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The revitalization of Panchayati Raj manifested through the 73rd Constitutional Amendment owes its origin to the dynamic leadership of Rajiv Gandhi. In his address to the 5th Workshop on ‘Responsive Administration’ held at Coimbatore in June, 1988, he said that “If our district administration is not sufficiently responsive, the basic reason is that it is not only sufficiently representative. With the decay of Panchayati Raj Institutions, the administration has got isolated from the people thus dulling its sensitivity to the needs of the people”. With events moving at a faster pace, Panchayati Raj emerged as a major institutional channel of such administration.
Features of 73rd and 74th Amendment 219
The Constitution 73rd Amendment Act, 1992 came into effect from 24th April 1993. No one disputes that it is a historic legislation. The basic question arises as to what was the basic sprit behind this legislation? Was it limited to the passing of conformity acts and endowing panchayats with some administrative and financial powers or to make them genuine institutions for participatory self-government? The emphasis has been so far on the former, which has made panchayats mere implementing agencies of central and state schemes, passed on to them, with funds. The basic objective of the democratic decentralization through reactivation of the Panchayati Raj system was to realize Gandhiji’s concept of “ Swarajya”(Ibid.). In this Unit we will be discussing the various features of the 73rd and the 74th amendments.
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