Working Of Panchayats In Manipur
- Part 3 -

Dr. K. Shyamsunder Singh*

Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan (RGPSA) / Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA):

Under the Rajiv Gandhi Panchayat Sashaktikaran Abhiyan (RGPSA) now renamed as the Rashtriya Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (RGSA), the Directorate of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj recruited young energetic staff of PMU particularly for clerical and management as well as accounts and e-Panchayat works. Further, during the year, 2015-16 a sum of Rs 540.29 lakhs have been released under the scheme for capacity building and completion of the construction of one State Panchayat Resource Centre (SPRC) at Directorate Head Quarter, Porompat and 4 (four) District Panchayat Resource Centres (DPRCs) at the four valley district Head Quarters.

As for the SI RD component, construction of its Administrative building, Academic building and the Gymnasium which includes 1 (one) badminton court have been completed and inaugurated during October, 2016. Also, during the year, 2016-17, a sum of Rs.982.00 lakhs has been released under the scheme.

Further, it would be worthwhile to mention that some of our Gram Panchayats have been graded with National level recognition for their good performance during the last couple of years. Out of the 161 GPs of the State two well performing GPs namely (i) Phayeng GP and (ii) Toubul GP were honoured for the first time with the Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar (PSP) Award by the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India on Panchayat Day, 2015.

Also, another three well performing GPs namely (i) Phayeng GP (ii) Khundrakpam GP and (iii) Phubala GP have been honoured with the National Panchayat Awards on National Panchayat Day, 2016. Along with it another GP viz; Lourembam GP has also been honoured for doing Good Works in the implementation of MG-NREGS during the year, 2016. The six GPs were put to the National level recognition as fruit of hard and dedicated work of this Directorate Staff particularly the Programme Management Unit (PMU) team belonging to the RGPSA.

As for the e-Governance, the PMU is in full swing in updating and entering the data related with online Panchayat Portal (Panchayat Enterprise Suite) provided by the MoPR. One of the important services to be implemented in this sector is the registration of Birth & Death at the GP level under the ex-officio power of the Panchayat secretary both online and manually. For online we will be using the Service Plus application of MoPR.

Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY):

The Union Government has initiated a visionary scheme called the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY) under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development Programme (MPLADP). The scheme envisages to initiate building the Nation from the village level and develop one Model GP/Village in each of the constituency of the concerned Hon'ble MP by the year,2016 and 2(two) more Model Villages by the year,2019.

In Manipur, 3(three) Model GPs/Villages were selected to initiate the scheme during the year, 2016.They are (i) Ngairangbam Model Village at Ngairangbam G.P (Imphal West District) launched by the Hon'ble MP (inner Manipur Lok Sabha) Shri Dr. Th Meinya, (ii) Hayel-Hangoon Model Village at Hayel-Hangoon G.P. (Thoubal District) launched by the Hon'ble MP (Rajya Sabha), late Haji Abdul Salam and iii) Kangvai Model Village (Churchandpur District) launched by the Hon'ble MP (outer Manipur Lok Sabha), Shri Thangso Baite.

The 4th Model Village has been initiated under the aegis of the District Rural Development Agency (DRADA), Imphal East by launching the Pukhao GP of Sawombung CD Block as the Model Gram Panchayat / Village on 18th March, 2017 by Hon'ble MP (inner Manipur Lok Sabha) Shri Dr. Th. Meinya at Pukhao Khabam Community Hall. As the scheme continues to expand in the State GPs / Villages in Manipur will become World Class, opined Dr. Meinya while launching the visionary scheme. The annual MPLADP fund entitlement per MP constituency is @Rs.5.00 crores at present. The scheme is regarded as one that will actualise the dreams of Rural India. The basic activities under the scheme will be to enhance the entrepreneurial skills of the indigenuous and innovative villagers.

Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP):

Last, but not the least in importance, and in the absence of whose highlighting, the present paper would remain incomplete is the recently devised Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) program which envisages plugging leakages of funds and achieving maximum efficiency in its implementation with transparency and accountability. The department of Rural Development & Panchayati Raj, Government of Manipur have formulated the necessary guidelines of this program with the theme of "Eikhoigi Khunggang Eikhoina Semjarashi" which means "Let's build our village by ourselves" and the same have been duly issued to all the 161 Gram Panchayats existing in Manipur for preparation of their own plans.

Adequate awareness generation activities like ads in radio, newspapers etc; and campaigning were also done. Under the GPDP program funds available with MG-NREGS, 14th Finance Commission (FFC), State Finance Commission (SFC).Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and Own Source Revenue(OSR) are going to be converged for successful implementation of the Perspective Plan at the GP level.

The PMU team, Panchayat Secretary/ ADEOs of concerned GPs are working hard for preparation of the GPDP for each Gram Panchayat. The methodology for GPDP formulation would be through sitting of special Gram Sabha on GPDP and Intensive Participatory Planning Exercise (IPPE) comprising mainly five schemes, viz; MG-NREGS, FFC,SBM, SFC & OSR. The GPDP will be formulated as the annual plan as well as the perspective plan. It is expected that with the formulation of the GPDP, the Gram Panchayats shall get strengthened and improved in their efficiency of working. It may be mentioned that in the dispensation of Panchayti Raj, the Panchayati Raj Institutions are to function as the vehicle of participatory democracy.

"Swachh" Bharat Mission (SBM):

Further, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM)/ Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) is another much publicised scheme launched by the NDA Government, formed at the Centre and being implemented by the Public Health Engineering Department in Manipur. The scheme envisaged to make India an open-defacation-free Nation by the Gandhi Jayanti Divas of 02nd October, 2019.The District Collector/Deputy Commissioner who is the Chairman of the District Water and Sanitation Committee supervises the implementation of the scheme with the active involvement of the Member Secretary (concerned E.E./PHED) along with the Panchayati Raj Institutions and Village Authorities.

The Gram Panchayats / Village Authorities at the village level are responsible for the selection of beneficiaries under the scheme. Sanitary toilets are provided as an indispensable civic infrastructural item to all the beneficiary rural households. The scheme is a distinct step towards creating a conducing atmosphere for healthy and hygienic lifestyle safe from filth and diseases in rural areas.

In conclusion, it may safely be stated that Rural Development, since its inception with the launching of the Community Development Programme (CDP) in 1952, has come a long way now, no doubt, but much still needs to be done to make it an all-time success. All this along, the focus has been on how to bring about a change in the age-old life-style of the rural masses by raising their standard of living.

Towards this direction, endeavours have to be continuously made to make basic amenities like drinking water, power, quality education, health-care, housing, sanitation, roads & connectivity including IT etc; available at the door-step of the rural households to alleviate them as nearly as possible at par with their urban counterparts. This move calls for a concerted effort both by the Government as well as the Rural Leaders and the general masses.

The Government has to be committed and the general public awakened and imbibed with the spirit of self-participation in matters concerning their own welfare and development. The methodology of Intensive Participatory Planning Exercise (IPPE) as applied in the case of MG-NREGS, if earnestly followed in the context of the GPDP formulation; we can hope that such planning will help in bringing rich dividends in the over-all exercise of Rural Uplift.

Such planning shall also enhance citizen's participation in decision making in Local Governance, thus making the Gram Panchayats more responsive and dynamic. Alongside, the Rural Leaders need to be empowered and strengthened with capacity building for fuller involvement and participation in this mega exercise and exert to become successful facilitators in raising the level of development of their villages. For, only with the development of the Rural Sector, the country can be put on the road to progress and prosperity.


* Dr. K. Shyamsunder Singh (Director (RD & PR), Manipur ) wrote this article for 'Manipur Today' that was published by DIPR Manpur in April 2017
This article was posted on June 08, 2017.

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