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Local self-government is an institution comprising locally elected representatives managing the affairs of the locality and providing them with basic amenities. In rural areas such an institution is called Panchayat and in an urban area it is known as Municipal Corporation or Municipality.


The local self-government institutions play an important role in the functioning of democracy at grassroots level. A recommendation for setting up of the Panchayats had been made by the Balwant Rai Mehta Committee setup in 1956 to review the self-governing institutions and to suggest the type of self-government in the villages. In its report in 1958 it suggested a three-tier system of self-governing institutions in rural areas.


Panchayati Raj system was first inagurated at Nagour in Rajasthan on October 2, 1959. Then it was started in Andra Pradesh. Real breakthrough came on 24th April 1993 when the constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 came into force. The Panchayat Raj system has a three-tier systems:


Local Self Government (Decentralisation of Power)

  1. Panchayats at village level.
  2. Block samities at block level (Taluk boards).
  3. Zilla parishads at district level.

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