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NIOS Class 12 Political Science Chapter 16 Local Government: Urban And Rural
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Local Government: Urban And Rural
TEXT BOOK QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
INTEXT QUESTIONS 16.1
Q. Fill in the blanks:
1. Metropoliton (large) cities like Delhi and Mumbai have …………. as their urban local bodies. (Municipal Corporation / Municipal Committee / Nagar Panchayat)
Ans. Municipal Corporations.
2. ………… seats are now reserved for women in local bodies. (Half / One-third / One-fourth)
Ans. One- third.
3. State Election Commission conducts election of ……………. (State Governor / Vidhan Sabha / Municipal Corporations and Committees)
Ans. Municipal Corporations and Committees.
4. Normal tenure of urban local bodies is ……………. years. (three / four / five)
5. The administrative head of a municipal corporation is designated as ………….. (Chairman / Mayor / Municipal Commissioner)
Ans. Municipal Commissioner.
6. ………….. is an obligatory function of the urban local bodies. (Maintenance of orphanages / construction of houses for low income group / supply of drinking water)
Ans. Supply of drinking water.
7. ………….. is the major source of income of urban local bodies. (Property Tax / Fire Tax / Education Cess)
Ans. Property Tax.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 16.2
Q. Fill in the blanks:
1. The concept of panchayati raj was advocated by ………….. (Mahatma Gandhi / Jawaharlal Nehru / Sardar Patel)
Ans. Mahatma Gandhi.
2. Three-tier system was first advocated by the Committee headed by …………… (Ashok Mehta / Balwant Rai Mehta / Suresh Mehta)
Ans. Balwant Ra Mehta.
3. The middle-tier of Panchayati Raj is ………….. (Zila Parishad / Panchayat Samiti / Gram Panchayat)
Ans. Panchayat Samiti.
4. The 73rd Amendment has provided for a …………… to regulate the finances of local bodies. (State Planning Board / State Election Commission / State Finance Commission)
Ans. State Finance Commission.
5. The …………. is responsible for coordinating developmental activities in a Panchayat Samiti areas. (District Magistrate / S.D.M. / B.D.O.)
6. Petty disputes are settled in the rural areas by ………….. (Gram Panchayat / Nyaya Panchayat Panchayat Samiti)
Ans. Nyaya Panchayat.
7. ………… is the symbol of direct democracy. (Gram Sabha / Gram Panchayat / Zila Parishad)
Ans. Gram Sabha.
8. Chairpersons of Panchayat Samitis are ex-officio members of ……………. (Nyaya Panehayat / Gram Sabha / Zila Parishad).
Ans. Zila Parishad.
INTEXT QUESTIONS 16.3
Q. Select the correct answers from the brackets given at the end of each question:
1. Who receives income from the sale of dung, refuse and carcasses? (Zila Parishad / Panchayat Samiti / Gram Panchayat)
Ans. Gram Panchayat.
2. What is a toll tax? (Tax on the sale of public property / tax for the use of bridges or roads / tax on electricity)
Ans. Tax for the use of bridges and roads.
3. By whom are the taxes imposed on commission agents? (Zila Parishd / Panchayat Samiti / Nyaya Panchayat)
Ans. Zila Parishad.
4. What was the aims of reservation of seats for Women, Scheduled Castes / Tribes and other backward classes? (To develop the economy / To alter the social structure of villages / To promote co-operation)
Ans. To alter the social structure of villages.
5. Why are the panchayats unable to fulfil their role as self-governing institutions? (Scarcity of resources / Lack of participation by the youth / Interference by political class)
Ans. Scarcity of resources.
6. Which body can ensure participation of democratically elected representation. (State Assembly / Zila Parishad / Gram Sabha)
Ans. Gram Sabha.
Q. 1. What is urban local government?
Ans. Urban Local Government:
1. In our towns and cities, we have local government institutions that are called Municipalities and Municipal Corporations. An urban area is usually a compact and densely populated area.
2. Municipal administration is necessary to provide basic civic facilities like water supply, drainage, garbage disposal, public health, construction, primary education, and maintenance of roads and sanitation.
3. As local level democratic government, the municipal institutions that are elected by the local people, raise taxes and collect fees and fines from the public. They regulate city life by laying down regulations regarding buildings, road network and garbage disposal.
4. There are many developmental activities undertaken by them like women and child development, slums improvement, etc. Municipal government has made possible participative urban development and local management of civic facilities.
Q. 2. What are the major reforms introduced by the 74th Constitutional Amendment?
Ans. Major reforms introduced by the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act:
1. The recommendations and suggestions of several commissions and committees appointed by the Central Government, from time to time, to improve the urban bodies resulted in the enactment of the Constitution (Seventy- fourth Amendment) Act, 1992.
