Local Government

 

 System of urban government was constitutionalised through the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992.
 At the Central level, the subject of ‘urban local government’ is dealt with by the following three ministries:
• (i) Ministry of Urban Development, created as a separate ministry in 1985
• (ii) Ministry of Defence in the case of cantonment boards
• (iii) Ministry of Home Affairs in the case of Union Territories

Historical Perspective

Developed in modern India during the period of British rule.
• (i) In 1687-88, the first municipal corporation in India was set up at Madras.
• (ii) In 1726, the municipal corporations were set up in Bombay and Calcutta.
• (iii) Lord Mayo’s Resolution of 1870 on financial decentralisation visualised the development of local self-government institutions.
• (iv) Lord Ripon’s Resolution of 1882 has been hailed as the ‘Magna Carta’ of local self-government- Father of local-self government in India.
• (v) Royal Commission on decentralisation was appointed in 1907 and it submitted its report in 1909-> Its chairman was Hobhouse.
• (vi) Under the dyarchical scheme introduced in Provinces by the Government of India Act of 1919, local self-government became a transferred subject under the charge of a responsible Indian minister.
• (vii) In 1924, the Cantonments Act was passed by the Central legislature.
• (viii) Under the provincial autonomy scheme introduced by the Government of India Act of 1935, local self-government was declared a provincial subject.

Constitutionalisation

 August 1989, the Rajiv Gandhi government introduced the 65th Constitutional Amendment Bill (i.e., Nagarpalika Bill) in the Lok Sabha.
 The bill aimed at strengthening and revamping the municipal bodies by conferring a constitutional status on them.
 Although the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha, it was defeated in the Rajya Sabha in October 1989 and hence, lapsed.
 The National Front Government under V P Singh introduced the revised Nagarpalika Bill in the Lok Sabha again in September 1990.
 However, the bill was not passed and finally lapsed due to the dissolution of the Lok Sabha.
 P V Narasimha Rao’s Government also introduced the modified Municipalities Bill in the Lok Sabha in September 1991.
 It finally emerged as the 74th Constitutional Amendment Act of 1992 and came into force on 1 June 1993

74th Constitutional Amendment

 Added a new Part IX-A to the Constitution of India.
 Articles 243-P to 243-ZG.
 In addition, the act has also added a new 12th Schedule to the Constitution.
 This schedule contains 18 functional items of municipalities.
 State governments are under constitutional obligation to adopt the new system of municipalities in accordance with the provisions of the act.
 The act aims at revitalising and strengthening the urban governments so that they function effectively as units of local government.

Salient Features

Three Types of Municipalities in every state.
• 1. Nagar panchayat for a transitional area, that is, an area in transition from a rural area to an urban area.
• 2. Municipal council for a smaller urban area.
• 3. Municipal corporation for a larger urban area

Composition

 All the members of a municipality shall be elected directly by the people
 Each municipal area shall be divided into territorial constituencies to be known as wards
 Also provide for the representation of persons in a municipality
 Special knowledge or experience in municipal administration without the right to vote in the meetings of municipality.
 Chairpersons of committees (other than wards committees).
Wards Committees
Reservation of Seats
Duration of Municipalities
Disqualifications
State Election Commission
Powers and Functions
Finances
Audit of Accounts
Application to Union Territories
Exempted Areas
District Planning Committee
Metropolitan Planning Committee

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