raj generally comprises the following categories of members:

(i) Six to ten members of the Panchayat Samiti are elected directly by the voters of all the constituencies falling within the area of the Panchayat Samiti. Infact one member of the Panchayat Samiti is elected for a population unit of 15000.

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(ii) Elected representatives of the sarphanchs of panchayats,

(iii) Local MLAs and MLCs (with or without the right to vote),

(iv) Persons representing women. Scheduled Castes and Tribes whose seats are reserved.

(v) In every Panchayat Samiti seats are reserved for SCs, women, and OBCs. Not more than 1/3rd of all the seats that stand reserved for SCs are, reserved for women bellowing to SCs.

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1/3rd of seats, out of the total number of directly elected seats of a Panchayat Samiti stand reserved for women.

3. Tenure:

The term of Panchayat Samiti is five years in all the states.

4. Meetings:

A Panchayat Samiti ordinarily meets at the least six times each year for the transaction of its business and not more than two months are to be allowed to elpase between any two successive meetings. A meeting of Panchayat Samiti is either ordinary or special.

Any business can be transacted at an ordinary meeting unless required by this Act or the rules made there under to be transacted at a special meeting. The date of every meeting is fixed by the Chairman, or in his absence by the Vice-Chairman. Any meeting of a Panchayat Samiti can, with the consent of the majority of the members present, be adjured and its business can be transacted at the next following meeting.

5. Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Panchayat Samiti:

The Panchayat Samiti, in its very first meeting, elects two of its members as Chairman and Vice-Chairman. Chairmanships of at least 1/3rd Panchayat Samitis stand reserved for women members. Likewise, the some of these offices stand reserved for members belonging to SCs. The tenure of the Chairman is equal to the tenure of the Panchayat Samiti.

Further, the members of a Panchayat Samiti can remove the Chairman by passing a resolution by 2/3rd majority. This can be done only in a special meeting of the Panchayat Samiti. But a removal resolution can be passed only after the expiry of two years of his term and in case such a resolution is rejected by Panchayat Samiti, a fresh removal resolution can be moved only after two years.

6. Quorum:

For the transaction of business at a meeting of a Panchayat Samiti, the quorum has been fixed as the majority of total members.

Even Panchayat Samiti is helped in its work by a BDO/BDPO and a team of Block Extension Officers who are specialist in various fields.

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