2. The Amendment made statutory provisions for the establishment, empowerment and functioning of urban local self- governing institutions. The main provisions of this Act can be grouped under two categories – compulsory and voluntary. Some of the compulsory provisions which are binding on all states are:
(i) Constitution of nagar panchayats, municipal councils and municipal corporations in small, big and very big urban areas respectively.
(ii) Reservation of seats in urban local bodies for Scheduled Castes / Scheduled Tribes roughly in proportion to their population.
(iii) Reservation of seats for women up to one-third seats.
(iv) The State Election Commission, constituted in order to conduct elections in the panchayati raj bodies will also conduct elections to the urban local self-governing bodies.
(v) The State Finance Commission, constituted to deal with financial affairs of the panchayati raj bodies also looks into the financial affairs of the local urban self-governing bodies.
(vi) Tenure of urban local self-governing bodies is fixed at five years and in case of earlier dissolution fresh elections are held within six months.
Some of the voluntary provisions which are not binding, but are expected to be observed by the States are:
(i) Giving voting rights to members of the Union and State Legislatures in these bodies.
(ii) Providing reservation for backward classes.
(iii) Giving financial powers in relation to taxes, duties, tolls and fees, etc.
(iv) Making the municipal bodies autonomous and devolution of powers to these bodies to perform some or all of the functions enumerated in the Twelfth Schedule added to the Constitution through this act and/or to prepare plans for economic development.
In accordance with the 74th Amendment, municipal corporations and municipalities (municipal boards or municipal committees) are now regulated in a fairly uniform manner in all the States.
Q. 3. Identify the major functions of urban local bodies.
Ans. Major functions of urban local bodies:
1. Municipal functions are, generally, classified into obligatory and discretionary types.
2. The obligatory (compulsary) functions are those that the municipal body must perform. In this category falls such functions as water supply; construction and maintenance of roads, streets, bridges, subways and other public works; street lighting; drainage and sewerage; garbage collection and disposal; prevention and control of epidemics.
3. Some other obligatory functions are public vaccination and inoculation; maintenance of hospitals and dispensaries including maternity and child welfare centres; checking food adulteration; removal of slums; supply of electricity; maintenance of cremation and burial grounds and town planning.
4. In some States some of these functions may be taken over by State Government.
5. The discretionary functions are those that a municipal body may take up if funds permit. These are given less priority. Some of the discretionary functions are construction and maintenance of rescue homes and orphanages, housing for low income groups, organising public receptions, provision of treatment facilities, etc.
6. Municipal Corporations take up more functions than municipalities. There are corporations like Delhi, Mumbai, Vadodara, Pune, Ahmedabad which are known for their various city development activities in such areas as public transport, public parks and open spaces including municipal zoo and even milk and electricity supply.
Q. 4. Mention the important sources of income of Urban Local Bodies.
Ans. The Important Sources of Income of Urban Local Bodies:
1. Municipal corporations and municipalities raise their own resources from a variety of sources, as provided for in the respective municipal laws. Their own revenue sources are income from
(ii) fees and fines. And
(iii) earning from municipal enterprises like land, tanks, markets, shops, etc.
Besides these bodies receive grants from the State.
2. Property tax on land and buildings is the most important source of income of most urban local bodies. Other taxes levied by them are advertisement tax, professional tax, etc. Octroi still remains an important source of income of municipalities in Western India.
3. Now, the trend is towards abolishing this tax as it obstructs the free flow of traffic on highways. They also charge fines for breach of municipal rules and regulations. From municipal shops and markets and rest houses, municipalities often earn a considerable sum of revenue.
4. It is a general practice for States to give grants to their municipal bodies to improve their revenue position. State grants-in-aid may be on adhoc basis; or, it can be on the basis of certain principles like size of population, slums concentration, location of town, etc.
5. Some of the taxes and rates collected by urban bodies are:
– Property Tax; Water tax for water supplied; Scavenging Tax, Fire Tax; Taxes on animals and vehicles; Theatre Tax; Duty on transfer of Property; Octroi Duty on certain items brought into the city; Education Cess (Tax) and Professional Tax.
6. Some other sources of income are fines and fees such as: Fees on Tehbazari on takhats and chabutras; licence fees – on cycle rickshaw, bicycles etc.;rent from municipal shops; and fines imposed for violation of municipal bye-laws.
Q. 5. Describe briefly the three-tier structure of Panchayati Raj.
Explain briefly the functions of the Gram Sabha and Zila Parishad.
Ans. Three-tier structure of Panchayati Raj:
(i) Panchayats at Village Level: This is the basic or grassroots level of panchayati raj. The panchayat for a village or a group of villages includes
(a) Gram Sabha, the symbol of direct democracy.
(b) Gram Panchayat. and
(c) Nyaya Panchayat.
