The Replication of SEED

The Replication of SEED (Self Evaluation for Effective Decision Making) Process in Uttaranchal    

approch1The 73rd Constitutional Amendment Act aims at strengthening of grassroots democracy, leading to decentralization of public administration. The roots of this noble idea can be traced back from the deeply grounded thoughts and ideas as propounded by the Father of our nation "The Great Mahatma Gandhi". India is better personified as a land of village’s communities. Hence it was strongly felt that devolution of power in the hands of the local people will lead to actualization of the principles of Democracy, equality, and Social Justice as enshrined in our Constitution.
Decentralization of power in the hands of local people and active participation of people in local administration would foster grassroots democracy.

Community participation was made an integral part of the planning process as enshrined in the Panchayati Raj Act. The involvement of the people in the planning process becomes necessary so that the plan is more responsive to the local needs. It should reflect more accurately the local perceptions and produce a sense of ownership and responsibility.

However an in-depth look into the present planning process as prevailing in the Panchayat Raj would reveal the unsystematic methods which are being used, for assessment of peoples need. Gram Sabha which has been constitutionally recognized as the most effective platform for formulating "people's plan" is almost at a dysfunctional status.

The priorities of the people are most of time left unrecognized due to the prevailing biases as exhibited by the panchayat functionaries and the government officials. According to the contemporary situation of planning at the village level.

  • The planning is still conceived with a strategy of top down approach in place of a bottom up approach.
  • There is a plethora of Central and State Government sanctioned schemes aiming at rural upliftment.In reality on the other hand only a minimal share of the benefit to be accrued from these schemes is being reaped by the rural people.
  • The hollowness lies in the faulty planning process as followed by the Gram Panchayats resulting in their inability to tap most of the Government schemes and programs.
  • Mostly the needs of the rural people are fitted according to the Government schemes as and when it is sanctioned. On the contrary the true realization of the decentralization process would be achieved when the schemes and programmes are planned in response to people's need.
  • The Gram panchayat is still lacking accurate local data of the villages. Thus the crucial needs of most of the people are still undermined.
  • Most of the priorities as chalked out at the Panchayat level are thus, still concentrating on Infrastructural arrangements ignoring the real needs of the people which need immediate attention.
  • Representation and fulfillment of needs of all the sections "collective opinion"viz.(rural women, children and minorities) is still a dream to be actualized at the Panchayat level. Hence the Social Justice component is left untouched.
  • Sensitivity towards issues like education, sanitation, reproductive rights, mother and child welfare, income generation activities, fodder problem and up gradation of existing manpower are still absent. Most of the Gram Panchayats still lack sensitivity towards the problems of S.C's and S.T's thereby making the Social Justice component a big myth.
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