National Panchayati Raj Day is the national day of Panchayati Raj System in India. It is celebrated by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj on 24 April annually.
Significance of this Day?
This annual celebration is done in order to commemorate the historic day on which the Constitution Act (73rd Amendment) passed in 1992. However, it came into existence a year later on April 24,1993. Therefore, National Panchayati Raj Day is commemorated to celebrate the inception of decentralised power. The then Prime Minister of Indian Manmohan Singh declared the first National Panchayati Raj Day on 24 April 2010. He mentioned that if Panchayati Raj institutions functioned properly and locals participated in the development process, the Maoist threat could be countered. The decision of decentralising power at the rural level was made because it was difficult for a single Chief Minister to look after an entire state solely and solve their issues in the minimum time possible.
History behind National Panchayati Raj Day:
In 1957, a Committee was formulated which focused on the evolution of Panchayati Raj in India. Balwantrai Mehta was appointed as the chairman of the Committee. As per the Committee's report, it recommended a decentralised three Panchayati Raj hierarchy. It includes -
Gram Panchayat at the Village level
Panchayat Samiti at the Block level
Zila Parishad at the District level
Names of representatives of the Panchayats were decided to be Pradhan, Mukhiya or Sarpanch. In 1959, Rajasthan became the first state wherein the Panchayat Raj System was executed. Inauguration of the Panchayati Raj was done in the month of October 1959 in Nagpur by our first PM Jawaharlal Nehru.
What goes about on National Panchayati Day?
Every year the Prime Minister directly talks to the Gram Panchayat representative and takes a look at the progress report. A discussion on various issues affecting the functioning of the Panchayati Raj System also takes place. On 24 April 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for an end to the practice of "husbands of women sarpanches" or "sarpanch pati" exercising undue influence on the work of their wives elected to power as he addressed the Elected representatives.