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History and Civics Question Bank for Class IX – “Local Self Government”

Q1. Differentiate between Local Government and Local Self Government.

Ans: Local Government implies the administration of an area through officials appointed by the Government. Local Self Government, on the other hand, means the administration of a village or town by local people themselves or by their selected representatives.

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Q2. Give three advantages of Local Self Government.

Ans: The three advantages of Local Self Government are:

i. Allows citizens to exercise power over their lives in the most direct fashion and forms the basic stratum of our political system

ii. Relieves the State and Union Governments of the responsibility of addressing minute local problems

iii. Less expensive than the administration of a locality by state officials

Q3. What are the three tiers of Panchayati Raj?

Ans: Zilla Parishads at the district level, Panchayat Samitis at the block level and Gram Panchayats at the village level are the three tiers of Panchayati Raj.

Q4. Who makes the laws that govern Panchayati Raj institutions?

Ans: State Legislatures make the laws that govern the Panchayati Raj institutions.

Q5. What is Gram Sabha? Mention any three functions of the Gram Sabha.

Ans: All members of a village, with a population of 1500 or more, who are above 18 years of age can become members of the village assembly. This village assembly is known as the Gram Sabha. Three main functions of a Gram Sabha are:

i. It approves annual budget

ii. It reviews Panchayat audit report of the previous year

iii. It considers new taxes which the executive body of the village, the Gram Panchayat, may levy

Q6. What is Gram Panchayat? How is it constituted? Who heads it?

Ans: The Gram Panchayat is the executive body of the village. The Gram Sabha through a secret ballot elects its members. The Sarpanch who is the elected leader heads the panchayat.

Q7. How often does the Panchayat meet? Can it be dissolved before its term?

Ans: The Panchayat usually meets once a month. The Gram Panchayat has a term of five years. However it can be dissolved earlier by laws passed by the State Government. In case of dissolution, fresh elections must be held within six months.

Q8. Mention any two civic functions of the Gram Panchayat.

Ans: The two functions of the Gram Panchayat are:

i. Provides clean drinking water to villagers by constructing, repairing and maintaining public wells, ponds and tanks

ii. Takes care of village street lighting

Q9. Mention two compulsory and two optional functions of the Gram Panchayat.

Ans:

Compulsory:

i. Registration of births, deaths and marriages

ii. Encourage setting up of cottage and small-scale industries

Optional:

i. Construct recreational and community centres

ii. Set up maternity and child welfare centres

Q10. What is a Nyaya Panchayat? How is its power limited?

Ans: Traditionally the word Panchayat describes primarily a judicial body settling village disputes. Small, specially established, judicial bodies called Nyaya Panchayats or Panchayati Adalats perform this function.

Its function is however limited in that the maximum punishment it can hand out is a fine of Rs.100. It has no power to send a person to jail. A dissatisfied party can appeal against the judgement of a Nyaya Panchayat before the High Court.

Q11. What are the advantages of Nyaya Panchayats?

Ans: The advantages of Nyaya Panchayats are:

i. Nyaya Panchayats render a valuable service by extending cheap and quick judicial service to poor people

ii. Agreements are brought about without having to resort to expensive lawsuits.

iii. The familiar and informal atmosphere of the village court and personal community relationships make it difficult for any party to successfully lie to or to mislead the Panchayat

Q12. Mention any two sources of the Panchayat’s income.

Ans: The two sources of the Panchayat’s income are:

i. Taxes levied on homes, property, land, goods and cattle

ii. Rent from rest houses and baaraat ghars (marriage halls) constructed by the Panchayat in the village

Q13. What is a Panchayat Samiti? Who heads it?

Ans: The rural self government institution at the block level is known as the Panchayat Samiti. It serves as a link between the village and the district. Typically, a Panchayat Samiti covers about a hundred villages in an area.

The Panchayat Samiti elects a Chairman or Pramukh or Pradhan who heads it.

Q14. Mention any three functions of the Panchayat Samiti.

Ans: Agriculture, fisheries and dairy development, employment and development of small industries and infrastructure development are the three functions of the Panchayat Samiti.

Q15. Mention three sources from which the Panchayat Samiti gets its funds.

Ans: Grants from State Governments, taxes on land, dwellings, trade, fairs, electricity and water and sale of property (under its charge) are the three sources from which the Panchayat Samiti gets its funds.

Q16. How is a Zilla Parishad composed?

Ans: The Zilla Parishad or the District Board is at the top of the Panchayati Raj System. Its composition differs from state to state. Generally it has Chairmen of all Panchayat Samitis in the district, all elected MPs, MLAs, MLCs from the district, Chairmen of all Municipal Committees and Municipal Boards in the district, representatives of cooperative societies in the district, representatives of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women.

Q17. Give two reasons why the Panchayati Raj has been only a limited success.

Ans: Shortage of funds and corruption are the two reasons responsible for the limited success of the Panchayati Raj.

Q18. Who is a BDO? Mention any one of his functions connected with the Panchayat Samiti.

Ans: The chief administrative officer of the Panchayat Samiti is a government official from either the IAS or the state administrative service – the Block Development Officer (BDO). He participates in Samiti meetings, but has no right to vote in them. The BDO functions as a link between the Government and the Samiti. He helps the Samiti in performing its functions, ascertains the needs of the village, and helps it to obtain government funds, loans and expertise for projects.

Q19. What remedial steps have been taken by the Government to improve the functioning of the Panchayati Raj?

Ans: The 73rd Amendment Act of 1992 laid down that the State Legislatures must grant Panchayats enough powers to enable them to function effectively.

i. Reservation of seats and offices for historically deprived sections of our society

ii. Panchayats assured a uniform five year term

iii. Panchayats were entrusted with the specific responsibility of preparing plans for the economic, social and infrastructural development of their areas

iv. The new Panchayati Raj Act decreed that Panchayats would receive adequate funds for carrying out their duties effectively

Q20. What did the Balwant Rai Mehta Committee recommend on Local Self Government?

Ans: The Balwant Rai Mehta Committee in its report in 1958 suggested/recommended a three-tier structure of rural Local Self Government: Zilla Parishads at the district level, Panchayat Samitis at the block level and Gram Panchayats at the village level.

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