(a) Gram Sabha: Gram Sabha consists of all adult residents within a village or group of villages. Thus, it is the only institution of direct democracy in the country. Generally, two meetings of Gram Sabha are held every year. In these meetings, the Gram Sabha as the general body of the people hear annual statement of accounts, audit or administrative report of panchayats. It also recommends new development projects to be undertaken by panchayats.
(b) Gram Panchayat:
(i) The lower tier of the panchayati raj system in the country is the village level panchayat. It is known in most of the States as Gram Panchayat: The members of a Gram Panchayat are directly elected by the people. The number of members of a Gram Panchayat is fixed on the basis of village population. Hence, it differs from panchayat to panchayat.
(ii) Election is held on the basis of a single member constituency. As already mentioned, one-third of the total number of seats are reserved for women; and some for Scheduled Castes and Tribes including one-third for women of Scheduled Castes and Tribes.
(iii) Chairpersons of Gram Panchayats are called by different names in different States as Sarpanch, Pradhan or President. There is a Vice-Chairperson also. Both are elected by members of the panchayat. Gram Panchayats generally hold their meetings once a month.
(c) Nyaya Panchayat:
(i) These are judicial panchayats and reminders of ancient village panchayats that settled local disputes. They are set up to provide speedy and inexpensive justice.
(ii) Jurisdiction of Nyaya Panchayat varies from State to State one such panchayat is set up for five or more gram panchayats. Their tenure is between 3 and 5 years, as determined by State law.
(iii) Nyaya Panchayats, generally, deal with petty civil and criminal cases and can impose fines up to Rs. 100 only.
(iv) There are no lawyers to plead the cases in Nyaya Panchayat. Parties to the disputes argue their own cases.
(ii) Panchayat Samiti:
(a) The second or middle tier of the panchayati raj is Panchayat Samiti which provides a link between Gram Panchayat and a Zila Parishad. The strength of a Panchayat Samiti also depends on the population in a samiti area. In. Panchayat Samiti, some members are directly elected. Sarpanchas of gram panchayats are ex-officio members of Panchayat Samitis.
(b) All the sarpanchas of Gram Panchayats are not members of Panchayat Samitis at the same time. The number varies from State to State and is rotated annually. It means that only Chairpersons of some Gram Panchayats in a Samiti area are members of Panchayat Samiti at a time.
(c) In some panchayats, members of Legislative Assemblies and Legislative Councils as well as members of Parliament who belong to the Samiti area are co-opted as its members. Chairpersons of Panchayat Samitis are, generally, elected from among the directly elected members.
(iii) Zila Parishad:
(i) Zila Parishad at the district level is the uppermost tier of the panchayati raj system. This institution has some directly elected members whose number differs from State to State as it is also based on population.
(ii) Chairpersons of Panchayat Samitis are ex-officio members of Zila Parishads. Members of Parliament, Legislative Assemblies and Councils belonging to the districts are also nominated members of Zila Parishads.
(iii) The Chairperson of a Zila Parishad, called Adhyaksha or President, is elected from among the directly elected members. The Vicechairperson is also elected similarly.
Q. 6. Briefly discuss the salient features of the 73rd Amendment of the Constitution of India.
Explain any five salient features of the 73rd Amendment regarding Panchayati Raj in India.
Ans. Salient Features of 73rd Amendment: The 73rd amendment to the Constitution enacted in 1992 made statutory provisions for the establishment, empowerment and functioning of Panchayti Raj institutions. Some provisions of this amendment are binding on the States while others have been left to be decided by respective State Legislatures at their discretion. The salient features of this amendment are as follows:
I. Some of the compulsory requirements of the new law are:
(i) Organisation of Gram Sabhas.
(ii) creation of a three-tier Panchayati Raj Structure at the Zila, Block and Village levels.
(iii) almost all posts, at all levels to be filled by direct elections.
(iv) minimum age for contesting elections to the Panchayati Raj institutions be twenty-one years.
(v) the post of Chairman at the Zila and Block levels should be filled by indirect election.
(vi) there should be reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes in Panchayats, in proportion to their population, and for women in Panchayats up to one-third seats.
(vii) State Election Commission to be set up in each State to conduct elections to Panchayati Raj institutions.
(viii) The tenure of Panchayati Raj institutions is five years, if dissolved earlier, fresh elections to be held within six months. and
(ix) A State Finance Commission is set up in each State at every fifth year.
II. Some of the provisions which are not binding on the States, but only guidelines are:
(i) Giving voting rights to members of the Central and State legislatures in these bodies.
(ii) providing reservation for backward classes. and
(iii) the Panchayati Raj institutions should be given financial powers in relation to taxes, levy fees, etc. and efforts shall be made to make Panchayats autonomous bodies.
