The Karnataka Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2015
The Bill Provides for
- Making voting compulsory in panchayat elections.
- The electorate to select None Of The Above (NOTA) option while exercising their franchise.
- Increasing the terms of office of presidents and vice-presidents of gram, taluk and zilla panchayats from the present 30 months to five years.
- The continuation of rotation of reservation of SC, ST and Other Backward Classes and non-reserved category up to 10 years and provides for one half reservation to women in all panchayats
However, there is no penal provision against those who violate the “compulsory voting” clause. “As many as 22 countries have made voting compulsory and only 10 of them impose penalty on electorates who do not turn up at polling booths.
Why this amendment?
- Government wanted to make voting compulsory in panchayat elections to ensure greater participation of people. Gujarat and Rajasthan have already made voting compulsory in panchayat elections.
- There were all sorts of malpractices at panchayat level due to short tenure of the president and vice-president . The members are indulging in a lot of politics instead of development. A full five- year tenure will prevent these activities.
The Karnataka legislative assembly passed the Karnataka Panchayat Raj (Amendment) Bill, 2015. Which of the following statement is true with respect to the Bill?
i. It makes voting compulsory
ii. It provides for 50% women reservation in local bodies
Select correct answer using the code given below
A. i only
B. ii only
c. i and ii
D. None of the above
Grama Swaraj Project
What is it?
- It is a programme initiated by Karnataka for strengthening the Panchayat system
Where/From when is it being implemented?
- Panchayat Strengthening Project is being implemented from last 7 years, covering 1341 gram pachayats of 39 most backward taluks of the state identified by DR. D.M Nanjunadappa’s High Power Committee Report.
- Implementation of the Project has been successfully completed on 30th March 2014.
What is the Objective of the Project?
- To ensure higher investment by GPs to improve the Social Indicators, improve revenue mobilization, improve monitoring anddelivery of key services to rural population and effective participation in local
- Grant were released to the 1341GPs of most backward Taluks from last 6 financial years based on an objective
- 172 Samarthya Soudha Centers and 5 SATCOM studios are established across the state to enhance the capacity of
What are the major impact of the Project:
- Untied and reliable block grants have created model in local Governance
- Assets built are of good quality and have raised the satisfaction level of local citizens.
- Double entry book keeping has made Governance more efficient and transparent.
- Project intervention facilitated higher tax
- Awareness and participation level in Gram Sabha and Ward Sabha have improved and made GP functionaries more responsive and
- Project had created permanent infrastructure like Samarthya Soudha
Suvarna Gramodaya Yojane
What is Suvarna Gramodaya Yojane?
- Suvarna Gramodaya Yojane is aimed at developing a vibrant village communities by adopting an intensive and integrated approach to rural
- 2500 is the stipulated per capita grant under the programme.
When was it launched?
The programme was launched on the occasion of Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the formation of the State of Karnataka, involving Non Governmental Organizations and the village communities.
What are the Objectives of the scheme?
(a) To upgrade the physical environment of the selected villages for improving the quality of life.
(b)To provide full and adequate infrastructure for human resources development including education, health services, childcare facilities etc.
(c) To generate significant levels of non agricultural employment, especially for educated unemployed youth.
(d) To support community awareness and development through self-help groups, cultural associations etc.
How are villages selected?
- Selection of Villages is based on the rural population of each taluk in relation to total rural population of the state
- Funds are allotted at the rate of Rs.2500 to 3000 per capita.
- In general, the villages having population above 2500 but below 8000 have been selected
- In the hilly and western ghat areas, the population limit is relaxed.
- Member of Legislative Assembly has been entrusted with the task of selection of villages keeping view of the population limit fixed for the taluk.
Jal Nirmal Project
- It is a World Bank Assisted Project is being implemented for providing safe drinking water and sanitation facilities for the rural population.
- It is a demand driven project
- Being implemented in the 12 districts of Northern Karnataka i.e Bagalkote, Belagavi, Bidar, Vijayapurar, Dharwad, Gadag, Kalaburagi, Yadgir, Haveri, Koppala, Raichur & Uttara Kannada and in water quality affected habitations in few other districts.
How did Rural Sanitation Programme evolve?
“Nirmal Grama Yojane” came into operation from 1995 and was implemented for 8 years. Afterwards the Centrally sponsored scheme of “Total Sanitation Campaign” was in operation from 2005 to 2012. This Campaign was renamed as Nirmal Bhrat Abhiyan from April 2012. Nirmal Bhrat Abhiyan has since been rechristened as “Swachh Bharat Mission” from 2nd October 2014.
