Local Government of India

Local Government of India refers to the government of the 28 Indian states and the 7 union territories. There are a total of 6,45,000 local governments of India. Local governments of the rural regions are termed as the Panchayats. The local government in the urban areas is referred to as the nagar panchayats and the municipalities.

The village panchayats basically refer to the councils of the local government of India, that take care of the various administrative affairs of the rural regions. Along with the independence of India, came the verdict from the Indian Constitution that all the panchayats will be chosen by the state and will be provided such powers so as to enable them function on their own. These local governments of India are self-sufficient and self-enabled units that work under the state government of India.

The 73rd Constitution Amendment Act, 1992 and the 74th Constitution Amendment Act, 1992 came into force in the year 1993. In this Act, the constitutional status was attached to the city as well as village councils in India. Some of the significant steps that were taken for the local government in India include regular elections, the fixed five-year term and the review and augmentation of the finances by the State Finance Commissions.

Functions of Local Government of India

All the local governments of India have to perform certain responsibilities, which are divided into two categories´┐Żobligatory functions and discretionary functions.
Some of the obligatory functions performed by the local governments are:
  • Registration of births and deaths
  • Supply of pure drinking water
  • Construction and maintenance of public streets
  • Lighting and watering of public streets
  • Cleaning of public streets, places and sewers
  • Naming streets and numbering houses
  • Establishment and maintenance of primary schools
  • Maintenance or support of public hospitals
Some of the discretionary functions, which are performed by the local governments of India, are:
  • Planting and maintenance of trees
  • Housing for low income groups
  • Construction and maintenance of public parks, gardens, libraries, museums, rest houses and other public buildings
  • Securing or removal of dangerous buildings or places

For detailed information on the Local Government of India, the following links can come quite handy:
Panchayats in India
Municipalities in India

Last Updated on 1st Oct 2012