Q. 7. Analyse the recommendations of the Balwant Rai Mehta Committee.
Ans. Recommendations of the Balwant Rai Mehta Committee:
1. The Balwant Rai Mehta Committee (1957) suggested ways of democratic decentralisation in a three-tier structure of panchayati raj. This meant that panchayati raj should be set up at three levels. They should be furnished with sufficient powers and resources.
2. These three tiers of panchayati raj are: (i) zila parishad at district level.
(ii) panchayat samiti at intermediate or block level.
(iii) village or gram panchayat at village level.
In this scheme, panchayat samiti was to be the most important. These three bodies were interlinked as the lower body was represented in the higher level by its Chairperson.
3. Panchayati Raj of the Balwant Rai Mehta Committee pattern was first introduced by Rajasthan in 1959. Later, other States also followed the example. Initially, both the people and the states were enthusiastic about Panchayati Raj.
4. However,panchayati raj institutions began to decline very soon owing to government indifference and political interference.
Q. 8. Evaluate the functioning of Panchayat as grassroot institutions of democracy.
Ans. Evaluation of Panchayati Raj:
1. The concept of grassroot democracy at both rural and urban levels has not flourished in the country.
2. Some of the major reasons behind this failure are politicisation of administration, entry of criminal elements in the elected bodies, rampant corruption, caste and group division, priority to self interest over public welfare and electoral malpractices.
3. The 73rd amendment seeks to radically alter the social structure of villages by reserving seats for scheduled castes, tribes, backward classes and women.
4. However, in the absence of proper education, training and economic independence, these groups are unable to assert themselves. Illiteracy, poverty and unemployment are the major handicaps.
5. Urgent steps need to be taken to effectively deal with these problems in order to facilitate participatory development.
6. Though the provision for reservation of seats for women has been manipulated by their male counterparts-mostly their husbands-it has certainly empowered them to some extent. They are increasingly becoming aware of their rights and responsibilities and are asserting themselves in certain cases. This is definitely a very positive development.
7. The latest Constitutional Amendments have certainly broadened the financial resources of the local self-governing institutions. However, they still remain starved of funds. Taxation powers have been given to them but they are unable to collect enough taxes. So due to scarcity of resources, panchayats are not able to fulfil their role as self-governing institutions or carriers of economic development in the countryside.
8. Panchayats are subject to various controls by the State Governments. The State Governments are authorised to cancel their resolutions and even dissolve them.
9. However,the 73rd Constitutional Amendment has made it compulsory for the States to hold election of panchayati raj bodies within six months of their dissolution.
10. It is necessary that the people participate actively in democratically elected panchayats. This can be ensured through Gram Sabhas. Through Gram Sabhas, the people can question and demand explanations from panchayats. Gram Sabha can harmonise needs and priorities of people and also plan direction of village development.
11. The Gram Sabhas can successfully play the role of securing democracy at the grassroots, lovel if they are endowed with sufficient authority. The overall socio-economic and cultural development of rural areas depends on strong panchayats.
12. Panchayats as the foundations of democracy at the grassroots can be strengthened only by reposing faith in them, endowing them with adequate administrative and financial powers and encouraging vigilance and active participation of the people.
OBJECTIVE TYPE QUESTIONS
Choose the correct answer:
Q. 1. What is the major source of income of Urban Local Bodies?
(a) Property Tax.
(b) Fire Tax.
(c) Education Cess.
(d) None of the above.
Ans. (a) Property Tax.
Q. 2. What is a very important and useful obligatory function of the Urban Local Bodies?
(a) Supply of drinking water.
(b) Maintenance of orphanages.
(c) Construction of parks and garden.
(d) Construction of houses for low income group.
Ans. (a) Supply of drinking water.
Q. 3. Metropolitan (or very large) cities like Kolakata, Mumbai and Delhi have ………….. as their Urban Local Bodies.
(a) Nagar Panchayat.
(b) Municipal Committee.
(c) New City Committees.
(d) Municipal Corporation.
Ans. (d) Municipal Corporation.
Q. 4. How man seats are now reserved for women in local bodies?
Ans. (a) One-third.
Q. 5. State Election Commission conducts election of ……………..
(a) Vidhan Sabha.
(b) Lok Sabha.
(c) Municipal Corporation and Committees.
(d) None of the above.
Ans. (c) Municipal Corporation and Committees.
Q. 6. What is normal tenure of Urban Local Bodies is?
(a) Three years.
(b) Two years.
(c) Five years.
(d) Four years.
Ans. (c) Five years.
Q. 7. The administrative head of a municipal corporation is designated as …………..
(a) Municipal Commissioner.
(b) Election Commissioner.
Ans. (a) Municipal Commissioner.
Q. 8. During the days of freedom struggle the concept of Panchayat Raj was advocated by.
(a) Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.
(b) Mahatma Gandhi.
(c) Jawahar Lal Nehru.
(d) Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patail.
Ans. (b) Mahatma Gandhi.