Panchayat Raj system existed in India since long. After independence a number of committees were constituted to make recommendations for its revival. Conflicting interest at various level eclipsed the concept as well as its practice. It was only after a long debate spread over decades that the Constitutional (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992, outlined the task of rejuvenating the Panchayat Raj System in India.
As a result of this historic legislation and passing of Conformity Acts by various status and holding of elections in the country in mid 1990s, there were more than 3 million people elected at various levels of Panchayati Raj Institutions. While as a number of steps are being taken by various organizations to develop awareness programmes, for these elected members, there are more than million development functionaries across the country surving these institutions and working shoulder to shoulder with elected representatives.
There are exercise/activities entrusted to the Panchayats that need expertise and coordinated action by various development functionaries. This diploma programme in Panchayat Level Development and Administration through distance mode of learning is addressed towards fulfilling this task.
The major objectives of this programme are to:
a) equip panchayat level functionaries with the necessary knowledge, skills and talents needed for strengthening local democracy and the process of decentralized planning.
b) help them to work with elected representatives in a cooperative and coordinated fashion, and
c) facilitate people’s participation through a denovo approach, attitude and action by the panchayat level functionaries.