General Studies IIPanchayati Raj

12th National Panchayati Raj Day

Ministry of Panchayati Raj


Owing to unprecedented situation that emerged due to second wave of COVID-19 pandemic in the country, it has been decided to commemorate the National Panchayati Raj Day virtually on 24th April, 2021 (Saturday). Normally, National Panchayati Raj Day is commemorated as a grand event on a big scale and on many occasions, Prime Minister has graced the occasion. This year, it was proposed to organize a national event at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.


Though the Panchayati Raj Institutions have been in existence for a long time, it has been observed that these institutions have not been able to acquire the status and dignity of viable and responsive people’s bodies due to a number of reasons including absence of regular elections, prolonged super sessions, insufficient representation of weaker sections like Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women, inadequate devolution of powers and lack of financial resources.

The Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 that came into force with effect from 24th April, 1993 has vested constitutional status on Panchayati Raj institutions. This date thus marks a defining moment in the history of decentralization of political power to the grassroots level. The impact of the 73rd Amendment in rural India is very visible as it has changed power equations irreversibly. Accordingly, the Government of India decided in consultation with the States to celebrate 24th April as National Panchayati Raj Day. The commemoration is being anchored by the Ministry of Panchayati Raj. The National Panchayati Raj Day (NPRD) is being celebrated on 24 April since 2010.

Key Highlights of 12th National Panchayati Raj Day:

  • Encouragingly, National Panchayat Awards have become a medium for creating awareness and sharing of knowledge across the country about the achievements of Panchayats, thus, raising the level of commitment of all stakeholders and benefiting the nation as a result. Empowered Panchayati Raj Institutions of our country will not only support in building a strong Indian nation, but also be able to set a unique example for other countries due to their epoch-making role in this world’s largest democracy.
  • Towards the objectives of socio-economic empowerment of the rural mass and making them self-reliant, a Central Sector Scheme, “Survey of Villages and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas’ (SVAMITVA) was launched by the Prime Minister on 24th April 2020. The pilot phase of the Scheme was implemented during 2020–2021 in States of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh and few border villages of Punjab & Rajasthan. Prime Minister will dedicate the Scheme of SVAMITVA to the entire nation on 24th April 2021. The Hon’ble Prime Minister will also launch distribution of e-property cards to 4.09 lakh property owners on this occasion.
  • SVAMITVA, a Central Sector Scheme of Ministry of Panchayati Raj was launched by the Prime Minister on National Panchayati Raj Day, 24th April 2020. The scheme aims to provide the ‘record of rights’ to village household owners in rural abadi areas and issuance of Property cards.
  • On 24th April, 2021, on the occasion of 12th National Panchayati Raj Day, alongwith distribution of various National awards to better performing  Panchayati Raj Institutions, the Prime Minister will also electronically distribute Property Cards/ Title deeds (Sampatti Patrak) under the SVAMITVA Scheme to nearly 409945 property holder’s of 5002 villages. Most of the property holders would be able to download their Property Cards through the SMS link delivered on their mobile phones. This would be followed by physical distribution of the Property Cards/ Title Deeds by the respective State governments following due Covid protocols.
  • The Scheme has the potential to transform rural India. It will pave the way for using property as a financial asset by villagers for taking loans and other financial benefits, as in the case in towns and cities. Further, this is the first time ever that such a large-scale exercise involving most modern technology is being carried out to benefit millions of rural property owners.

National Panchayati Raj Day 2021 Awards:

Ministry of Panchayati Raj commemorates the National Panchayati Raj Day on 24th April 2021. During the National Panchayat Raj Day event, the following awards were given to the best performing Panchayats.

  • Deen Dayal Upadhyay Panchayat Sashaktikaran Puraskar (to 224 Panchayats)
  • Nanaji Deshmukh Rashtriya Gaurav Gram Sabha Puraskar (to 30 Gram Panchayats)
  • Gram Panchayat Development Plan Award (to 29 Gram Panchayats).
  • e-Panchayat Puraskar (to 12 States).
  • Child-friendly Gram Panchayat Award (to 30 Gram Panchayats)

About SVAMITVA Scheme

SVAMITVA Scheme (Survey of Villages Abadi and Mapping with Improvised Technology in Village Areas) is a Central Sector scheme launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India on National Panchayat Day i.e 24th April 2020. The Ministry of Panchayati Raj (MoPR) is the Nodal Ministry for implementation of the scheme. In the States, the Revenue Department / Land Records Department will be the Nodal Department and shall carry out the scheme with support of State Panchayati Raj Department. Survey of India shall work as the technology partner for implementation.

The scheme aims to provide an integrated property validation solution for rural India. The demarcation of rural abadi areas would be done using Drone Surveying technology. This would provide the ‘record of rights’ to village household owners possessing houses in inhabited rural areas in villages which, in turn, would enable them to use their property as a financial asset for taking loans and other financial benefits from Bank

The scheme seeks to achieve the following objectives: –

  1. To bring financial stability to the citizens in rural India by enabling them to use their property as a financial asset for taking loans and other financial benefits.
  2. Creation of accurate land records for rural planning.
  3. Determination of property tax, which would accrue to the GPs directly in States where it is devolved or else, add to the State exchequer.
  4. Creation of survey infrastructure and GIS maps that can be leveraged by any department for their use.
  5. To support in preparation of better-quality Gram Panchayat Development Plan (GPDP) by making use of GIS maps.
  6. To reduce property related disputes and legal cases

Important Committees on Panchayati Raj

  • In 1957, the National Development Council constituted a committee headed by Balwant Rai Mehta to look into the working of community development programme.
  • V.T. Krishnammachari 1960
  • Ashok Mehta Committee in 1977: The committee recommended a two-tier Panchayat Raj institutional structure consisting of Zilla Parishad and Mandal Panchayat.
  • Hanumantha Rao Committee (1983)
  • G.V.K. Rao Committee (1985) recommended making the “district” as the basic unit of planning and also holding regular elections
  • L.M.Singhvi committee (1986) recommended providing more financial resources and constitutional status to the panchayats to strengthen them
  • Sarkaria Commission on Centre-State relations (1988)
  • P.K. Thungan Committee (1989)
  •  Harlal Singh Kharra Committee (1990).

Important note:

  • The 73rd Amendment 1992 added a new Part IX to the constitution titled “The Panchayats” covering provisions from Article 243 to 243(O); and a new Eleventh Schedule covering 29 subjects within the functions of the Panchayats.
  • Article 40: Organisation of village panchayats

The State shall take steps to organise village panchayats and endow them with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as units of self-government.

  • Article 246 empowers the state legislature to legislate with respect to any subject relating to local self-government.
  • Article 243 to 243(O): Panchayati Raj

Source: PIB

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