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India is the largest working democracy in the world. In the course of time, the roots of Indian democracy have strengthened. However, the question whether democracy has succeeded in India has become a matter of debate. In brief, the Indian democracy has displayed the following shortcomings:
1. Lack of strong opposition in Parliament and State Legislatures.
2. Lack of sense of responsibility in opposition parties.
3. Political and administrative corr uption.
4. Dominance of bureaucracy.
5. Political instability.
6. Politics of negative agitations and violence.
7. Qualitative degradation in the status of Legislatures.
8. Prevalence of multi-party system.
9. Lack of moral values and ideals in politics.
10. Lack of healthy traditions in political culture.
11. Doubt about the integrity and impartiality of elections.
12. Increasing tendency of centralis ation and tensions in center- state relations.
13. Lack of political discipline and responsibility.
14. Emergence of a distinct class of political elite which keeps itself away from
common people and their problems.
15. Increasing inequalities among different communities, classes and regions.

Due to the above mentioned shortcomings, the present democratic set up of India comes under severe criticism. The demand has been raised to adopt the Presidential form of government in place of the Parliam entry government. However, the majority of the political experts hold the view that the existing Parliam entary form of government is most appropriate for India. For the ills of the present system, the leaders, not the system should be blamed. It will not make much difference if the system is replaced because the fault lies somewhere else. Dr. Rajendra Prasad, the President of the Constituent Assembly observed that whatever may be the provisions of the Constitution, the welfare of the nation would depend on the nature of the government rule and Ihat would depend upon the rulers. A country gets the government it deserves. If the people, who are elected, are honest, able and persons of character and commitment, they would rectify the faults of the Constitution also.

Democracy has been successful in India to a great extent, but the emerging narrow outlook and selfish tendencies are likely to lead it towards mobocracy. It has to be corrected as soon as possible. The most important step is to create and sustain a healthy democratic orientat ion in the minds of people, which may guide them to act as responsible citizens in democracy. The political leadership has failed to create such orientation among people due to their narrow interests and short term gains.


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13.0 Learning Outcome

13.1 Introduction

13.2 Initiatives towards Constitutional Status to Local Governance

13.2.1 Features of 73rd Constitutional Amendment

13.2.2 Features of 74th Constitutional Amendment

13.2.3 Decentralised Planning in Context of 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment Act

13.3 Initiatives after Economic Reforms

13.4 Functioning of PRIs in Various States after 73rd Amendment

13.5 Functioning of Local Governance after 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendment: Observations

13.6 Conclusion

13.7 Key Concepts

13.8 References and Further Reading

13.9 Activities


After studying this Unit you should be able to:

• Identify the background of revitalisation of local governance;

• Understand the features of 73rd and 74th constitutional amendment;

• Discuss the initiatives after economic reforms; and

• Outlines the functioning of local governance in various states after the amendment.


The revitalization of Pancha…

Q. What is the meaning of the terms like ‘Pardon’, ‘Reprieve’, ‘Respite’, ‘Remission’ and ‘Commutation’ with respect to the power of the President to grant pardon to convicted persons?

Ans. In terms of their scope and effect, these terms have specific connotations. The effect of Pardon is to abolish punishment and to absolve the convict of all charges. If Pardon is granted, it is assured as if the convict has not committed any crime. The convict will not face any disabilities due to the allegations and charges made against him. ‘Remission’ means reducing the punishment without changing the nature of punishment. For example, the imprisonment for 20 years may be reduced to the imprisonment for 10 years. ‘Commutation’ means reducing the punishment by changing the nature of punishment. For example, punishment to death may be changed to life imprisonment. ‘Respite’ means reducing or changing the nature of punishment in view of the specific facts and circumstances of the convict. For example, the punishment to death awarded to a pregnant woman, may be changed to simple life imprisonment. Respite means delay in execution of punishment especially that of death, in order to …



1.0 Learning outcome

1.1 Introduction

1.2 Concept of Democratic Decentralisation

1.3 Evolution of Democratic Decentralisation

1.4 Significance of Democratic Decentralisation

1.5 Democratic Decentralisation in India

1.6 Conclusion

1.7 Key concepts

1.8 References and Further Reading

1.9 Activities


After studying this unit, you should be able to:

• Understand the concept of Democratic Decentralization;

• Know the evolution and significance of Democratic Decentralization; and

• Describe the Democratic Decentralization pattern in India.


The dawn of 21st century is marked by decentralized governance both as a strategy and philosophy of brining about reforms and changes in democracies. These changes led to such virtues of transparency, responsiveness and accountability and ensures good governance. Today decentralization and democracy are the most significant themes in the development discourse. In the present contex…