There is hardly any study conducted to evolve norms and standards for meeting out the basic needs and to assess the physical and financial gaps between the existing level and the required level of identified basic needs at the Gram Panchayat level. Assessment of gap between basic needs and resources is extremely helpful in devolution of funds to Panchayats to meet out their financial requirements at the local level. Without understanding such an exercise, it is difficult for them to recommend devolution of sufficient resources to the Panchayats. Therefore, the study filled the knowledge gap in the existing literature on the subject. This study, therefore, assesses the gap in the availability and requirements of these basic services and suggests measures to mobilize additional resources for panchayats to enable them to effectively provide these basic services to the rural populace after evolving the standards and norms for these identified basic needs of the villagers. Ways and means have also been suggested for mobilising financial resources to fill the gap. The book would be useful to researchers, policy makers and, in particular, to rural developers, voluntary organizations and all those engaged in promoting human development and rural development through employment generation and infrastructure development. It will be of special benefit as supplementary reading to Social Sciences departments of universities, institutes of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Training and similar other bodies.
Mahi Pal (b. 1955) is a Faculty Member in the Haryana Institute of Rural Development, Nilokheri. Before joining the Institute, he worked in the Ministry of Rural Developmet, Government of India. Planning Commission and National Commission for SCs & STs, Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India. He had been on a Post-Doctoral Fellowship during 1992-94 at the Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi where he specialised in the field of Decentralised Planning and Panchayati Raj. Dr. Mahi Pal has published several outstanding research papers in the areas of decentralised governance and rural development and is actively engaged in research and training. His previous publications include Land Productivity and Employment in Indian Agriculture, Critical Review of State Panchayats Acts, Capital Formation and Employment Generation in Rural India, Ateet Vartman Aur Bhavishya (in Hindi) and Panchayat Mein Mahilayen: Seemayen Aur Sambhaanayen (in Hindi). One of his books is being published by the National Book Trust of India. He also participated and contributed papers in various national and international Conferences/ Seminars. Recently, Dr. Mahi Pal participated in the International Conference on Federalism in a Changing World: Learning from Each Other, held at University of St. Gallen, Switizerland. The author is also a member of several national associations and academic bodies.
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