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

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ANDHRA PRADESH-Desamising Rural Institutions

ANDHRA PRADESH Desamising Rural Institutions G Sreenivas Reddy N T RAMARAO's government in Andhra Pradesh continues to be in the limelight through a stream of populist measures. Like the abrupt lowering of the retirement age of government .servants, the noon meal scheme for school children, subsidised rice for the weaker sections, Telugu-Ganga water for the parched Tamil capital, hid to ubolish the Legislative Council and the banning of capitation fee lor private college admissions. Close on the heels of the Telugu Desam government completing one year in office have come two more moves that have raked up a controversy in Andhra politics. One of these abolished the centuries old institution of the Village Officer (VO) by stripping 38,000 odd persons of their jobs. The other measure seeks a drastic re-organisation of the Panchayati Raj (PR) set up by replacing its crucial middle-tiers, viz, Panchyat Samithis, numbering 320, by 1,200 odd Mandal Panchayats. Both these measures, launched through discreet gubernatorial fiats, will have a significant impact on the socio-political basis of the power structure in rural Andhra. Here the first of these two changes is viewed in a wider context.

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