Swachh Bharat Mission
What is Swacch Bharat Mission?
- Under Swacch Bharat Mission, incentive of Rs. 12,000, of which, the share of Centre and the State being Rs. 9000 and Rs. 3000 respectively, is being provided to the eligible beneficiaries, belonging to BPL category, restricted APL families (which covers SC&ST families), small and marginal farmers, landless families handicapped families and women headed families, etc), for the construction of individual household
- Incentive 15000/-(Rs.3000/- in excess of the State’s share) is provided to under SCP/TSP allocations.
What is the Aim of the Mission?
- The mission aims at making all villages in the State defecation free Besides, it has a wide focus of providing Individual sanitation, house sanitation, safe drinking water, suitable disposal of human excreta, disposal of waste and used water etc.
- SBM contemplates people oriented, demand driven and community participation.
- Construction of individual household toilets, management of solid and liquid wastes
- Priority has been given to the activities of Information, Education and Communication and to build up technically best quality programmes.
- Various capacity building programmes have been chalked out to build capacity of the stake holders in a variety of sectors.
- Simple model toilets are being introduced to convince the rural population who are under the impression/ misconception that the construction of individual household toilet is a costly
What are its Objectives?
1) Construction of individual household toilets for families in the rural areas who do not have toilets.
2) To improve the standard of living of the rural people and reformation in the health of the rural people
3) Suitable disposal of waste and used water generated in the villages.
4) Construction of community toilets for the people in a village who do not have a place of their own for construction of individual toilets in a place where it can be easily accessible
5) To inculcate the habit of sanitation and cleanliness among rural children.
6) Maintenance of rural sanitation or production centers.
7) Maintenance and supervision of community toilets, keeping cleanliness
Rural Energy Programmes
What are the three programmes meant for Rural Energy sector?
There are 3 programmes for Rural Energy in Karnataka. They are
- National Biogas Manure and Management Programme (NBMMP)
- Karnataka State Bio-fuel Policy -2009
- Soura Belaku are the three programmes implemented under Rural Energy
1. National Biogas Manure and Management Programme (NBMMP)
What is Biogas?
Biogas is a clean, non-polluting, smoke and soot-free fuel, containing methane gas produced from cattle dung, human waste and other organic matter in a biogas plant through a process called anaerobic digestion. The digested slurry will be good quality manure for agriculture.
What is NBMMP?
- This centrally sponsored scheme implemented since 1982-83
- It is mainly a women oriented programme.
- The Centre has increased the subsidy rate with effect from 8th May 2014.
- Beneficiaries are selected by the grama panchayats.
2. The Karnataka State Bio-fuel Policy
What are the salient features of Karnataka State Biofuel Policy?
- The Karnataka State Bio-fuel Policy has come into force from 1st March
- Using only non-edible oil seeds for the production of biofuel. Reserving edible oil seeds for cooking only.
- Non-edible oil seeds can be sown mainly in dry lands, infertile lands, land unsuitable for cultivation, forest lands in the verge of extinction, in lands owned by the government or private persons. Food security will not be compromised because the growing of non-edible oil seeds in lands that grow food grains is not encouraged.
- Oilcakes obtained after the extraction of oil, should be encouraged to be used as bio manure.
- The government should take up the production of these oil seeds with private/public partnership. For example, the growth of different varieties of oil seeds can be encouraged by giving lands to private parties on long-term contract basis.
- Collecting these seeds in the rural areas and small towns of the state, and encouraging the conversion to oil in a time bound and decentralized manner.
- Encouraging the communities, women self-help groups and local consumer associations engaged in the traditional oil seeds collection and/or oil production.
- Provision of facilities by the state government to organizations (government and private organizations) having suitable expertise to increase the production of biofuel and motivate research.
- Establishment of the required administrative and financial systems by the state government to execute all of the above programmes.
- Karnataka Bio-fuel Policy is implemented through Karnataka state Bio-fuel Development
3. Soura Belaku
What is Soura Belaku?
- It is a programme for Installation of Solar Street Lights at Grama Panchayats
- Soura Belaku programme was started during 2009-10
- It aims at installation of Solar Street Lights at grama panchayat
- The Programme is implemented in selected pilot district – one from each revenue
- The programme is implemented through E-Procurement.
There are 3 schemes related to Rural Roads in Karnataka. They are:
1. Pradhana Manthri Gram Sadak yojana (PMGSY)
- PMGSY was launched in the State during December 2000 with the objective of providing rural connectivity through all weather roads to the habitations having a population of 500 and above.
