ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Amitabh BeharSubscribe to Amitabh Behar

Budget Work in India

Budget Work in India Civil Society Experiments in Democratic Engagement In recent years, budget work has emerged as an effective tool through which civil society organisations can push the state in directions more transparent, accountable, responsive and, vitally, pro-poor. The methodology of budget analysis uses hard quantitative data accessed from government sources; its analyses, using universally accepted and respected research techniques, lend the initiative a high degree of credibility with the state, thereby strengthening its potential to influence policy. Despite its importance, budget work has not been able to transcend the boundaries of professional development organisations to form alliances and networks necessary to provide the cutting edge to social action groups, media and other civil society actors.

Networks of Panchayat Women

The growing success of networks of elected women representatives (EWRs) clearly demonstrates the significance of micro initiatives in institutionalising the panchayat raj system. While several of these networks were initially set up to equip EWRs with necessary skills and capacities, some have ventured into the political arena. This essay assesses the experience of some of these networks in western and southern India.

Madhya Pradesh: Experiment with Direct Democracy

The potential space for change provided by gram swaraj remains underutilised and the new system has languished, partly because of inconsistent support from the state government.

Mahya Pradesh - Gram Swaraj: Experiment in Direct Democracy

The state government has initiated a bold experiment in local selfgovernment by amending the panchayat raj legislation to devolve powers to the village-level gram sabha. What does the new legislation envisage? How effective will it be in bridging the gap between people and structures of governance?

Revitalising Panchayati Rajs- Role of NGOs

Role of NGOs Amitabh Behar IN the wake of 73rd amendment, democratically elected panchayats have been constituted in most of the states. The revival and democratisation of the panchayati system is seen as a significant step in strengthening and institutionalising grass root democracy. The panchayati raj system has generated tremendous enthusiasm in the development sector as a representative institution, which will effectively voice the needs and aspirations of the people. It will also effectively and sincerely implement the development programmes for the area, being true to its representative character. The development work undertaken by the panchayats will have the sanction of the beneficiaries, the people. This will help in prioritising the genuine needs at the grass roots and in successfully implementing the agenda beneficial to the community. All this is to be done within the paradigm of grass root democracy.

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