In whatever form democratic decentralization, popularly known as Panchayati Raj in our country, was introduced, it failed to deliver good due to the lack of political will. Several Committees and Commissions have been appointed since 1957 by the Government of India to suggest ways and means to improve the functioning of these institutions so as to make them an effective instrument of change and development. The present study is an attempt in this direction. The study highlights three alternative roads for the success of these institutions but the whole discussion boils down to giving constitutional status to these institutions. Several suggestions, as a result of field experience and interactions with the officials and general public, have been made in the study which are likely to prove highly useful to policy planners as it will enable them to take immediate steps in right direction. The book is strongly recommended for the benefits of policy planners, practitioners, academics and students of Panchayati Raj.
Prof. S.N. Mishra (b. 1942), after serving at Magadh University, joined the Indian Institute of Public Administration in 1980 where currently he is Professor of Rural Studies. Apart from publishing nearly twenty books on various facets of Rural Society, he has contributed more than hundred research papers to the various journals in India and abroad. A member of the Executive Committee of the Indian Public Administration Association, Prof. Mishra’s areas of specialization are: Indian Political System, Applied Public Administration, Political Sociology, Constitutional Law, Democratic Decentralization, Development Administration and Local Self-Government. Dr. S.S. Singh (b. 1949), after obtaining his LL.M. and Ph.D. degrees from R.D. University, Jabalpur, joined the same University as Lecturer in the Faculty of Law in 1979 were he served till 1985. Thereafter he joined Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi as Reader in Administrative Law where he is Professor now. A well-known researcher, he is the author of three research books and forty research papers which were published in leading journals of India and abroad. His recent publication Legislative Framework of Panchayati Raj in India has been widely acclaimed. His research interests centre round Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Public Administration and Democratic Decentralization. Dr. Singh is on several committees of Govt. of India, and had recently been to U.K. under Colombo Plan for Training of Trainers Course. Presently, he is busy with providing consultancy services to National Academy of Direct Taxes, New Delhi.
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