- Karnataka Rural Road Development Agency was constituted during 2005 to ensure effective implementation of all road connectivity programmes. The agency is involved in preparation of detailed project reports, implementation of the works (as approved by Government of India) as per the required standards and release grants provided by the Government of India.
- It is a central sponsored scheme under the Rural Development ministry.
- Money comes from Cess on High speed diesel via Central Road Fund Act
What is the Aim of the Programme
The aim of PMGSY is to construct all weather roads to unconnected habitats of :
- 500 persons in plains area.
- 250: tribal, desert and special category- North East, JK, Himachal and Uttranchal
- Population conditions as per Census 2001
2. Chief Minister’s Grama Sadak Yojane
The funds provided have been allocated to Zilla Panchayats as per the Comprehensive Composite Development Index of Dr . D. M. Nanjundappa’ s Committee report on redressal of regional imbalances.
3. Rural Infrastructure Development Fund
- Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF) was instituted in NABARD with an announcement in the Union Budget 1995-96 with the sole objective of giving low cost fund support to State Govts. and State Owned Corporations for quick completion of ongoing projects relating to medium and minor irrigation, soil conservation, watershed management and other forms of rural infrastructure
- The Fund is maintained by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). Domestic commercial banks contribute to the Fund to the extent of their shortfall in stipulated priority sector lending to agriculture.
- The main objective of the Fund is to provide loans to State Governments and State-owned corporations to enable them to complete ongoing rural infrastructure projects.
- The scope of RIDF has been widened to include activities such as rural drinking water schemes, soil conservation, rural market yards, rural health centres and primary schools, mini hydel plants, shishu shiksha kendras, anganwadis, and system improvement in the power sector.
- From RIDF V onwards, the ambit was extended to projects undertaken by Panchayat Raj institutions and projects in the social sector covering primary education, health and drinking water.
Now lets look into programmes related to Rural Employment and Livelihood.
With respect to Rural Employment and Livelihood, Government schemes can be classified into:
A. Wage Employment scheme (MGNEGS)
B. Self employment schemes.
First lets look into the wage employment scheme:
Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
From when is MGNREGS operational in the state?
It has been in operation in all the districts of Karnataka State since 2006-07 which is being implemented in a phased manner.
What is meant for?
The primary objective of the Act is to provide at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year to every rural household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.
What are the Goals of the scheme?
- Social Protection for the most vulnerable people living in rural India by providing employment Opportunities
- Livelihood security for the poor through creation of durable assets, improved water security, soil conservation and higher land productivity.
- Drought proofing and flood management in rural India
- Employment of socially disadvantaged, especially women, SCs and STs, through the processes of a rights-based legislation
- Strengthening decentralised, participatory planning through convergence of various anti-poverty and livelihoods initiatives
- Deepening democracy at the grassroots by strengthening Panchayati Raj Institutions
- Effecting greater transparency and accountability in governance
- To act as a powerful instrument for ensuring inclusive growth in rural India through its impact on social protection, livelihood security and democratic empowerment.
How is it different from the older employment schemes?
- MGNREGA has given rise to the largest employment programme in human history and is unlike any other wage employment programme in its scale, architecture and thrust.
- Its bottom-up, people-centred, demand driven, self-selecting, rights-based design is distinct and unprecedented.
- MGNREGA provides a legal guarantee for wage employment.
- It is a demand-driven programme where provision of work is triggered by the demand for work by wage-seekers.
- There are legal provision for allowances and compensation both in cases of failure to provide work on demand and delays in payment of wages for work undertaken.
- The scheme is being implemented as centrally sponsored scheme on cost sharing basis between centre and State Governments in the ratio of 90:10 nearly. Further under the scheme labour material ratio at 60:40 shall be maintained.
- Labour portion of 60% borne fully by Government of India and material portion will be shared between central and State Governments in ratio of 75:25.
- Gram Panchayats are to implement at least 50 per cent of the works in terms of cost. This order of devolution of financial resources to GPs is unprecedented.
- Plans and decisions regarding the nature and choice of works to be undertaken, the order in which each work is to be triggered, site selection etc. are all to be made in open assemblies of the Gram Sabha(GS) and ratified by the GP.
- Works that are inserted at Intermediate Panchayat (IP) and District Panchayat (DP) level have to be approved and assigned a priority by the GS before administrative approval can be given. The GS may accept, amend or reject them.
- Social audit is a new feature that is an integral part of MGNREGA. Potentially, this creates un-precedented accountability of performance, especially towards immediate stakeholders.