Community Development and Panchayat Raj
The Community Development was executed in the country for about five years (1952-1957). Government appointed Balwantrai Mehta Committee in 1957 in order to evaluate the work of Community Development Programme. This Committee found that people participation was less and the results were discouraging. It was remarked that unless the people are helped to take the initiative in planning and implementation of their own programme, community development can not be satisfactorily realized. With this basic thinking, Committee recommended three tier system of Panchayat Raj. It is basically democratic decentralization process. The involvement of village representative in the administrative set up at various levels like Village, Taluka and District was emphasized.
These forms viz:
i) Village Panchayat,
ii) Panchayat Samiti and
iii) Zilla Parishad were included in Statutory Act, 1958.
These institutions form a three tier system of Panchayat Raj. It provided the formal machinery for people’s representative working through functions of policy decision making, mobilizing rural people resources, taking the initiative in planning, implementing and evaluating official programmes. This has been achieved by way of decentralization process in implementing Panchayat Raj System.
Democratic Decentralization distributed the authority and powers to the different levels as Local Self-Government units in order to care their regional problem solving process with large participation of the people.